Glowforge laser cutter - April 17, 2018 by Luna

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December 1, 2017 was my last cooking post; December 2, 2017 we got a Glowforge laser cutter.

image of three laser cut coasters in different wood types
coasters in maple, walnut, and cherry woods

Since December I have been completely distracted from posting about recipes, sometimes too distracted to even cook at all.

Since December I have taken an online course in Inkscape, created a lot of svgs, and done quite a lot of cutting and engraving. Also, finishing work: sanding, polishing, polyurathaning (that's a word now; I don't have time for it to not be a word).

On the surface, the Glowforge has a quite nice user interface: upload a file, position it on the material, hit start.

The other things that go into a successful laser cutting project: choosing the material, fitting the material in the Glowforge (a 20" by 18" by 2" space), maybe sanding it or masking it, creating the file (both the artwork and the box, if it's going on a box), letting the Glowforge do its thing, cleaning the ash and char off--or maybe you want the char for a high contrast look and then you have to figure out how to clean the ash and leave the char, applying some kind of finish to protect the project long term (try not to let char get smeared around while you are wiping on that finish).

Some box design stuff:

Living hinges to living hinge joints to living hinge boxes with five to eight sides:

image of a laser cut living hinge

closeup of a living hinge used as a box corner

image of a pile of boxes

Occasionally I dabble in something other than wood.

image of Egyptian Eye of Horus as used on Constantine, laser engraved into white marble and the lines filled with gold paint
Eye of Horus

For the artwork I have been taking inspiration from shows and artists that I follow. Supernatural and Constantine both use a multitude of arcane symbols that lend themselves well to laser engraving, so I have an abundance of art inspired by those shows.

Kyle Frink, who originally gave Zed her artistic "voice" on Constantine, also has a style which lends itself well to laser engraving.

image laser engraved Constantine artwork of an angel rising over a huddled figure, drawn by Kyle Frink
Constantine artwork by Frink

There's not a lot of information online that I have been able to find that covers these details individually and even less start to finish, so this blog may become a laser cutting blog. I just have to somehow find time to write stuff up. Maybe while the frozen pizza is in the oven.

image of a plain wooden box that lights up with glowing red symbols when lit from within
Ward Box

Watch for it.

laser cut image of SPN Men of Letters symbol
Men of Letters Watcher