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You can make inexpensive wood dash plaques for any event with a laser.  They are typically given out at car events such as auto crosses and 4 wheel drive runs.  By making them yourself you can save money and add a cool look to your event.  A 60W epilog co2 laser was used for making the dash plaques.  Typical dash plaque size is 3" x 1 ~ 1.5",  the files are set up for 3" x 1.5" dash plaques.


 "I made it at TechShop"
www.techshop.ws

Step 1: Wood Preperation

I used wood that was already prepared, 1/4" poplar 5.5" x 24".  The poplar has a light grain that doesn't overwhelm your image, and at 1/4" it balances strength and size nicely.  I also put a light wood stain on to increase the contrast of the image.  You can use whatever color stain that works for your needs.  In mine, I used a light blue stain.

Step 2: Print Text + Outline

Printing the text and image separately allows for different power settings in order to achieve different effects.  I burned the text at 60% speed / 70 % power, and the outline at 60% speed / 20% power.  I also put the outline and text on one layer so that the first pass does the text and outline.  Then I printed the image and cut it out with the next pass.

Step 3: Print Image + Cut Out

With the second pass (don't move the wood between passes), the image gets burned and the dash plaques get cut to size.  Note: make sure to turn off the text layer before printing the image and cutting.  Image 30% speed, 90% power.  Cut was done at 10% speed 90% power.  When you're done cutting, you can add adhesive to the back of the dash plaque if desired.  Double sided foam sticky tape works well.

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