Instructables

The creation of a Sticker Critter and the transmogrification of its soul into a multi-purpose digital file (aka cutting, scanning and Live-tracing into a vector file) - I made it at TechShop San Jose

I discovered a while ago that I can't draw well enough to satisfy my own expectations, but I have always been really good with my hands. I work at a FedEx Office, and noticed that when we relabel a package, the system only prints on half of the label, so I began tearing off the bottoms of the labels and saving them. An immediate use became apparent; when a customer brings in a reused box with old labels on it, we can use the saved half to cover up the old labels so that it didn't get re-shipped to them. But we found that even with covering up old labels, we still had a plethora of label halves to spare.

I thought, hmm, what to do with these label halves? Then it came to me, I could fold them in half and cut monsters, aliens, skulls, robots and any number of fascinating critters from them. So I got to it.

This Instructable will show you my process of hand cutting, as well as the method I use to convert the critters into digital vector files for use at San Jose TechShop on any of their CNC machines; be it Epiolog 60W Laser Cutters, ShopBots, CNC Embroidery Machines, TormachFlowJet, or Long Arm Quilter.
 
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Step 1: Materials and tool required

The things I use to create the Critters are:
  • Reclaimed thermal label from FedEx Office
  • The scissors on a Swiss Army Knife
  • Hands with fingers and opposable thumbs...It would be really really hard to do this with your feet, not impossible mind you, but darned difficult

To convert into vectors for use on CNC equipment, I use:
  • A Canon 5051 to scan to PDF, but any scanner will do
  • A piece of black vinyl to put behind the critter during scanning
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3-6 Depending on where I do the image manipulation
  • Adobe Illustrator CS3-6, again depending on whether I clean up the image at home, work or TechShop.
  • A flash drive to store all my original scans, basic vector files and cleaned up or manipulated files.
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