I've received a few patents over the years and wanted to showcase them in my office. The company had purchased the fancy $120/each plaques but I wanted to make my own. Enter the TechShop! Yes, I made it at the TechShop.
Nice 8x10 picture frame, shop around for this. I found mine at Target. The frame should include a piece of glass, all of them do.
Get at least 2 frames with glass, the spare glass will be used to find the best laser settings.
Something you want to make a plaque of. In my case, a patent looked up on Google Patent Search.
CorelDraw - At the TechShop already. Members have access to a complete set of CAD and Drawing software.
Laser Cutter - At the TechShop, pure awesome!
Step 1: Get the Source Image
For the patent text I used Google Patent Search. To get the diagram image, full screen the browser and zoom in on the diagram. Use the Windows Sniping tool or screen capture to get a snapshot of the diagram. You may need to crop the image. Cropping can be done later in Corel Draw.
For the text, cut and paste the summary text from the Google web page. You want the text as it will look better then the image on the website. Google scans the patents at a fairly low resolution so the diagram will end up a bit grainy. There is no reason not to take the actual text for the description though.
I played around in Corel Draw to improve the drawing a bit. Re-sampled it to a higher resolution with anti-aliasing active. This smoothed it a bit. You would only need to do this if you wanted to improve the image.