So the other night, we put the kids to bed and I looked at my wife and said, “So, is there anything you wanna make on the Glowforge?” Stares at me blankly. “Nothing you want?.. Something you wanna give to somebody?.. Anything?.. Nothing?” She thinks for a moment and just kind of replies, “Well, I don’t know… I was kind of thinking about something that I could do for bracelets.” She then showed me some things she’d bought from the craft store that just needed some sort of charm to go on it.
So I hop online and just do an image search for bracelets and find a bunch of random stuff. After looking at everything, I said, “We could just make something simple, like a rectangular shape, holes in both sides for the actual bracelet and just put a word or phrase in the middle of it.” She agreed, so I jumped into illustrator and quickly threw together a template, and copied it a few times. The hardest part was coming up with words or phrases for the particular people she had in mind to get these.
Sidenote: I was surprised to find that even though I had the cuts and engraves on separate layers, the Glowforge UI figured out that the text engrave on one layer went with the rounded-rectangular cut on another. I could click & drag each piece separately and the block would stay with the text for each one!
In a matter of moments, they were cut and they looked sweet! Until we went to retrieve them and realized the didn’t cut all the way through the proofgrade material! What?! That’s not supposed to happen.
I pulled out the material and find that he wood is completely warped. Apparently, all the jobs from this past weekend being set to cut just right to waste the least amount of wood had caused it to warp pretty badly. Not something I was anticipating. So we set it up again in a different spot and that seemed to do better (though still not perfect), and she went to work.
Once again, I was simply thrilled to see someone in my household come-up with a random idea, and in a matter of minutes, turn it into a real thing. She couldn’t wait to give these things out to the people she had envisioned them for.
Those are really cute! I’m sure her friends are going to love them!
(On the not cutting through completely…the warping after cutting up a sheet is a real thing.
Still trying to figure out how to keep it from getting so bad. Storing the partially cut sheets underneath a stack of wood helps.)
If you want to save on material, pick up one of these…after the cut, take the pick and try to lift out the cut without moving the base material. If it comes out, great, you’re done. If not, without moving the material, send it to cut a second time (just the cut part, set the engraving to ignore) and they will pop right out.
Best $6 investment I made to use with this thing - it’s also handy for removing the masking.
Once you cut a section of material into “swiss cheese”, remove that part of the board before storing for the next project. The cut out holes introduce stresses into wood grains, and plastics will warp because of heat stresses from laser cutting.
I did exactly that after about 10% of 70+ circular tokens failed to cut through on a sheet of PG. The sheet was slightly warped and I pried a couple out using a weeding pick, but had to rerun the cut operation, as some of the tokens did not cut all the way through. Oddly, it was the part of the PG that was flat to the grid that had the most fails (there were fails in the “elevated” area too). First time I’ve had that happen, warped or flat.
That’s odd. After 400 + I had a total of two that I couldn’t pluck from the cut with a piece of painters tape. One edge would lift far enough to snag it with a fingernail and it would ‘snap’ out. Thinking the mask wasn’t cut through all the way around.
See? That’s what you get for being a nice guy. Sorry it’s problematic for you.
I wonder what it is that has changed…
No worries, just surprised it was an issue at all. This involved more (less) that just the mask, the veneer was definitely not cut all the way on the problem ones. Touched up with sanding to make sure they are safe. It was my last piece of Maple PG, didn’t have the ability for a mulligan.
I use pieces of scrap to elevate my material so I can see it drop when cut…if it doesnt drop and not move if I press on it, it gets cut again…it generally happens when working with Baltic Birch…if I hit an internal knot…
I had it happen yesterday to, on the center of an “o” that I was going to inlay on something. Board was propped on right side of cookie tray and the outside cut happened first, dropping the letter down I was surprised.
@markevans36301 Thanks for the tip! I’ve actually got some magnets sitting in my Amazon cart, so I’ll have to try it out… Once I get the okay to spend the money that is. Technically, my wife agreed that it I could spend it before the Glowforge arrived, but that was before we both went out and bought more material, and extra stuff for the Glowforge (hello wood stain, finish, glue, cork, etc.). So much for the whole “this thing will save us so much money” since we’ve counterbalanced it with “Now we need to go buy this and this for that project.” I’m gonna have to start making some designs I can sell just to offset the overhead for my new hobby.
@Jules Thanks for the recommendation. Just added it to my overflowing cart as well.
@mpipes Yeah, I got to thinking when it gets that bad I should just cutout the chunks so I can still use them and hopefully they won’t warp so bad that way.
@smcgathyfay I’ve thought about doing that too; it’s so easy to know it worked when you see the piece drop, and not having to try to realign stuff in the UI would make cutting again much easier (although so would having some smart guides, align tools, and fields for X & Y coordinates like you have in Illustrator cough, cough HOPPER cough, cough)