Introduction: Laser Etched Lima Beans

Picture of Laser Etched Lima Beans

Here at San Diego FabLab we needed to make some memorable takeaways with our website for a local crafts fair. Having 0 budget and only what was available in the Lab (which happened to include my weekend groceries) E came up with engraving the Lima beans I was going to have on saturday with our url... Came out pretty neat!

Step 1: The First Try

Picture of The First Try

The first time we tried it we just put the bean on the cutting bed. It flew off thanks to the air assist. So we made a 'jig' using sunday's lentils. The lentils help to both stabilize the lima bean as well as to help with leveling it (them eventually). First we tried it with one bean to get the settings right (turns out 60-80% power at 100% speed on a 35 W Epilog Mini works fine)

Step 2: Multiple Beans!

Picture of Multiple Beans!

Then we went forward and placed multiple beans on our jig. But manually repositioned the jig under the laser for each bean. It worked great but was slow going.

Step 3:

Picture of

Finally E made this 4X5 (we used two) grid out of cardstock. We took a wood box from Michaels, filled it with lentils, measured (Ok E Measured) and went to work! 40 beans in 3 minutes (counting populating and depopulating the jig) the orange tile you see is to level out the 'lid' of the box.


tbrass1 made it! (author)2017-05-23

Following your lead, I made my own jig out of scrap wood and placed it on another piece of scrap. Jig was designed in Tinkercad and exported as SVG.

We plan to have our 7th graders do this in science as a year-end project. Tinkercad is great for simple SVG file creation. They'll take home beans and watch them germinate over the summer.


lcohen (author)tbrass12017-08-15

Great idea! Never thought of this was just showing this to my soon to o go back to school 6th grader and it may be a fun science fair mini project for extra credit!

thedustycelt (author)2014-01-10

Nicely done! I am planning on trying these. And as long as the bean is viable, it should grow. The saying will actually be on the first part of the plant that breaks soil :-) I imagine lima beans from the Planting Seeds Isle would be most likely to germinate, but I remember growing beans as a kid from the regular beans at the grocery store. Any one know what the largest easy to grow seed is? I found these commercially available a while back, but it is way cooler to personalize the message!

kde leon3 (author)2013-07-30

so cute! have you tried growing/planting them?

Jodex (author)2009-12-24

Lima means in Finnish slime.. :-D

arne hendriks (author)2009-12-14

Check and his food design for great inspiration in this field.

explosivemaker (author)2009-12-06

very creative advertising potential.....

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