In the area where I live, there is a huge demand for any merchandise with a particular high school mascot on it. I’ve never lived somewhere that the school pride is so massive for a high school team, and so it’s pretty fun to see all the towns on my side of the island representing with flags and t-shirts plastered everywhere. I came up with a couple of keychain ideas based off of the mascot and one of the sayings, and have had people actually interested in them - this of course encouraged me to invest in the popularity and I have made made several keychains.
All materials used (medium red acrylic, medium draftboard) as well as these keychains from amazon. Alright, so my biggest hurdle so far has been the logos being painted and having to remove the masking tape. I created a little jig in order to help make spray painting them much more efficient than the process I did when making the samples, shown here
It took some trial and error because I accidentally saved over my original file that I had used to cut out the cardboard without realizing it, and so determining the kerf was not as easy as I had hoped. Managed to get a pretty decent fit though and so they don’t fall out when I move the jig around! The rectangular side isn’t as perfect and requires a bit of tape to hold them in, but still much better than laying them out and painting them that way.
With the painting issue solved, I moved on to the weeding. This has still not been made easy, even when using gorilla tape in order to remove the masking. Much, much better than doing it only by hand, but still wish that it could be a little simpler. The acrylic tends to leave a tiny lip around any and all engraving that also flakes off and gets kind of crispy (if that’s the word for it…) and that tends to gunk up the tape. The solutions I’ve used thus far have been getting a hard bristle tooth brush to try and brush it away which has been working excellently, but occasionally the masking in between the woven circle will get pushed into the engravings and make it difficult once again to deal with. I’ve tried using goo gone in order to loosen the adhesive, but that was not the greatest idea as it dissolved the tape and adhesive into a gooish consistently and makes the problem worse
For now I intend on offering the painted acrylic keychains as limited edition items that will depend on the demand as well as the sales, because I’ve put in a lot of work and am worried that I’m working harder than I should. The next test I run will be defocusing the laser in hopes that I get a slightly smoother engrave resulting in less of the acrylic dust/flakes buildup, and also using a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the adhesives hold on the acrylic during the weeding process. I have used a lighter to melt any of the lips that were too noticeable and that was also pretty helpful (other than when burning my fingers ).
Well, this project has been fun and I intend on making another thread detailing a logo I made for myself and my intentions on making my glowforge my small business partner, so stayed tuned for that update!
EDIT: Here’s the link for the logo I made for the business Unique gifts, for unique people! Long Post Warning!