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*Please Vote for this project in the Egg competition to show your support and keep me risking my laser.*

I recently set up my laser engraving business, and have had to put instructables on the back burner. Which has been a shame, but I'm back now and am going to use the opportunity to try something new and to say thank you for support in the past by giving a 3 month pro membership to any a random commenter.

Step 1: What Eggs to Use.

When starting I had no idea what colour the egg shell will engrave. However I made an educated guess at white this means we want the darkest egg shell we can source, which would be Maran or Welsummer however I had to settle with Barred Rock as I had limited time or suppliers.

What to look for in your eggs;

  • Even shape
  • Dark colour
  • No cracks
  • Long Expiry

Step 2: Making the CAD

There is a few types of design which you can used I have put a simple versions below, most of the designing however is just going to be text so it is not necessary to perform most of the methods. (If you want any more information on how to perform one of the methods just ask in the comments.)

  • Make a design, over-detailed or overcomplicated images do not present well (avoid shading). So make sure you take your time and be willing to give up and find a new idea if you have to.
  • The simplest method of image preparation is just flattening the colours. Using whatever software you have change the image mode to black and white it works well on pictures which were originally black and white.
  • Thresholding is a method which converts the source image to black and white based on the luminosity of each pixel. Bright areas will end up as white and dark areas will end up as black. This method is very effective on evenly-lit images and tends to be one of my preferred methods.
  • Vector Tracing my main method start by opening an image in Adobe Illustrator (or other software) and select Object then Live Trace. Adjust the threshold, blur, path fitting and minimum area settings to produce a vector version of your image.

Step 3: Holding the Egg in Place.

The eggs as you might expect cause a lot of problems for example the egg moving, or the egg cracking, or leaking. To fix this I tried a few ideas but the best idea ended up being bluetack inside of a bowl. As shown in the picture above.

Step 4: Engraving the Egg

To start I made a design with "#Easter" on it to try find the correct setting which were speed 500 , power 70 and scan gap 0.04. From here I then engraved a set of eggs with a few different designs on them, including some logos of local businesses.

Step 5: Displaying the Eggs.

Now the eggs were engraved I decided to display them in a bowl with tissue to protect them as the eggs are still raw. Thanks for reading, please vote for us in the egg contest and also comment below for the chance to get a 3 month pro membership.

Congratulations to iangerson our random comment winner check you inbox.
<p>I love this! It's so fun to see such creative uses of laser cutters!</p>
<p>Thank you, make sure to look at my other projects.</p>
Hey Ross, what cad and cam software did you use for the eggs? <br>
<p>I used Inkscape (CAD) to turn the images into vectors and then export in to LaserCut5.3 (CAM) as a DXF. (Normally I use Coral Draw, or Auto CAD but I wanted to be quick and accuracy didn't matter as much.</p>
Random
<p>Not random. Just new. If I get an idea and I can write an instructable about it I do.</p>
Sorry, wasn't saying your instructable or cool idea?, was random. Just my strange sense of humor, told me to comment &quot;random&quot; for the Pro membership give away. You stated that you would pick 1 &quot;random&quot; comment. Again very cool idea and great job!<br>Dave
<p>I like your humor, never know you may win. Ps. Sorry it's hard to show context or tone in text. </p>
<p>Great idea for Easter!</p>
<p>I forgot: ...and other events:-)</p>
<p>Not sure what other events but great for Easter.</p>
<p>Just be sure to refrigerate the eggs afterwards since the cuticle is burned off and the shell is no longer completely sealed. Speaking of burned, the smell reminds me of when bugs get themselves cooked in halogen floor lamps.</p><p>The etch started too close to the center with this one, so the darkened etch of the left is due to the laser going too far out of focus.</p><p>I happen to have both a laser and a backyard full of chickens, including a handful of Marans so I have a steady supply to work with.</p>
<p>This hen was actually on fire xD</p>
<p>Love it thanks for trying it out. One of the joys of having a laser is being able to try new materials and ideas. For having a go at making it have a 3-month pro membership, I sent you a message.</p><p>Ps. I am still giving one to a random commenter when votes close.</p>
<p>i never would have thought to use eggs very creative of you </p>
Why thank you. Make sure to vote
Hey I tried it and it really worked
Glad to hear
That's actually so cool! Did you think of boiling the egg beforehand to make it less fragile or would that have affected the laser cutting in some way? <br>Also, did you have any issues with the egg not being flat? I would never have thought of lasering something so round. Great job though, looks awesome
<p>I made sure that the size of what I was engraving fit within a 2mm height from lowest to highest point that way the laser was always in focus. As for boiling them while it would take away some of the risk and might even give a better engraving as the egg would be softer I saw it as an unnessacery step so went without.</p>
Wow! So unbelievably unique. What types of tool do you need for this? I voted for you, now do me a favor and pick me so I can win something before I die and prove to myself I'm not eternally unlucky lol. Really though, you're amazingly talented.
<p>This has made my day, at the moment you have a 33% chance of winning so keep tuned I'm going to give the membership when voting closes. As for what tools I needed, a laser cutter (you can use one at techshop) and a computer.</p>
Great! Thanks for telling me how to get started. It seems really cool. Can you do it on anything or does the surface matter? When dies voting close? You really are a talented artist!
Voting ends in 22 days. The surface as in material matters some things engrave better than others and also the surface the egg is on matters so it doesn't roll around.
How many eggs did you have to try before getting it right? ie: breakage, movement, other possible machine issues? Really cool project. Whats the most unique thing you have engraved?
<p>1. I got it to work first time amazingly, I didn't have an egg break and leak (I used raw eggs). </p><p>2. For the settings it takes a lot of practice normally but I have been laser engraving for 3 years now so can guess a starting setting quite quickly.</p><p>3. Machines issues however I did have, my laser decided to run into the egg (my fault) first time and crack the egg even though it still engraved and looked good.</p><p>4. Most unique thing I have engraved? Well I have a personalised engraving company (PhoenixEngravers.com) and so make a lot of unique items. Shameless advert aside I have engraved, sweets, pumpkins (have an instructable), converse shoes (might make an instructable soon), and sugar coated scones.</p>
vote was cast Goodluck
<p>Thank you for the vote :)</p>
That's very cool. Hadn't seen this done before on eggs.
<p>Thanks. Glad you liked it.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm an A-level student from the England studying product design and doing a range of part time projects. I also have a laser cutter ... More »
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