This style of sunctacher was popular about a decade ago - they were available in malls and other stores.  I haven't seen one for sale for several years, so I decided to make my own. This one was a proof-of-concept, to make sure I had the process mastered before making a large piece.

Step 1: Draw your design on a computer. CAM the part

Draw the design with whatever graphics package you are comfortable using.  I used VCarve Pro, a package that is capable of simple drawing.  It's normally used for CAM (computer aided manufacturing), but it has some drawing tools as well.   

I started with an elipse sized appropriately for the center element, and then added several more concentric ellipses around it. I drew a couple of vertical lines just off the center line, about 1/4" apart, then used the trim function to get a bunch of semi-ellipses.  The picture shows the process almost done.

Save the file in DXF format.

Since I planned to use the Flow Waterjet to do the cutting, I rendered the cutting paths in their Flowpath software.  Since it was a simple design, their AutoPath feature created an acceptable cutting path.  I noticed it was not maximally efficient, but it wasn't worth the effort to create all of the paths manually.

I saved the file and then headed over to the water jet to make my cuts.
I use old cd's hanging from a fishing swivel and fishing line, they throw rainbows of color and scare off birds and other unwanted critters (at least during the daylight)
It's purely an ornamental thing - as it spins, it's supposed to create an eye-catching motion, either in towards the center or out from the center, depending upon which direction it spins. No functionality beyond that.
Forgive my ignorance: what is a suncatcher? Is it just ornamental, or does anything more utilitarian?
That's fantastic. We used to make these out of 2 liters when I was little - this is much nicer! :)

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