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I realised I was missing a trivet from my life and really needed somewhere to place hot things in the kitchen. I like self-referential objects, and "hot stuff" is a bit of an inside joke between my girlfriend and me, so I set out to make this word art trivet. The actual making process is pretty simple if you have access to the right tools (a CNC router ideally, or a saw capable of detail work) so this is going to be more of a look into how I turned the text into the shape of the object in Inkscape.

Step 1: Write text

Open up Inkscape, set your document to use the units you want, create a text box and type in the text you want to use. I spent a while playing around with fonts at this point to find one that looked good. Ideally you want a fairly chunky bold font to end up with a solid object that isn't too spindly. Serif fonts tend to be more legible in the finished article because the serifs make the end points of the letters more visible, and fonts with a "natural" curve tend to look better than very geometric ones, but this is largely a matter of personal choice and the limitations of the material you are working with.

If you're using more than a couple of words, you'll want to think about word placement at this stage too. You can always change it later, but it's good to start with the layout you want because it makes the next steps easier.

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<p>Good news!<br><br>Found a hackerspace in my area.<br><br>&quot;Hacker Space&quot;, &quot;Maker Space&quot;, &quot;Tech Shop&quot;<br><br>No &quot;Tech Shop&quot;s, but, &quot;Hacker Space&quot;<br><br>Gotta learn what to &quot;Google&quot; for.</p><p>They've got a laser cutter.<br><br>Haven't made it yet.<br><br>Anxious to try.<br><br>Attached is the design I want to go with - the lower one.<br><br>And some examples of the fonts I tried. The Wood Look and<br>Carbono are free downloads (try DaFont).<br><br>Also added them as I did, because, leaving it and coming back<br>to it, left me forgetting which font I'd actually started with. When<br>playing with multiple fonts from a LARGE variety, something like<br>that may come in handy when it's time to pick one.</p><p>I'll post an update, when, (IF) I get it done (assuming I don't<br>run into any problems along the way).<br><br>I made one (modest) change to the design, as I thought it might<br>be just a little more eye catching. Just my tendency to not want to<br>leave well enough alone. </p>
<p>Are you saving money with your laser cutter?<br><br>Well, Shapeways will print me an aluminum model<br>at your dimensions (20 cm) for as much as $ 1,200<br>or down to about $ 800.<br><br>If I print stainless steel, it'll cost about $ 400.<br><br>That's a savings of at most, $ 800 over the cost of<br>an aluminum model.</p><p>And I started out with a HOLLOW model to begin<br>with to cut costs!</p><p>I'd say you're saving money.<br><br>Considering the cost of the alternative.</p><p>My dimensions? 20 cm x 8.6mm thick</p><p>Even if I reduce the thickness, not sure, I'm going<br>to save much.</p>
<p>At 4.3mm, I cut my costs in half as well.</p><p>Anyone interested in a $ 200 trivet?</p>
<p>Well, considering the idea of a trivet is to insulate the countertop from a hot pan, I'm not sure a metal trivet is what I'm looking for :)</p><p>If you wanted one made of metal, I think you'd be better off using a CNC mill, waterjet or plasma cutter to cut it out of a sheet of metal rather than 3D printing. There are plenty of commercial businesses who could probably cut an outline out of steel from a design file for less then $200.</p>
<p>Yeah, well, probably not.<br><br>The other alternatives for 3d printing at Shapeways are:<br><br>Porcelain and Plastic.</p><p>If METAL isn't exactly the best, porcelain breaks and Plastic<br>melts.<br><br>They're not offering wood yet.<br><br>Just looking at this alternative since I don't own a laser cutter.<br><br>And those who do (when I've asked, on projects) aren't returning<br>my calls. Apparently they're not in the hobby markiet.<br><br>At least the ones I've checked.<br><br>There's not a Tech Shop in my area (Seattle). Don't know why.<br>There would likely certainly be the demand.<br><br>Not sure if custom wood cutting is something Home Depot or Lowe's<br>offers. Unlike &quot;Office&quot; Depot which offers custom printing (but not<br>laser cutting either).<br><br>Curious. By comparison, what are your total costs of production?<br>Including the cost of a laser cutter?<br><br>Last I looked, I don't think they're cheap. Or am I wrong?<br><br>I'm kind of scared of saws (routers, jigsaws, band saws, table saws.<br>Afraid to lose a finger, a hand, an eye, or worse.<br><br>I have so much respect for them that I just avoid them like the plague.<br><br>So far, it seems to be working.</p>
<p>BUT, I could do porcelain for a LOT less: $ 70 by comparison.<br><br>Not nearly as durable.<br><br>$ 70 trivet anyone? </p><p>ANYONE?<br><br>(There's just not much of a market for even $ 70 trivets.<br><br>Sigh)</p>
<p>What a great idea! I love it!!</p>
<p>I love this!!</p>
<p>Thanks :) I almost couldn't believe no-one had done something like it already. Thought I'd had a great original idea then saw something quite similar in the local chinese takeaway after I'd made it...</p>
<p>Dang, I just started writing my own instructable on how to do this!</p>
<p>That laser cutter paying for itself? ;)</p>
<p>Not yet, I'm just getting the hang of the software, not so flexible as an Epilog.</p>

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