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Craige_Hales
Staff (Retired)
SVG to Laser Cutter

The attached JSL uses code borrowed from an earlier project to build a Penrose tiling. I want to use the ponoko site to laser cut the image into a piece of acrylic. The design guidelines want an SVG file created by Inkscape, a nifty vector art program. I'll use JMP to save an SVG file of the design, then load that design into Inkscape for the final tweaks. Here's the output from JMP; the blue lines will be cut all the way through the acrylic sheet and the red lines are just etched on the surface.

SVG output from JMPSVG output from JMP

Open Inkscape, open the proper template (P2 for this design...about 15 inches square), and import the SVG from JMP.

Imported, but not cleaned and sized.Imported, but not cleaned and sized.

The imported object needs to be ungrouped several times, and the white background groups need to be deleted. Then it needs to be scaled up to use the design area. An outline needs to be added to make a clean cut around everything. And finally, the line weights need to be set to .01 mm. (That's a really thin line and pretty much disappears off the screen.)

With the outer cut-line but the pen size is 1mm not 0.01mm so you can see the linesWith the outer cut-line but the pen size is 1mm not 0.01mm so you can see the lines

The first try resulted in an error that Ponoko reported during the upload. I went back and made sure the colors and line weights were correct and sent it off again.

WaitingWaiting

WaitingWaiting

WaitingWaiting

The package arrived about 9 days after ordered, and several days earlier than promised.

Well packedWell packed

Here's the back paper

The paper has some burn marksThe paper has some burn marks

The front side has a plastic-like protective surface

No burn marks on the front sufaceNo burn marks on the front suface

Peeling off the front, apparently the laser doesn't cut the front plastic. The etch lines look good!

Start at a cornerStart at a corner

 Pieces are dropping out because the backing paper is cut all the way through.The back paper must be cut through because the pieces are dropping outThe back paper must be cut through because the pieces are dropping out

It will take too long to peel the back off all these bits. 

Left behindLeft behind

Taking a look before the backing is removed.

First look, backing not removed yet.First look, backing not removed yet.

The front

Front matte surfaceFront matte surface

The backing paper

Need to peel the backingNeed to peel the backing

Peeling off the back. The front etching is not visible from the back.

Much better without backingMuch better without backing

Etch detail looks great with back light

Etch detailEtch detail

Etching not as visible with front lighting

Front lightingFront lighting

In the window.

Back lightingBack lighting

I think the 3mm white matte one side worked well. If I did this over, I'd experiment with flouro acrylic materials.

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