Make decorative coasters for the home and discover the possibilities of using a Trotec Laser Cutter from TechShop!
Using Adobe software you can alter an image to fit appropriate settings for cutting out and engraving any design desired.
Learn more about the laser cutting and engraving process at TechShop.
Step 1: Materials Needed
- 1/4'' clear acrylic (Can be any color... I find transparent colors work out best)
- Trotec Laser Cutter (found at TechShop)
- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
Step 2: Importing and Adjusting File on Photoshop
I searched for a simple, clear image from the internet.
- Import your file into Adobe Photoshop.
- Desaturating and adjusting the levels on the original image will help the file translate into an Image Trace on Illustrator later (see next step)
- Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
- Image > Adjustments > Levels
- Save file
Step 3: Image Trace in Illustrator
- Open file in Adobe Illustrator
- Open a New File and make sure it is about 3'' Height and Width. (Diameter you wish the coaster to be)
- Since the laser printer reads black as engraving and red outline as cut marks, the image must be manipulated to fit these settings for a successful cutout.
- Make sure object is selected and go to Object > Image Trace > Make
- You can view the Image Trace window under "Window" in order to manipulate the trace
- Adjust the settings under "Advanced" in the Image Trace Window to your taste
- Make a red outline around image for cutting out the image. Select the Ellipse tool under the Tools window.
- At the bottom of the Tools window, make sure there is no fill and the Line color is:
- R: 255
- G: 0
- B: 0
Step 4: Printing
- At TechShop, the computers are already synced up with the Trotec Laser Cutters. Before Printing you must adjust the settings to properly accommodate your file according to what material, size, and width your piece will be.
- File > Print. the Print Setting window will pop up. Select "Setup" on the bottom left hand of the window.
- Another Print Window relative to the Laser will pop up... Select "Preferences" to adjust the preferences of the laser.
- Make sure the Height and Width are both at 3 inches (or whatever diameter you chose your coaster to be).
- Select the appropriate material under Material Settings. In this case it will be "Plastics" (Settling will automatically chose Acrylic Casted).
- Click on OK.
- Click Print.
- Click Print again.
- The program will let you name your file as it transports it into Trotec Job Control.
- Trotec Job Control program will automatically open. The file will show up on the right side of the screen. Click and drag it onto the Plate.
- Set up laser where you want it on the plate*
- Align the image onto the bottom right corner of where laser on the screen
- Verify settings on Materials Template
- Press Start button on bottom right hand of screen.
- Enjoy new decorative coasters!