I’ve completed my newest project at TechShop Detroit, a Buildings of Detroit Puzzle. The buildings are all laser-etched, so the real challenge was trying to get the design right.
Step 1: The Test Etch
I used Adobe Illustrator and at first just dropped in the color photographs and etched them as they were. What came out was mostly a brown blob that bore some resemblance to a building. Since the key is to have contrast, I went and made each image black and white and increased the contrast so the blacks were really black and the whites were really white.
Step 2: Tinkering With the Illustration
I was starting to get some more detail, but there were still some areas, especially on the Belle Isle Aquarium at the top, where parts looked sort of smeared out. I tinkered with the file a bit more, and finally got it to where I liked it. They’re still imperfect and kind of look like rough sketches, but I think I like it that way.
Step 3: Finished Product
Finally, once I got the building illustrations where I wanted them to be, I decided to change how each puzzle piece was cut. Instead of just circles around the building, I used the pen tool in illustrator to make the building cut-outs in the shape of each building, making each piece unique.
I made it at TechShop.