Introduction: How to Laser Cut Out Miniature Words_TechShopSanJose

I made this at TechShop San Jose
www.techshop.ws

For this instructable I am going to show you how to make tiny word cutouts from a laser cutter. I have access to the laser cutter from the San Jose Techshop which I have a membership to. This instructable goes though the process of selecting the material, working in the software, cutting out the letters, and what you can do with the word cutouts (and future applications). I use these word cutouts for decorations, you can paint them though I particularly like the laser cut look. Feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Step 1: Step 1: Making the Design in the Computer

I used the CorelDRAW X5 program to create my template which I use to laser cut out. I first entered the words I wanted in the font I liked. So the laser cutter would cut out the outlines of the words instead of the actual words itself, I filled in the words with an orange color and then added a black outline. This will allow the laser to cut out the black outline so you have the words instead of just the outline of the words. 

*TIP: When doing this process, I wrote the letters in individual text boxes in CorelDRAW X5 and then mushed the letters together and Welded the letters together so it would lock into place. When the letters overlap each other that allows for all the words to be on one piece of fabric and not on two pieces. 

*TIP: Don't make the letters too small or the laser cutter will catch on fire or if it is plastic, melt the letters all together. If the letters are too small then the laser cutter will just end up burning each of the sides into each other. 

Step 2: Step 2: Finding a Material

I found an acrylic material and a wood material in the Techshop material box. This material is approved for the laser cutters and is safe to cut into. The laser cutters at the TechShop has a list of the approved materials next to it. Make sure to check this list if using a TechShop machine to make sure you are not damaging the property and your health. 

Step 3: Step 3: Laser Cutting

I had to laser cut out the wood twice so it would cut all the way through. The acrylic was easy to cut into though I had to adjust the power a couple of times because we started the power off too high. When using a laser cutter it is bad for the power to be too high because it might catch on fire, wear the machine out, or just cause unsafe conditions for the user. 

Step 4: Step 4: Finished Product

I made these miniature words as decorations; though the same application can be used to create bigger words, art designs, stencils, and just about anything. You can create these words into earrings, key chains, bookmarks, or just about anything you would like! Feel free to ask any questions about the process. 

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