Laser Etched Pumpkin

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About: Currently the Lower School Science Specialist at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas. Hired to create a hands-on, minds-in, engaging science program for 1st - 4th grade students.

This first try at laser etching a pumpkin went surprisingly well.

Step 1: Make an Image

First, I made a simple design on Inkscape...this was going to be a totally rastered image.

Step 2: Pumpkin Placement

Second, because the pumpkin was too big to fit on the rotary attachment, I propped it up with some scrap pieces of wood, making sure the "flattest" part was up and the laser was focused on the majority of that surface.

Step 3: Set Up the Pumpkin

Next, I set the "home" for the laser and made sure my graphic would fit in the area I had picked.

Step 4: Laser Settings

Fourth, the file was saved as a .pdf and sent to the laser with the following settings: Speed:50, Power: 100, DPI: 600, Engrave direction: bottom up, Image dithering: Jarvis

Step 5: Run the Laser

Last, the fan was turned on and the laser went to work. I made 4 passes and got a depth of about 1-2mm across the whole design. I need to get a fem more pumpkins (smaller ones I hope) and see if I can vector cut an image.

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    2 Discussions

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    Thanks and good luck...I can see the problem with a desktop etcher. I'm lucky in that our upper school lab has 2 big lasers machines that could use if needed.