This is a project that was completed in my Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) class. The idea was to create any laser cut ornament that had two or more pieces which could be assembled into the ornament itself. Also, when disassembled, all individual pieces put together should be able to fit in an Altoid can.
My ornament was a Christmas tree which consisted of 3 pieces. Two pieces which make the body and a base in which the assembled body sits in. I made a hole in the star at the top of the tree so the ornament could also be hanged. My ornament measures a total length of 4.0593" and a total width of 2.1150".
Step 1: Sketch Design.
I made various rough sketches of my design and picked the one I liked best.
Step 2: Autocad Drawing
I drew my final sketch in autoCAD inventor, carefully considering dimensions and symmetry. In order to obtain perfect symmetry it is advisable to draw one half of the full sketch and mirror the the other half to obtain your complete drawing using the mirror tool.
Step 3: Additional Designs
I drew a couple of additional drawings to add to my Christmas tree using lines and circles. I drew a couple of angels and Christmas tree decorations and added them to my Christmas tree. I also drew my tree base which has a slot to fit the assembled tree in. The slot has a width of .115". That is how thick the wood to be printed on is.
Step 4: File Format and Importing.
I saved the finished drawing as an Autocad 2000/LT2000 DXF (*.dxf) file then imported it into Corel Draw.
There in Corel Draw, I made changes to the laser printer settings. The laser used is a CO2 laser printer. All I did was change the power and speed of the black and red lines according to how deep I wanted the laser to cut through the wood. Black lines are the outlines and I wanted those cut out completely whereas red lines are the engravings and all designs in red will just be imprinted on the wood without cutting through.
One important thing to remember is to change the size of the page in Corel Draw to fit the exact size of your laser printer.
Step 5: Printing
With all my final changes made and right printing settings put in, I sent the Corel Draw file to the CO2 laser printer and placed my wooden slate into it. I printed out my ornament and gently sanded it to a smooth finish then assembled it.