Glass Tumbler: Customized Lasercut Glasses using Lasercut Rotary Tool

Picture of Glass Tumbler: Customized Lasercut Glasses using Lasercut Rotary Tool
Turn a line drawing your friend made on a piece of paper into a customized tumbler.

1.  A dozen glass tumblers ($10 at Bed Bath and Beyond)
2.  Art work (My friend texted me a line drawing me she made, and I cleaned it up in photoshop and illustrator)
3.  Lasercutting machine with Rotary Attachment (which requires a special class at Techshop)

This video gives you a quick overview of what you'll be doing.

I made it at SF Techshop!
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Step 1:

Picture of
The nice thing about etching on a glass is that you can pretty much use any high contrast pixel image.    You don't have to turn any line into a vector.

Cleanup In Photoshop
So basically, I imported my (low resolution) image that my friend texted me from her Iphone into Photoshop.
I opened it in Photoshop, used the magic wand tool to remove the tan background, zoomed into clean up the edges with the erase tool.  
Import the image into Illustrator
I imported the image into Illustrator.  When you open illustrator you want to make the canvas size the same as the surface area of your glass.  I'll talk about that in the next step.  

Step 2: Sideways in Illustrator

Picture of Sideways in Illustrator
Sideways Orientation
The key thing to understand is this;  the artwork prints sideways.  

Watch this video to see what I mean....


In other words, once you're in illustrator, you want to orient your artwork like my second image.

Normally when I lasercut on plywood I leave my "canvas size" set at 24" x 18" (the maximum size of the lasercutting bed. But I was told that for the rotary tool you definitely want to make the canvas size match the approximate size of your material.

Note:  There is some distortion that happens as the tumbler slopes in and therefore a rectangle for artwork isn't totally accurate.

I found that by using thinner fonts (as opposed to chunky ones) that the distortion was less noticable and I didn't have to distort my text to make it legible.  I ruined a few glasses trying to use a chunky vintage font.
emilyshore (author) 1 year ago
Thanks jrharari! They're incredibly easy to make - if you make any please post the project so we can admire what you've created!!
it's beautiful!