Step 3: Vectorise the Design

For this design I used Corel Draw X4 but any vector graphics package would do (Try InkScape - It's FREE!). Once you are finished drawing the outline of each part, check the line width and thickness, in particular look for lines that overlap. Now it is time to add some interest to a clever but boring product. I added some vector etching lines to the leg parts, remember to flip one part so that the etching will end up on the outside of both parts when assembled. I also added some vector art to be 'raster' etched on the front of the dock.

You will need to check the file settings for the laser cutting service you are using.  This product was made by me ( HiTech Antics ) but I only service Australia, if you are in the United States you could use Ponoko or Pololu  Each company will have a specific set of rules to set cutting and engraving.

Before going any further, review your design. Visualise the assembly in your mind. Try and make sure that there isn't anything you have forgotten or overlooked. If possible, print the design out 1:1 and cut out each piece, this will give you a good feel for the scale and other things that can't be achieved by staring at the screen. It is also a good time to fill up your sheet with other nick-nacks (like keyrings or jewelry), I added a zombie head, just because!
<p>Cool project! I can't wait to try it out, I just ordered a new desktop laser cutter :D</p><p>You can get a 100 dollar off if you use this link: <a href="https://glowforge.com/?kid=4OsYw0" rel="nofollow">https://glowforge.com/?kid=4OsYw0</a></p>
What laser engraver do you use hitechantics?
&nbsp;Hey,<br /> <br /> I made a new dock for myself, this time I made it in plexi glass!<br /> I'd also put some LEDs in to the dock so that it lights up nicely.<br /> <br /> Once again everything is made by hand.<br /> <br /> Thx for the great Instructable!!!<br /> <br /> -dopman<br /> <br />
Great dock! The only thing that bothered me was that it was made for the iPod nano. I do have a nano but I already own an dock for it. But I didn't have one for my iPhone so I made one myself based on this one!!!<br /> I didn't laser cut it but I did burn in a cool figure in it at the end. The project took me about 2h to draw on &quot;mm-paper&quot; and aprox 6-8h to build, so it is not a so hard project to do!<br />
Hey,<br /> <br /> Good job looks good.&nbsp; I don't have an iPhone, so so far I have not designed a dock to fit.&nbsp; What thickness materaial did you use?&nbsp; Is it a good fit?<br /> <br /> Realy good job manualy cutting that out!!<br /> <br /> -Mig<br />
The back and front pieces are made of 4mm thick wood, the center pieces are 6mm each and the &quot;feet&quot; are 5mm.<br /> <br /> The phone fits very well and is easy to connect.<br /> I could post a video if u want?<br /> <br /> And that snake-skull thing on the front, believe it or not I actually burned it there with a &quot;burningpen&quot;<br /> <br /> -dopman<br /> <br />
I have a portfolio of my work under my name, Donald Pelton, on www.artbistro.monster.com<br />
Neat!&nbsp; Was that 1/4 inch plywood you used?&nbsp; I have a laser engraver myself and have been making stuff for people on commission, and this looked like something I could add to my arsenal, although I don't have an Ipod myself.&nbsp; I have been getting by with an answering machine from 20 years ago.
Actually this was 3mm MDF (Medium Density Fiber Board)&nbsp; I assume that it has the same name in most countries (I am from Australia).&nbsp; It processes quite well, however the smoke smells a little and there are some not so friendly chemicals used to make it.&nbsp; I am trying to source some 'green' MDF - without the nasty chemicals.<br /><br />Feel free to use the design.&nbsp; Obviously you can change the engraved image on the front to suit the customer.....<br /><br />Enjoy!<br />
<p>Neat!&nbsp; I was wondering if I could use such materials as MDF and Masonite.&nbsp; I had been using 1/8in. (3mm) birch plywood for a lot of construction with my Epilog.&nbsp; This gives me more resources.&nbsp; Thanks.&nbsp; (I have to test Masonite.)</p>
I looked up MDF on the web, and found that you can get it in 1/8in. (3mm) thickness.&nbsp; I am going to go look for some, and see if I can buy it locally before I mail for it, but with paypal, that wouldn't take too long.
What I had been using was 1/8 inch (3mm) baltic birch plywood from www.woodcraft.com
I haven't tried Masonite yet.&nbsp; I expect it would work well.<br /><br />Do you have any photos of the birch ply you use?&nbsp; I would like to find a wood which has an attractive grain pattern that can be clear coated.<br />
Thx for the great site<br />
awww... you only ship to Austria <br />
Hey,<br /><br />Actually It's Australia, not Austria.&nbsp; But from where you live they might both be far away lands!&nbsp; I am starting with the Australian Market now and might branch out later.&nbsp; Try the other companies that I listed (Ponoko or Pololu) for international shipping.<br />
Australia is what i meant, spell check changed it and thank you for the site<br />
&nbsp;Great work, Thanks for not only providing the templates, but giving us a good insight into how you went about designing it.

About This Instructable




Bio: I run an online laser cutting and etching service in Australia. I am adding open source laser cutting designs for people use and be inspired ... More »
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