Laser Cut Magnetic Poetry




About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

Here is a brief overview on how to use scrap magnet sheeting, a laser cutter and Corel draw to make magnetic poetry.

Magnet sheeting may be made of PVC and cutting it in this manner may produce small amounts of extremely toxic chlorine gas. I am not sure. You do this at your own risk.

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Step 1: Go Make Your Word File.

Measure your scrap magnetic sheeting.

Open Corel Draw and make a text block the size of your scrap magnetic sheeting. My scrap sheeting was 3.5" x 24" and as such I wrote enough semi-random words to fill that space.

The text should be of transparent fill with a 1 pixel black outline.

For a better example download the attached work-file below.

Step 2: Print It Out.

I'm using an Epilog laser cutter and am printing out my magnetic poetry at 100% speed and 20% power. This was more than enough power to get the job done.

Step 3: Wipe It Off.

When it's done, wipe the magnetic shavings off the surface with a tissue (unused).

Go wash the filings off your hands.

Step 4: Cut It Up.

Now is the time to cut the words into neat little squares. You will need a ruler and a razor blade.

First cut long strips between the lines of the words and then cut each word off the strip starting at one end.

Don't worry about slicing all the way through with the razor. The nice thing about magnetic sheeting is that you can score it and rip it very easily. A shallow score is more than enough to rip or bend a length of magnet cleanly in half.

Step 5: Create Poetry!

I am a poet and I didn't even know it.



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    16 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction


    so this is the first thing I tried to do with a laser cutter, but instead of just doing it, I called up a bunch of companies and read a lot of MSDS-es.

    Yeah, they said, the magnetic sheet is fine, but don't touch that vinyl. The PVC quickly lets out all the 'C'. Plus, it should be pretty easy to use a vinyl cutter for this? Or waterjet them instead like I did?

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah.... I figured it wasn't cutting through too much vinyl, so it wouldn't be too bad and I stuck the exhuast fan out the window. It's still probably not a good idea. Apparently magnet sheeeting breaks the blade on the vinyl cutter and that is not to be done either. Any which way, I try to avoid laser cutting these days. I'm convinced that most everything cut with it is on some level is toxic.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    if you're ventilating well, the ONLY things that are toxic to the laser head are vinyl and pvc. i cut & etch many different kinds of wood/paper/acrylic/plastic/glass/food/etc. pretty much daily, and all's well, with a decent (well-maintained) filtration system. :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    If you have a poem like this that is 5-7 lines (each line is 4 words), using 10 verbs, 8 nouns, and some other words that I can't remember, you will have a French Poem known as a Da Da poem. Although the words are usally ramdomly found in newspapets, magazines, ect. Lol.


    What about Hanukkah harry AND Santa? They could split the tab. I really have no idea where to find someone around here with one...and the age thing doesn't help either..15 in just about 2 more months


    Maybe if they both invested their money in a high-interest savings account over the course of a number of years... that might do it.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    They could also buy all the lotto tickets with their magical powers... That way they're guaranteed to win!