Instructables

Create custom wood art using laser engraving

Picture of Create custom wood art using laser engraving
Made this at Techshop (techshop.ws) using their laser cutter

You will need:

Block of wood (Can be found at Goodwill, scrap stores, or just make it yourself)
Laser cutter
A few cool fonts you like (FontSquirrel.com)
A phrase - maybe check out a few rap lyrics
Illustrator

Step 1: Create your artwork on Illustrator

Picture of Create your artwork on Illustrator
Choose a combination of fonts you like.

Separate out your phrase into a few rows, each row being a different font.

Right click on your text and choose "Create outlines"

Add some decorative styling like lines, curves, images, etc.

For images --> My flower -- You can make cool patterns by creating a shape, then clicking on the Rotate. Choose your degree of rotation (ex: 25). Make sure you check "Copy". Then click "Okay". You will see a duplicate shape that has been rotated at 25 degrees. THEN use the shortcut "Command"+"D" to duplicate it again, and you've created a pattern!

For the elephant, I took a real picture of a decorative elephant I liked, the live traced it (Edit --> Live Trace).  It looked pretty rough, so I had to then use the direct selection tool (the white arrow) and edit the anchor points (the little white boxes that show up) until it had the shape of an elephant I liked. 




Step 2: Laser cut your wood

Picture of Laser cut your wood
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Place the wood in the laser cutter. Focus it. 

Settings to make the engraving a dark brown color (basically the laser chars the wood):

Raster - Speed 75/ Power 90

Then press go!

If you want extra layers of engravings, send your artwork in different layers. Ex: for the flower, I first had it filled it all black on illlustrator and engraved that. Then I put it in a second time and only engraved the outlines of the leaves. 

VOILA you have a beautiful piece of art to hang on your walls

--- Props for this phrase goes to Chad
 
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