Step 1: Materials
If, like me, you'd like to use a computer to design your puzzle, check out this tutorial for creating a puzzle using Adobe Illustrator (my puzzle files are attached at the end of this instructable).
- wood (I used a mixed plywood with a thickness: 0.121")
- photo or printed image on card stock
- spray adhesive glue
- newspaper (optional, if you don't care about your work space)
- xacto knife
- laser cutter
- Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Auto CAD software (used for designing puzzle pieces and laser cutting)
- pen & paper (optional, if you'd like to design your own puzzle pieces by hand)
- scanner (optional, if you design your own puzzle pieces by hand)
Step 2: Prep, Laser, and Ta Da...you're Done!
Next, you'll need a picture. You can use a photo or print out an image (perhaps a self-made image) on card stock. This image should fit the dimensions of your puzzle shape. Mine was 5"x5". Try to cut it as exact as possible.
Then, spray some adhesive onto the back of the puzzle shape and place your image on the wood, sticking it down completely. If your image isn't completely straight or even with the sides of your puzzle shape, it's ok. We can't all be perfect. Just use your Xacto knife and cut off any excess. Let it dry for a few minutes before you laser cut it.
Now, you're ready to laser cut! And 3....2....1....you've got yourself a puzzle!
**NB: You may need to use your Xacto to cut through some areas of the photo or card stock that don't get completely cut.
Step 3: Project Files
I've included my Adobe Illustrator file which I also saved as an .eps file (I found that worked a little easier with Corel). I've also included my Corel Draw file (with no extra lines).