The Strawberry Saver


#1

Problem: My strawberry plants are planted in a raised bed, not in pots, and strawberry fruits don’t do well touching the ground - at least in my little garden. In pots, they can just grow and hang over the edge, not so much in a raised bed.

Solution:
You can use things like plastic mulch, hay, or I guess even regular wood mulch, but mine don’t even like touching regular red mulch :confused: so I started cutting out paper plates and sliding them underneath the plant at the base to protect the fruit from the soil, and whatever else. Why not do it with the Glowforge and have something more permanent - 1/4" ply or acrylic would both work well for something like this and not need to be replaced.

I probably just don’t have much of a green thumb but it seems to work better than nothing and I can replace the paper plates really easily. This was more of an excuse to get into Illustrator and start thinking about designing for use with the Glowforge. The reason I mention it like that - designing with the Glowforge in mind, is that I find myself having to think differently when designing for the Glowforge rather than if I was just going to sketch things out or make an illustration that’s just designed to be seen on a screen. Screens are much more lenient in what you can do with them.

For example, originally, I was thinking I would have a 2-piece design that would have a circle cut out in the center to surround the plant base and then it would be a quick and simple press-fit with a couple of T’s. This design would work fine, I believe, but I quickly recognized/recalled that there is a difference between designing in your head and reality. In my head, I see a simple design - a circle with a circle cut out inside, a vertical line dividing the circle and a couple of rounded rectangles to press-fit and connect. The reality is that those are all overlapping lines on the interior and you will have cuts going on top of cuts. That ain’t gonna be pretty. To fix that, you need to separate into components. This seems trivial for a lot of y’all, I know - “duh, you’re putting something together, design the components.” For those unfamiliar with CNC operations, it’s something to try and remember. Which brings me to my next point -

This looks like a really simple design (and it really is) but for those trying to learn software, like Illustrator, to use with their Glowforge, I think it could prove challenging and perhaps frustrating to go from what is a very easy to a sketch on paper to getting a non-standard shape that will cut right. Those of you getting started on Illustrator, Inkscape, etc. - learn your pathfinder tool! It will make life much easier. :slight_smile:

(@jbv : for some reason, I couldn’t get the SVG posting method you described to work - nothing has fills in the AI file but on upload, it kept wanting to add a black fill to everything; I resolved it by using export for screens, click the gear and go to SVG and you can change the options. I removed responsive as you mentioned, and then decimals to 3 - but the key was changing the styling to “inline styling” rather than internal CSS - that doesn’t seem to be an option I can choose when using Save As SVG)


Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending April 1st, 2017
#2

Thank you for your generous gift to the community! Not just the design, but the thought behind it - that’s terrific.


#3

Perhaps stick some copper tape around the outside edge to keep the slugs off, although you probably don’t want the strawberries to come in contact with copper.


#4

Why not use straw? That’s why they are called strawberries after all! :slight_smile:


#5

Brilliant! Thank you for the cool design, and also for the SVG advice–I need all the help I can get!


#6

Oooh! I LIKE that! Might have to revisit the “I’ll never be able to grow these things around here…” decision!

Great share! :smiley:


#7

Far be it for me co come in between someone and ANY kind of excuse to laser something that probably needs lasering anyway, but just like @ian said straw is the go to soution for making a strawberry plant happy. Portland, Tn is right up the road and it is the strawberry capital of the Milky Way and straw is their answer.


#8

I probably could. But I’ve had zero luck with them touching/resting on any loose organic matter. That’s probably more to do with my lack of gardening skills. Or maybe bugs. Or disease. I don’t know. :slight_smile: but, the paper plates have seemed to work better. Plus, I only have 3 plants :smile:

Fwiw, I don’t believe the name has anything to do with them being bedded in straw.

This was more of a thought exercise to try and transition from that mode of thought to (simple) mechanical design and how the Glowforge is going to see and cut a file and the different ways of getting to an end result.

For example, the 2 piece design - you could do 2 separate pieces. Or, you could design an outer circle cut, inner circle cut, and then a matching pair of bisecting lines with tabs on the top and bottom that ultimately cuts the design in 2, but is that a better way of doing it? I don’t know. I know that doing that you’d have start and end cut points that overlap with other cut areas. It seems more logical to design it as 2 pieces - but, that’s also not quite as efficient from a total inches cut perspective and uses a bit more material.

Or, you could just simplify the design and make it 1 piece with a cutout.


#9

How does that involve using a laser? Straw sounds way less awesome…


#10

@jbmanning5, around here we use the fabric they sell at the garden stores to keep down weeds. It is fine weave, but lets in water and keeps out weeds. It would be a perfect permanent solution for you. It is designed for permanent garden use. - Rich


#11

I fell for that once. The weeds in my yard not only laugh at your garden fabric, they find it a very durable and strong matrix to weave their roots through.


#12

weird. I wish I had a better answer for you. I had not noticed the little gear for the Export for Screens save prefs, but now that you pointed it out, the svg settings are the same set as the ones displayed in Export.

When I try to use Export or Export for screens, all the svgs display tiny in discourse. Using Internal CSS with Export gave me the black-box issue you described (and still tiny).

Using Save As or Save Copy gives more options.
These are the Save As/Save Copy settings that I used which gave me an svg that displayed correctly in discourse, at the correct size.

Are you willing to try saving it again using these settings, and let me know your result? I want to nail this down once and for all. I hate that I passed along advice that didn’t work.


SVGs to share
#13

Don’t fret too much - just wanted to relay my experiences - we can split this to another thread if we want, or whatever is needed for clarity. I agree with you about nailing it down and feel it is important to figure out. FWIW, I also had it show up very small, but just changed/deleted one of the style tags and made the other larger (I think I probably deleted the height tag and just changed width to 600 - not the best solution for simplicity though).

I might have to edit this a couple of times:

Using your settings exactly worked! I must have missed the CSS properties field?

Using your settings but including “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities” and “XMP”:
Doesn’t work - I wonder what Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities does exactly… thought that might be a better way to share…

Using your setting but including only XMP works… I like this because you can at least leave your attribution information in the XMP… but, I downloaded the file and it seems it has stripped the XMP info… unfortunate.

Either way - it seems your way worked this time just fine. It must have been the CSS properties field.


#14

Ok, cool. I was focused on the settings I had been messing with. I added the settings image to my original post. Thanks for trying that out.

From what I think I understand:

Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities does just that… by essentially saving an AI file inside the SVG. When you open that SVG file in AI, it is not actually opening the SVG file, it is opening an AI file. If you use an svg editor (text editor) to change that SVG file, and then re-open in AI, you will not see the changes you made because you just edited SVG info, and AI is just looking at the AI info.

This double info makes for a larger file. Adobe user guides suggest keeping a master AI workfile, and using Save as Copy for things to be sent to other places (like the web, or a cnc machine, or a Glowforge).

I hadn’t tested out XMP, I read somewhere that it wasn’t read by some programs and may be considered bloat. Thats too bad if it is true, because I would also like to be able to have my copyright/cc info attached automatically to files that I share.


#16

I would like to figure that out also. I thought it might be a problem with Discourse stripping the metadata but even if I fill in file info, then save as, or save a copy and check the XMP option - when I open the new file in Illustrator, it doesn’t contain any of the metadata.


#17

I covered an area with it and it blocks the weeds from getting their roots through it and it is easy to pluck them out. There are different grades and manufacturers of the fabric. I must have gotten the good stuff… :slight_smile: - Rich


#18

I forgot to mention that based on an appraisal of all my gardening adventures, I think I may live on Salusa Secundus. At any rate, they turned it into a weapon against me.


#19

This whole gardening thing… I see that it doesn’t hurt to take my electric toothbrush and hold it against the flowering vines of my tomatoes. I feel like someone is playing a joke with me on this whole thing!


#20

Thats actually not a bad idea!
A friend of mine told me to rub the blossoms to attract the bees so they pollinate. I’m sure it’s the same principle.


#21

So - we’re going to have the birds and the bees talk here, huh? :slight_smile:

(I’ll give it a shot and see what happens!)