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Laser Etching Terracotta Pots

Picture of Laser Etching Terracotta Pots
I always worry when I have to go out of town and have to leave my plants in the care of someone who might not know as much about their care as I do, especially when I have such an eclectic garden.

I came up with the idea of laser etching each plant's name on the pots and then putting simple care instructions on the back so each plants' needs are clear, and the instructions are never separated from the plants.

For this project you will need:
One terracotta pot for each plant
A laser engraver
A laser engraver rotary attachment
a paper clip

I made this at TechShop!
 
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Step 1:

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First, make your template.  Terracotta pots are somewhat of an unusual shape and size, so my template is a little complicated.  If you are using a pot with a simple design, this step will be a little easier.

I got a fabric tape measure and first measured the circumference of the pot's top (A), as well as the thickness of the top rim (B).
Next, I measured the circumference of the pot just below the top lip (C), and around the bottom (D).
Finally I measured the height of the pot from just below the top lip to the bottom (E).

To make my template, I first made a rectangle where the width of the rectangle was the thickness of the pot's top rim (B), and the height was the circumference of the pot's top (A).

Next I made 2 parallelograms whose width was the height of the pot from just below the lip to the bottom (E).  The height of the left side was the pot's circumference just below the lip (C) divided in half, and the right side of the shape was the circumference around the bottom (D) also divided in half.

Once I made the parallelogram shape, I copied and pasted it so I had 2 sitting on top of one another, lined up with the right hand side of your first rectangle.

It seems like a rather complicated template, but it will help ensure that your etchings will come out exactly where you want them on  your pot, and it makes centering your designs faster and more accurate
kde leon38 months ago
hi, love this! thank you for sharing.. what were your settings? :)
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