How to Fit a 6x4 Foot Wood Sign Into a Carry-on Suitcase




Introduction: How to Fit a 6x4 Foot Wood Sign Into a Carry-on Suitcase

About: I like to make things.

How does one transport a 6x4 foot wood sign across the world in a carry-on suitcase?

As my first experiment with the OMAX waterjet, I made a 6ft wooden sign for an office of a tech startup, called Meerkat. The catch was that the sign had to be transported across the world from San Francisco to Tel Aviv in a carry-on suitcase.

Here's how I did it!

Materials: 1 sheet of plywood, glue, carry-on suitcase

Tools: OMAX Waterjet, Adobe Illustrator

Step 1: Prepare Digital Vector File

After receiving the company's logo, I generated a vector outline and increased the overall size to approximately 6x4 feet. I then cut it into sections less than 16 inches each, so the the overall shape could be deconstructed for its' international journey.

This attached Illustrator file shows the results.

Step 2: Nest the Pieces to Use Less Materials

In order to get rid of the white space and make better use of your materials, it's wise to nest your pieces before cutting them on the waterjet. While it's possible to nest these pieces in a sheet less than 30 inches x 48 inches, I had trouble with collisions on the waterjet so I cut my pieces out of two sections of 30 inches x 48 inches (almost a full sheet of plywood).

My amateurly nested Ai files are attached.

Step 3: Set Up Your Waterjet Workflow

Import your Ai file into OMAX Layout & OMAX Make to generate your tool paths and prepare your file for cutting. Here are someInstructables that explain how the waterjet works in a bit more detail.

Clamp your plywood securely to the waterjet bed and prep the machine to run your job.

Step 4: Hold Your Breathe and Press Go!

Make sure to stand attentively next to the Pause button in case something goes astray.

Step 5: Pack 'em Up and Head to the Airport!

After you rinse off and dry your pieces, pack them up and head to the airport. Here's what it looks like in a little pile before the flight with my toes for scale.

Step 6: Screw or Glue the Pieces to the Wall in an Location Across the World

Follow along with the diagram you initially created to make sure the pieces fit together properly.

Step 7: Celebrate! You Have a Sign!

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Now where did I put that waterjet cutting machine...

    Didn't Airport Security ask why you're carrying sharp bits of wood in your hand baggage? Lots of those could have been used as "weapons"!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    anna..thats just how i would have solved it...but you did the work for people who apparently have odd thinking modes..i simply would have painted the wall that color and had someone paint the meerkat on..simple