My girlfriend asked me to make "something useful" and I came up with this ides for Christmas Decorations: needless to say, my girlfriend was ecstatic!!!!
...and it is sooo easy!
Laser Cutter (duh!)
TechShop Membership (Duh!)
Step 1: Getting the templates
A snowflake can be pretty complex to draw from scratch, especially if you are not so good on drawing, and I am not!
This is where some "creativity" and "resourcefulness" comes handy!
I was surfing on Epilog website and I noticed a link: "Sample Club" and there you can find lots of useful templates and ideas!!!
Among them, here's the ones we will be using: Snowflakes
Follow the instructions and open the files in Corel Draw: We will be using the "sc_snowflakes_glitter.cdr" and "sc_snowflakes_wood.cdr"
The files are already in .cdr format, so, no conversion will be necessary
Step 2: Testing
At Techshop you can find lots of scraps that can become very handy!
I used a piece of cardboard and a wood scrap.
You need to carefully set the speed and the power so that the laser goes all the way through the material, otherwise you will have to either re-run the job, with the risk of having the piece not re positioned correctly, or use a knife to cut through the uncut lines. Follow the instructions you got when you took the laser 101 class at Techshop and, in case of doubt, don't hesitate to ask a Techshop staff member or a fellow DIYer!
An alternative to the knife is to use the orbital or the belt sander (tricky with small parts) to grind down the few hundredth of inch on the backside: I learnt that this is a very useful way, but you need to learn how to master it (but hey, TECHSOP is here for this, right???)
The snowflakes coming from the wood scrap were actually so good that I decided to keep them!
Step 3: Get down to business
Just set the document size, fit the snowflakes in and print!
The results will amaze you!
And you can find tons of on-line templates, just google for pictures "Christmas decorations", and select "line drawing".
Then, when in Corel Draw, just use the function "bitmaps" -> trace and voila'!