Ah, another day!
Today I decided to finally try something I’ve been wanting to do.
An interesting feature of a laser cutter is that you can design nearly any shape on it, and you can combine etching and cutting for some fun effects. Today’s experiment was to make chainmaille style earrings out of other materials, using the laser cutter.
After spending quite a bit of time in design (I’m still going to tweak it a little), I grabbed some scrap materials, threw them in the laser (one at a time, of course), and pressed “GO”. Literally. The button actually says “GO”, and it’s green.
This is what came out of the laser on that first try:
This was 1/8″ thick American alder (pre-finished). Note the lint in the small holes. I did manage to clean that out, though. I will probably make the “rings” thicker in a future iteration, but I was really happy with these first results.
After that, I was emboldened, and found some clear and purple acrylic in the scrap bin. I’d forgotten how many little pieces the masking material would be cut into on the front by the etching, and gave them a shot. I then kicked myself for leaving so much work to do removing the masking. However, I liked the results, and brought them home to finish up.
Forgive the poor photography; my primary product photographer is out of town. I really like these, though, and they make it onto my online jewelry store (shameless plug – Poetic Mustard). If anybody’s curious about the materials used, both of the acrylic sets have anodized aluminum jump rings and anodized niobium ear hooks. The alder set has brass rings and anodized aluminum hooks. I like to use anodized niobium because it’s hypoallergenic and is available in really nice colors (though I could get the raw niobium hooks and anodize them myself – I have the stuff to do that).
I’m just always pleased with how versatile our laser cutter can be.