Anyway I have this friend who loves dinosaurs (even though he is older than 8 years) and I needed to cut some other stuff on the laser, so I figured I would make him this 16 inch tall dinosaur.
The dinosaur is practically invisible in photos, but is much more visible IRL. I may have accidentally used 50% vampiric acrylic. Check the label before you buy. Tap Plastics is a great source for all kinds of acrylic, although I actually just bought mine at TechShop since it was only slightly more expensive and a mile closer.
Step 1: Create the Design
To make this design, I found a wooden T-Rex vector design on the internet somewhere, cleaned it up, then resized it so it fit on a single sheet of 18x24 inch acrylic (the maximum size you can use in this particular Epilog Laser Cutter). TechShop computers usually have a program called VCarve Pro which has this really useful feature that can move and rotate all your vectors around so you have minimum wasted space when cutting.
In my case, after I had the Illustrator file, I exported it to VCarve Pro (probably in .eps format), nested the vectors, then brought it back into Illustrator. I've attached the nested Illustrator file to this step along with a screenshot of the file so you can see how sweet this feature is.
Step 2: Start Cutting
Step 3: Assemble
I collected all the broken pieces and remade those, then assembled the thing with some acrylic cement from Tap Plastics. I wouldn't recommend super glue, I tried that first but it got white marks all over the surrounding area (see picture #3).
Wait about 24 hours after gluing for all the cement to cure.