Picture of Laser Etched Pumpkin!
To help get TechShop Menlo Park into the Halloween spirit I decided to do some decorating at our front desk.  Safeway was having a sale on pumpkins so I thought that it would be pretty cool to have a small pumpkin laser etched with our shop logo.

Things you will need in order to complete this instructable:
  • A small pumpkin (mine was about 6" in diameter)
  • Access to a 60 watt laser cutter (you can use the laser cutters at TechShop!)
  • Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator (TechShop has this software installed for members to use)
  • A bit of creativity
For those of you lucky enough to live in a cave thousands of miles away from society, you may not know what TechShop is.  TechShop is a place where you can build your dreams, whether you are into cars, machining, welding, or arts and crafts, TechShop has the equipment that you need to get stuff done.


Step 1: Hold your pumpkin steady

Picture of Hold your pumpkin steady
Pumpkins are round.  When you set them on a flat surface, they have a tendency to roll.  We don't want our pumpkin rolling around while we are laser etching it, so we will have to find a surface that can hold it steady while the laser does its magic.  I took a quick look around the shop (the bin wall at TechShop Menlo Park is FULL of useful and FREE STUFF!) and found this white styrofoam frame just laying around.  The pumpkin sat flat on the frame without wobbling while the laser was in motion.
jhall301 year ago
Also, I would replace that vector cutting table with a raster table, to avoid damaging the fragile structure with the foam.

Great instructable! I might play with this this year, if I can find a suitably flat pumpkin. I might even try to somehow use the rotary attachment!
lime3D2 years ago
For irregular shaped objects like this, you can use the "Center-Engraving" option, to locate the center of your design, rather than the upper left-hand corner (default).
That is pretty darn sweet! If you wanted to hallow it out and make it a real jack-o-lanter, do you think it would be better to do that before laser etching it or after?
jbleazy (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
It would probably be better to hollow it out before etching it. If you scoop the guts out after it is etched you might get some pumpkin goop on the etched part and you would have color splotches.

You could also hollow it out. laser etch it, and use the laser etch as a stencil for cutting out your jack-o-lantern.