Laser Engraver Ideas?

As a primer, I teach high school art. Unless you have been living under a rock, 'nuf said about my job, right? :grinning:

I am currently teaching several classes, but I have a graphic design class and a printmaking class going right now and through the end of April, I have a laser engraver in my room. Last year, I had the engraver for a shorter time and we made several things including some rolling pins, wooden playing cards, some felt letters, a cut out from an album and a lot of phone cases. I want to bump things up a bit, and as beginner projects I have them designing titles in Illy with their own patterns they create in the letters, to burn into old books. I have some Davy board (bookboard) that they will use some principles from Wucious Wong to create their own covers for a sketchbook/final project potential and designing some letters that we will use wood that is one inch high or possible mount to (doing the alphabet.) My GD students are doing a decent job considering their diverse backgrounds and they just started a few months ago. They know their way around Illustrator quite well for their level and have a fair amount of exposure to the other Adobe apps (photoshop, lightroom and InDesign).

I don’t often get stuck, but I want to give them some inspiration outside of Pinterest projects where they just copy “Live, love, laugh.” If you have a thought or two, I sure would appreciate the kick-start to my brain.

Some other ideas include laminating a thin piece of something over something else (watch your burn through though, sometimes when the laser hits the glue, it flairs under or over the face.

Or, if you use a transfer paper cover, you can burn through the paper to engrave, then while the paper is still there, spray fill the letters with a paint. We normally do this with a paint mask and a CNC router, not a laser engraver so not sure how well the transfer paper will hold up to any amount of paint.

I gather you are strapped for cash regarding supplies but some of these things are fun and maybe you can get a deal for educational use if you contact them (I haven’t tried getting a discount but I’ve used the product.)

You can do things like this using acrylic instead of glass. The edge lighting is done with LED extrusions, again probably a budget issue. You can check with a local LED distributor if you want to get some pre-cut units with transformers. We keep sticks around here to light up client test samples we produce before doing anything large and expensive.

You can do laser cut letters, applied to other surfaces with a VHB tape
Hint: use your laser to cut oaktag to make templates to place the letters accurately. Slightly oversize the letter outline in the template so you can remove it after sticking down the letters.

All kinds of fun things.

Thanks, PD! I love some of the “laser engraved art!” wow…and I am really interested in the LED extrusions look! (not exactly what they are yet…but the intertubes should tell me), so I will definitely check out the other links more thoroughly at school. Thanks so much. …*Walks off excited!

The LED is called edge-lighting.
The problem is the metal or plastic extrusion usually comes “LEDs not included.” You might have to get someone to rig up the LED strip and transformer.

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We just got a laser engraver at our work Makerspace. So much fun!

we all had ideas of what to make. but other than a couple cutting boards, coasters, ornaments, charms and other jewelry, we didn’t get to too much else.

Rings…not sure that will work.

Fairy charms were for my daughter’s birthday party.
The Octopus is a 3-layer necklace charm…I can post a photo of the end result…it was just a test thing.

Probably nothing superb but it was fun to do. I also made a couple of triptych rings. one was waves/ dolphin/waves. the other was the Japanese Tidal Wave but that one was to thin and burnt up.

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I don’t have anything to offer … but dang! Now I want to take a Laser Engraving class!!! I love everything you folks are talking about! I want to make my own rolling pin! :smiley: :smiley:

Tea you are amazing! I really wish I could go back in time and be one of your students. They are lucky kids :heart:

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