Introduction: How to Fit a 6x4 Foot Wood Sign Into a Carry-on Suitcase
How does one transport a 6x4 foot wood sign across the world in a carry-on suitcase?
As my first experiment with the OMAX waterjet, I made a 6ft wooden sign for an office of a tech startup, called Meerkat. The catch was that the sign had to be transported across the world from San Francisco to Tel Aviv in a carry-on suitcase.
Here's how I did it!
Materials: 1 sheet of plywood, glue, carry-on suitcase
Tools: OMAX Waterjet, Adobe Illustrator
Step 1: Prepare Digital Vector File
After receiving the company's logo, I generated a vector outline and increased the overall size to approximately 6x4 feet. I then cut it into sections less than 16 inches each, so the the overall shape could be deconstructed for its' international journey.
This attached Illustrator file shows the results.
Step 2: Nest the Pieces to Use Less Materials
In order to get rid of the white space and make better use of your materials, it's wise to nest your pieces before cutting them on the waterjet. While it's possible to nest these pieces in a sheet less than 30 inches x 48 inches, I had trouble with collisions on the waterjet so I cut my pieces out of two sections of 30 inches x 48 inches (almost a full sheet of plywood).
My amateurly nested Ai files are attached.
Step 3: Set Up Your Waterjet Workflow
Step 4: Hold Your Breathe and Press Go!
Make sure to stand attentively next to the Pause button in case something goes astray.
Step 5: Pack 'em Up and Head to the Airport!
After you rinse off and dry your pieces, pack them up and head to the airport. Here's what it looks like in a little pile before the flight with my toes for scale.
Step 6: Screw or Glue the Pieces to the Wall in an Location Across the World
Follow along with the diagram you initially created to make sure the pieces fit together properly.
Step 7: Celebrate! You Have a Sign!
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