Laser cutting project : making an interesting design that represents myself that can be cut out in laser printer

Step 1: Step 1 : Make a New Photoshop Project

Of course, like everything in the world does, I started with a blank slate to make my design for the laser cutting project. The setting was US paper, 8.5 inches wide and 11.0 inches tall.

Step 2: Step 2 : Put First Image in a Layer

Then, I found an image of a tree and its roots by typing “tree roots silhouette” in Google. The reason that I wanted to put a tree in my design was because I like a forest as long as there are less insects living. Also, a silhouette of tree is often used in old asian drawings. I thought those silhouettes were so elegant and beautiful. What I wanted to with this picture was to cut out roots of the tree and leave the upside half when I put this design into the laser printer. The details will be explained as I go through below pictures.

Step 3: Step 3 : Put Second Image in Another Layer

In this part, I created a new layer and I put a symbol that is used to be in the center of the Korean flag. The original picture contains red(top) and blue(bottom) color, but I converted them to white and black so the laser printer can understand what parts should be cut out; in this case, whites will be cut out. Based on the curved line in the center, the roots below the curved line will be converted into white.

Step 4: Step 4 : Insert Letters and Make Design Clear

Before I change the roots into white, I put two letters in my design. Since my design was focused on contrast of black and white, I made one letter to be cut out and one to remain in acrylic. Those two letters are my first name in chinese letter(Chun Kyu : 천규 : 天圭). Also, I tried my best to make the edge of the circle clear. In this step, I had to be really careful when I was using a pen tool to remove tiny white lines around the objects. I used a lot of “Undo” because I made a lot of mistakes in cleaning up the small parts.

Step 5: Step 5 : Finish the Design

Finally, I changed the roots of the tree into white color so they are cut out in laser printer. I left a few area of the center of the tree to connect the top part of the tree with black parts so the tree does not fall apart when the laser printer cuts it.I tried to leave the roots in the form that it was used to be because I wanted to make it look natural. Throughout the entire process, I always used the tool “magic wand” to select the objects. I’ve used pixlr.com before I used photoshop, and the magic wand was always essential to make a good design because it automatically selects the objects that I want to edit. Below is my final design.

Step 6: Final Product

With my professor, Mr.Kilbane, I put an acrylic into the laser printer, and I got a pretty good product. There were some disappointments - the surface was not straight but rough in some places. However the tree and the letters came out really well, so I could identify all the parts of them.

<p>Pretty design!</p>

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