Pocket Pentominoes

Ever since reading Clarke’s Imperial Earth when in school, I’ve been fascinated with Pentominoes. After printing the Tangram earlier this week, I wanted to see if I could make a small “travel-sized” Pentominoes set.

I created the pattern from scratch in Illustrator, but it would have been just as easy in AD or even Inkscape. I have a few tweaks and instructions I want to add to the file, but intent to posting it to the “Free Laser Patterns” area soon.

In the meantime, here it is rendered out of :proofgrade: Maple ply. Print time 1m50s…

Ok, who can make a 3x20 rectangle without checking solutions on their phone/google/WolframAlpha?

Note the “storage solution” is engraved in the box. Scored at 1/197, I’m looking forward to the return of the kindler, gentler, GF settings from last week.

BTW, this was the 2nd prototype. The first attempt, using non :proofgrade: ply with 3rd party masking, caught on fire :fire:. Hey, happens to the best of them… One damp towel application and a quick material swap, and I was back in business. :blush:


Very cool.


I like it!


That is cool! Sorry to hear about the flame-up though, what were you cutting?


1/8" Birch Ply masked with TransferRite Ultra 582U (Medium tack). Started separating, and in some cases floated free— right into the beampath. Woosh. :fire: Which then called all his cousins :fire: :fire: :fire:.

Lifted the lid and tamped down on the embers with my handy damp cloth. I’m still pining for the ability to extend the exhaust fan’s runtime to reduce the evidence before the spouse arrives with a twitching nose… :innocent: Who Me?



I’ve got a little spritz bottle of water on standby, but I’m going to get into the habit of keeping a damp cloth on hand when I try to print anything that is not Proofgrade that has that paper masking on it - the stuff I got from SignWarehouse does not stay stuck down…at all. It lifts up just like what you described.

So far, mine hasn’t gotten up under the beam, but that’s just luck. :confused:


It’s been a very long evening…I saw this title as “Pocket Pimentos”…time to go to bed.


So there is a Clark that I have not read?!

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Imperial Earth, by Arthur C.Clarke. Copyright 1976. He wrote this at the time off the American Bicentennial.


I just got up all refreshed and read the same thing.


That’s great! A question about fire – do you think it will be unwise to leave the Glowforge unattended while printing? What if there is a print that takes many hours. Do you think it is a wise practice to do another task elsewhere or is important that we watch it the entire time? Thanks!


I love it! Very nice job. I always have my damp rag handy but have not needed to use it yet. Make sure you are using a squeegee to press down the masking very well–it seems to help a lot.


You need to keep an eye on it all the time but I don’t think many laser jobs take many hours.


Very nice! You need to find something to engrave on the top and make a cover for transport. Maybe wide rubber bands or magnets to keep it closed.


Unfortunately that is a safety question and Dan will lock down this thread if anybody starts to opinionate beyond “read the manual.”


all very good safety advice - esp as a noob, I’m going to be extra cautious. Being a bit sloppy with inks and powders just makes a mess. With the laser, sloppiness can lead to fire which can lead to fear, hatred, the dark side… :imp:. thx for your cautions and advice


I was so excited about there being unread Clark last night that I forgot to comment on the build.
Very nice.


I’m excited by the thought of making things like this for my kids, instead of paying $20 for it at some fancy toy shop. Nice work!


Just a quick reminder that came to me reading through this – @dan has asked that we refrain from any safety advice until they are done and get the manual “out on the street”. I’m sure they will let us know from the creators’ standpoint what is safe vs. what might not be. :relaxed:


Now there is speculation about safety and then there is best practices that can be shared that really shouldn’t bring up any flags. We can be helpful but not authoritative.:try_to_be_helpful_but_not_authoritative:

You need to be around a laser when it is operating. That’s pretty much a first principle in any reading up I have done. I keep a web camera on my bed and if I am at my computer designing things I can always see what’s going on. If I am not at the computer, but am working on assembly or finishing things, I have also a GoPro streaming to an iPad that can babysit long prints, but I stay in the same room.

Not too many jobs take hours, but enough things do get up into the half hour range if you are talking engraving with any detail on a bigger job. Right now I have a two hour print going. It’s making four copies of one item that has engraving and cutting through 1/4" acrylic so it has to make two passes on the cutting. So get used to your new best friend. But it really is amazing how busy you can get, especially in the beginning. The Glowforge tapped creativity and energy that I haven’t had for a while.

But I am open to correction.