Inspired by https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1856121/, I decided to try drawing my own. It was a good opportunity to hone some more Fusion 360 techniques and try out the F360->DXF->AI->SVG->GF workflow (boy I can’t wait for this to involve less toil).
This is the first draft, I like the fluorescent orange acrylic I picked up from Canal Plastics (BTW if you’re going to be in NYC for Maker Faire, you may want to take a side trip to Chinatown).
The most frustrating part so far has been trying to fit all the pieces on one sheet without a lot of waste. I didn’t draw these things to nest, and they really don’t. I spent hours, first finding a way to fit them on a 19.5" x 12" artboard… which, if you’re paying attention, you’ve already realized should have been 19.5" x 11". There’s no way I could do it with an inch less vertical space, so then I thought I’d be clever and do it in two passes, skipping all of the things that didn’t fit on the top, turning it around, and then cutting them out of the scrap. It was a great plan. Until I realized “+/- 1/8” means the 12" pieces I bought are most definitely no more than 11 7/8". And I went right up to the edge, with no square to spare. So I had to burn two $13 12" x 24" sheets to make one pumpkin. You live, you learn.
I know that in industry, they have to solve the problem of fitting as many cuts as possible on a given piece of stock. I don’t know what that is called or whether there’s software available to mere mortals for doing it. If there is, I definitely want it… this is going to be a recurring need.