Introduction: Al's Custom Wooden Coasters

I manufactured these coasters at TechShop in San Jose, Ca using the Laser Cutter.

Materials Used:
Birch Plywood - Michaels or online at Revell
Adobe Illustrator
Laser Cutter - TechShop
Gloss Polyurethane - Lowe's

Step 1: Step 1: Create Your File in Adobe Illustrator

Here is my design for the drink coasters. I used Illustrator but you can also use Corel Draw. The laser cutter ENGRAVES and CUTS. The software for the laser cutter will ENGRAVE all of the dark lines seen here and leave the white areas untouched. The software will read hairlines as lines it should CUT through the wood. In the screen shot below the hairline does not appear to show because it it such a fine line. But in the illustrator file it is a circle 1/4 inch outside of my design. The stroke of this line is .001 (hairline).

Step 2: Step 2: Settings for the Laser Cutter

I used the Laser Cutter at TechShop

Laser Cutter Settings:
Raster (Engrave):
      Speed: 50
      Power: 60
Vector (Cut):
      Speed: 20
      Power: 90
      Frequency: 500

With these settings, I let the software engrave and cut the wood. The CNC Laser Cutter manufactures each drink coaster at the exact same dimensions. It's great!

Step 3: Step 3: Stain the Wooden Coasters

The coasters will probably have cold drinks on them so I need to stain them with Cabot's Gloss Polyurethane. Once they dry they will be waterproof and ready to be used.