Instructables

Ponoko designs in Inkscape for precise fit

I wanted to make a Ponoko design with interlocking and inset pieces.  Not 3D assemblage , but a 2D graphic type design (see below).  My design calls for pieces cut from 2 different colours to be put together and fit precisely.  A third colour for the frame might be nice.  Warned about the issue of material removed by the cutting process, I decided to test with a sheet in one colour first.  Helpfully, Ponoko has experimented with their various materials and has created a table of how much material is burned away by the cutting laser (kerf).  In this example, I will be using my test material of 3mm black acrylic which has a kerf of 0.2mm.  The first sample on the test sheet is a straight up design with the interlocking pieces as one graphic to see what would happen.  In this case the pieces fit after cutting with a gap at the narrowest part of the design.  Surprisingly the large curved pieces fit with no visible gaps.  The inset dots, of course, just fell out.  For a better fit all the way around, allowances must be made for the kerf.  Here's how I did my tests:
 
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