I made these personalized utility knives at the TechShop in Menlo Park, CA! www.techshop.com
If you are working at TechShop, it is very important to ask a Dream Consultant if your material will be safe to cut/etch on a laser. The TechShop laser cutters cannot cut/etch metal, but they can etch anodized aluminum or coated metals. If you want to etch a coated metal, you should still ask a DC if the coating is OK to etch.
Step 1: Wrap the Knife in Painter's Tape
Step 2: Laser Fun!
I recently took the Advanced Laser class, and the Laser Rotary Assistant workshop at the TechShop in Menlo Park. The instructor (Robert Slack) is fantastic, and really knows his stuff! Both classes were extremely helpful for this project. The white jig in the 4th picture, is the Laser Rotary Assistant (which you make yourself if you take the workshop), which was designed for quick rotary projects by Mr. Slack! The idea is that you can use the Assistant instead of the full Rotary Attachment, as long as you don't need to etch the full diameter of your material. The full Rotary Attachment rotates your object while the laser etches, the Rotary Assistant does not rotate your object, instead it is a cradle for it.
The Rotary Assistant was perfect because I did not want the knives to wobble around on the raster tray. I used the raster tray because it creates a very nice flat surface, and I was not vector cutting at all. I placed the Assistant on the tray, and used the laser pointer to line up the jig correctly (see photos). Once one side was aligned, I would put magnets around the Assistant to keep that in place.
I focused to the flattest part of the knife, and then the laser did the rest!