How to make a glass stencil!
If you have to ask why you are missing the point... simply because we can. (THANKS TECHSHOP DETROIT!!!) This instructable is brought to you by Detroit Glass House, where we love a challenge and are not afraid of process! In the event a glass stencil is not on your "to do" list, please use this instructable as a how to guide for cutting glass on a water jet without a vacuum assist.
*A vacuum assist will allow you to pierce entry points into your glass on the water jet before you cut. If you do not have entry points the force of the water jet (at 60,000 psi) will crack, explode and destroy your glass! A vacuum assist does this by drawing the abrasive material across the water stream before the venturi pulls the abrasive into the stream, eliminating the brief moment when the force is water only. Since TechShop Detroit is brand spanking new their vacuum assist is not set up yet, so we drilled our own entry holes!
Step by Step Breakdown
1. Blow Glass! Create a rondel (or use sheet glass)
2. Create a vector drawing of your stencil
3. Place pre-drilled holes in your file for Water Jet entry points
4. Create a laser template to locate pre-drilled holes on your glass
5. Cut out your laser template
6. Drill holes in your glass
7. Manually path Water Jet cut file
8. Positioning your glass on the Water Jet
9. Cut & Enjoy
Blown Glass Rondel (can purchase plate glass from a local supplier if you are not a glassblower and don't have any as friends...)
1/16 clear acrylic
MADE @ TECHSHOP DETROIT!!!
Laser Cutting & Etching SBU
Concepts of CNC (recommended for those new to CNC)
CAD to CAM (recommended for those new to CNC)
Corel Draw for CNC (recommended for those new to CNC)
Water Jet SBU
Step 1: Blow Glass! Create a rondel
Note to the maker: Sheet glass purchased from a local glass vender can be substituted for our blown glass rondel. Be sure to check with a TechShop Dream Consultant to make sure you are using an approved glass before you purchase it!
To create a flat surface for our glass stencil, we created a rondel! A rondel in glass blowing terms in a blown sphere that is spun out (as seen in the last picture) to create a flat & round surface. This is traditionally how window glass was made prior to large scale manufacturing processes where long cylinders were cut and flattened. Rondels are also used by some stain glass artists and casting artists.
If you (or your buddy) is a glassblower, make sure your rondel is blown an even thickness and the final result is almost perfectly flat. Any inconsistencies will crack the glass!