Make Your Own Puzzle

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Introduction: Make Your Own Puzzle

Paintings and photos are fun, but you know what's more fun? PUZZLES!

If you have a laser cutter, it is really easy to make art into puzzles.

I found the art for my puzzles at a flea market and on the street, but you could use any art for this project. If you are a painter this is also a great way to make a personalized puzzle for a friend or family member.

Step 1: Design

I used Illustrator to design two simple puzzle patterns. Since the patterns are vectors in Illustrator it is easy to scale them to the size of the painting in question. Also, with a few simple manipulations it is pretty easy to add unique rows of pieces. I have attached an illustrator file with two puzzle designs in it. Feel free to use either or edit one to make a new design.

Step 2: Prepare

Some paintings are conveniently painted on thick cardboard or plywood, but more frequently they will be on paper or canvas. If this is the case, you can use spray adhesive to attach the art to a more appropriate backing.

Step 3: Cut

I suggest scaling the file in Illustrator so that it is at least 1/4 inch away from each edge of the painting. This way you can be sure that the edges of the puzzle do not extend farther than the painting and all the edges of the pieces will match.

Set the laser cutter to something a bit stronger than you would if you were just cutting the backing material and you are ready to hit the go button.

Step 4: Play

It's puzzle time! Get your rainy day face on and start finding edge pieces, because this might take a while.

Big thanks to all the anonymous artists who's work I used for this project.

If you painted any of the paintings (especially the one in the video) let me know. I am really curious about who that guy is. Some of my friends think its Leonardo Dicaprio, but it's impossible to tell for sure.

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46 Comments

If the artwork was engraved on wood would the burning of the laser though it interfere with the artwork? I didn't see that with your puzzle but it wasn't wood.

Lasers powerful enough to cut wood will burn the edges. That's what they do to cut. Burn their way through whatever it is you cut.

If you set the cutting width as hairline it would barley interfere with your picture.

What does barley have to do with it?

Like I said, I don't think barley would interfere with your picture unless you sprinkled some on top of your picture before laser cutting it.

Never thought of putting barley on my picture.

OK starforest, clearly violingirl meant barely. Lets all be nice.

It was just a joke. I knew she meant barely.

I didn't mean any harm.

I was joking too after I misspelled barely.

I would be cool if you put something like pebbles on top of a piece of wood then you engraved the whole piece of wood so where the pebbles were the wood wouldn't be engraved and there would be a cool pattern on the piece of wood.

This is awesome! Since I don't have a laser cuter, however, it would be difficult to accomplish. What kind of laser cutter did you use? Where does one get one? Are their services available to do this kind of work? Thanks!