the Glowforge!

So this came to my attention rather late in the game, but if you haven’t seen this new laser cutting machine called the Glowforge, check it out!

Basic model Glowforge

If you have ever looked at some of my laser projects (like these coasters and earrings or this Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quote book) and really wanted to have a go at something similar, this machine is perfect. (or seems to be, from all of the test videos I have watched!) It is targeted for crafters and artists and people who want to get into laser cutting but have been put off by the price or by the complicated operations of both software and hardware. It seems expensive at first glance, but if you have ever looked at other laser cutters, for what it does, it is a great price (while it is half off, at least!). It has a “real-time full 3D autofocus and a flying lens, giving the ability to actually measure the depth of the material before you engrave and cut over curved surfaces, like warped wood or a MacBook,” which is just crazy! And it uses commodity smart phone components! They have set up a system to be cloud-based, so updates and changes can be made more easily. Which is a pro and con, as you have to be connected to the internet to use the machine.

There are 4.5 days left for the pre-order price of 50% off of the retail cost! Click this referral link to get $100 off of any of the three versions. If you live in the US, it essentially means free shipping. International shipping costs are killer, believe me I know. But… your own laser cutting machine! I can’t wait to see what people do with theirs. And to play with mine! They should start shipping around December.

Some other reviews:
Going In-Depth with The Glowforge Laser Cutter by Tested
Here’s What Convinced Me to Order a $2,000 Glowforge Laser Cutter by xconomy
The new Glowforge laser cutter is amazing by boing boing


Letter Fab-ulous

Had some fun at the Tulsa Fab Lab this last week, making items to use for a fundraiser. I’m heading back to grad school to work on an MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading in the UK. Eeek, it’s expensive!

I made nearly 500 coasters (would have been more, but the laser had a temporary malfunction) out of clear acrylic and white acrylic.

They look pretty cool when stacked! There isn’t any paint on these, unlike the HitchHiker’s Guide, because if the etched image is wide enough, it stands out just fine. Though I might still add paint to a few to change the color.

Then while lasering another project onto wood, there was extra space so I shrank the coaster design down to an earring size. Waste not, want not! Can’t wait to wear them! I have eight pairs. I’m thinking about having a giveaway on this blog with a pair as the prize…

I wish I had had time to design my own ampersand, but I really like this one from Charlemagne Standard. Laser-cut out of mirrored acrylic.

Also on the mirrored acrylic, a lettered design of one of my favorite words by the amazingly talented PetitSerif. Positive and negative etches.

This was my first time to seriously use the 3D printer. These below are cookie ‘stamps’. You press them into an unbaked sugar cookie to create the design. Printed with PLA filament on a Makerbot printer.

The laser cutter and the 3D printer both can take a while to run a project. So in the meantime…I experimented with the vinyl cutter. It was my first experience ever ‘weeding’, or removing the background of one sticker before applying it to a base sticker. Super tricky and tedious, if your design is really detailed! But a really neat effect if you get it right.

So many stickers! There is much weeding in my future…