I am a low tech crafter. My favorite mediums are paper, glue, and scissors. The thought of using a computer and a laser cutter was very intimidating to me. For one I would have to learn how to use an illustrator program and a laser cutter all at once. With the help of TechShop I overcame my fears.
I made it at the TechShop. You can find out more about the techshop at www.techshop.ws
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Step 1: Take a Safety and Basic Use Class at the TechShop
Feeling a little intimidated I signed up for the Laser Cutting and Etching SBU at the TechShop. I also reserved time on the laser for right after the class so I could practice what I learned. I figured the only way to build my confidence was to actually work on the laser by myself. The class was great, no one minded my many questions and that anytime they would say does every one know what this is... I would always say no.
Step 2: Overcome the Fear of Corel Draw
Having never used a illustrator program before and having told myself it would be hard I had to take a deep breath before I started. One of the other students from the class came over and showed me the basics of corel draw which was all I need and I was ready to go. I had brought in scrabble game board to cut with the laser cutter. I decided I would start with letters because those would be the easiest to do. I was right. I figured out the size of my board and started typing my alphabet.
Step 3: Ask Lots of Questions
So the first time I sent my letters to the printer nothing happened. I retraced my steps reread my notes and still nothing. So then I sought up a very helpful techshop worker who rechecked my work pushed print and it worked. Thankfully they stayed for a short time and helped me figure out the cutting formula for the game board. With just a little help I laser cut my first letters.
Step 4: Keep Practicing
Now that I feel confident with letters it time to try shapes. Oh and also try to come up with a great craft for my new letters. Time to get out the paper, glue, and scissors again.