Posts tagged #hinge

Hansolo - Multiple pass etching

My friend Hannah drew this a few days back and I asked if I could have a photo of it to play with on the laser. She sent the first image. I figured I could have some fun with depth on the engraving, so I brought it into Photoshop, and did some manipulating and painted in some grayscale corresponding to the depth of engraving I wanted. I then brought that jpg into RetinaEngrave and setup 5 passes in the 3D Engrave tab by changing the thresholds to match that of the gray of the layer I wanted, set a different power and speed for each frame, and printed away. It took about 40 minutes to do the 5 passes on the 3" x 4.14" piece... though I realized some ways to optimize this when I run it again. The thresholds in RetinaEngrave aren't very precise so it ended up having a lot of stray pixels on each frame, causing it to do tons of unnecessary passes. Next time I'll just do the separations in photoshop and do each frame in the Engrave tab. Mental note to also expand the borders of each of the layers a bit so that there is overlap because the two deeper layers left ridges as they didn't go to the edge by a pixel or so. Regardless, pretty happy with how it came out. It needs a bit of sanding cleanup as I didn't mask it so the high points got slightly charred, but I'm excited to do more of this stuff... lots of ideas. 

Software Side Note

I love the manual entry controls for Relative Location and the ability to quickly design vectors in RetinaEngrave itself. This allowed me to quickly cut the border and then cut the frame with precision as I'd forgotten to add vectors for it in Photoshop. Once the laser is homed, as long as your piece isn't moved on the bed, you can do all kinds of relative work from the starting position. Very nice. Overall... the software is growing on me. It's leaps better than I was expecting for sure.

Posted on March 24, 2013 and filed under Laser.

Flexible Wood and clasps

Based on a number of designs on Thingiverse (here's one, another, and another) using the flexible hinge cut, I decided to make some bracelets. It appears this hinging design was created by Snij Lab in the Netherlands. Pretty ingenious and I can't wait to try some other patterns when I get a second. So I opened up illustrator and went at it. The design is nice and modular and easy to scale. Using 1/8" MDF board I cut at Power 82 Speed 30 masked with blue painters tape and the first bracelet came out perfectly. I wet it lightly and clamped it with some binder clips overnight while it dried and it now stays in form pretty well. I need to get some thinner more stretchy shock cord so it will slide on easily. I'll experiment with finishes and other woods very soon. Also need to try out some angled patterns for the cuts.

Sweet! It works. I was curious if I could come up with a more interesting clasping mechanism... so I thought I'd try and use rastering to cut half way through the wood and make a locking join. I ran a bunch of tests on the edge of the wood to see what powers would cut half way through. I settled on Power 80 Speed 20 with two passes in Raster mode. I rastered one side, then cut it, then flipped it over and rastered the other side using the sheet it was cut from as a jig which worked perfectly. I'll need to tune the tolerances as I had to do some exacto knife clean up, but it appears to work pretty well. The small pieces on the outside are too fragile as I'd expected, so I'll have to redesign it a bit. Not sure if this is viable for many uses but I'll play with it more on an actual bracelet and see.

Posted on March 22, 2013 and filed under Laser.