I made the following for my grandaughter. The project was meant to be quick and simple i.e. design an image, cut it out of plywood and then stick in onto a clear acrylic background. Alas it turned out to be more challenging than I expected.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Step 2: Artwork
The drawing was created in InkScape.
In order to preseve the font when moving between computers I converted the font to a path (Path -> Object to Path).
When sending the print to the laser cutter I experienced no end of trouble in having this be successfull. There seems to be some issue with the attatched SVG that resulted in the print not being successfull when the boarder (rounded rectangle) or corner holes were left in. In the end I laned up creating a separate file for these but in a perfect world I should have been able to achieve the deisred outcome by just using the attatched file.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Bits
Creating the Acrylic base
- Cut the base acrylic sheet keeping the giraffe and text hidden i.e. the result will be the acrylic base with the corner holes.
Cutting the plywood
- When setting up for the cut, place a thick sheet of cardboard or a second sheet of plywood under the plywood sheet that you are wanting to cut. This is so that no small bits drop out into the machine and are then lost.
- Recut the entire image on plywood.
- Before removing the plywood from the laser-cutter, place masking tape over the cuts so that the peices are all held in place.
- Remove the cut sheet from the lase cutter taking care not to loose the bits.
- Lie the cut plywood on top of the acrylic base (masking tape showing on the top), lining up the srew holes.
- Either use tape to secure the two sheets on top of each other or bolts/screws to keep them together and lined up.
In the end the origional reference in the bottom righthand corner was too small for me to successfully attatch to the accrylic and so I created one that was easier to work with.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
- Remove the masking tape from the bit that you are wanting to start working on.
- Take the loose peices out (you might have to turn the sheets upside down to achieve this).
- Mix up some epoxy.
- Apply the glue to the back of a piece of wood and then reinsert the peice back into the hole that it came from.
Note: Don't apply too much glue as you don't want the peice to be glued back into the plywood that will ultimatelty be removed. Also you don't want the outter plywood to be stuck to the acrylic. For the smaller peices it was useful to use a pair of tweezers when working with them.
Repeat the above steps on on the the cutouts. Once all done and the glue has dired, remove the excess plywood.
Step 5: Final Notes
The epoxy was difficult to work with. It was hard not to apply too much plus my mix usually dried before I had had time to use it all. A colleague suggested that a gel super-glue would probably have been better.
As already mentioned, th glue overflow resulted in some of the excess plywood being stuck to the acrylic which then resulted in some of the picture pieces being broken out when the excess ply was peeled away.