Making a Wood Cover@Tech Shop

Today we went to the Tech Shop in San Francisco. It is much bigger (3 stages higher!) than my local one.  However, the surrounding environment is a little bit scary (it is San Francisco after all).

Today, I took three 3-hour long classes each. (Making a Wood cover for a notebook, Arduino Part 3, and Playing with LEDS). I think my favorite class was the Wood Cover because we learned designing techniques in Adobe Illustrator while working and printing with the Universal Laser Cutter. It turns out that the Universal is easier (and more effective) to use then the Epilog Laser Cutter. This is because in the Epilog Laser Cutter all the set up for the machine, like the exact focus and home, has to be plugged in to the machine. However, in the Universal, the only thing in the machine that is necessary is the actually Laser Cutting. The process of setting up the machine is about half times shorter in the Universal then the Epilog. Anyways, enough rambling about laser cutters!

For the first half of class, we learned the rudiments of Adobe Illustrator, like creating ellipses, inserting images etc. We also started on our own design for the cover. I was thinking of having something that looked antique at first. After a lot of pondering, I decided to stick with 2 quotes: “Be a voice not an echo”~Albert Einstein and “Why fit in if you were born to stand out.”~Dr.Seuss.

Then, we went to the lasers. After about 32 minutes of laser cutting, my notebook cover design was finally over. One of the most coolest parts of this project was that the design template  had a working hinge, which means that the spine could “bend” back and forth.

Laser cutter in progress
The computer display
The result before sandpapering and blow drying


After the laser cutter finished its job,  I sand-papered away the burnt excess on the cover. Since all the sawdust from the sand paper got stuck into the letter, I was able to use the blow dryer to blow the sawdust away.

I was really happy with my result and I am sure I will use this notebook cover for a special notebook of my own. In the future, I would like to expand on my options of notebook covers and maybe even try to sell some of my own.


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