Introduction: Star Wars Birch Coasters
I wanted to make my own set of Star Wars coasters, so I decided to utilize the lasercutter in our Makerspace to do so! I found my design, then adjusted it in Illustrator, then lasercut it.
Step 1: Emblems As Vectors
I was lucky enough to find the hard work of cartonus on DeviantArt, who had already converted some of the more well known Star Wars logos from the universe into vectors. I downloaded the files, then moved into Illustrator to continue to create my coasters.
Step 2: Illustator
I decided to make them circular, since most of the vectors themselves were circular, and thus created several Ellipses with the Ellipse Tool. I adjusted them to be circles by setting the Width and Height to both be 3.5 in (preference, though this would be on the smaller size; feel free to adjust to the size coaster you would prefer), then clicked Constrain Width and Height Proportions so that if you try to adjust the circle again, you only have change one parameter.
Step 3: Alignment Pt 1
After moving the vectors in and resizing them, you'll notice that they aren't properly aligned in the created circles. We could eyeball them and adjust them arbitrarily, but it's always better to familiarize yourself with the tools Illustrator offers. In our case, we'll want to go to Window -> Align to pull up the Align window, then adjust the settings to Align to Selection (instead of Artboard).
Step 4: Alignment Pt 2
Then, select both your objects (design and the circle) and click Horizontal Align Center and then Vertical Align Center. Voila! You have an aligned coaster design.
Step 5: Colors
Then you'll want to set the colors to the ones appropriate for your lasercutter in Illustrator.
Step 6: Lasercut
Here's a look at how mine turned out! One of them accidentally didn't cut the Republic logo, but otherwise they turned out pretty nice! I'll be looking into creating "higher quality" coasters in the future, polished, stained, and inlaid with acrylic, but these were a good test to start. Can't wait to see what you all make too!