There was a recent, spirited discussion on the boards about interesting things to engrave via the new laser cutter (kindly loaned to us by one of our newest members, Jason). Links were posted and one caught my eye.
After several failed attempts to get a normal, boring periodic table to cut with the laser, I figured I’d have to do some formatting, file conversion, and most likely make a blood sacrifice under the full moon to get Corel Draw to play nice with Illustrator. As it happened, I found that Corel doesn’t seem to like most of the formats I throw at it (SVG, DXF, AI, PNG, etc). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good program, it just doesn’t like me or anything I make.
Bottom line: I decided that if I was going to have to remake the periodic table in vector format, being picky about details and how things were saved and all that, I was going to make it my way. I’m a bit old-school about some things, and I quite like the Victorian scrollwork styles that you see on old manuscripts. Thus was born The Old-New Periodic Table. It’s accurate (I had to add elements 112-118 to the sample file I was using) and it looks damned impressive.
This was the test version. I fully expect to create another one on a nice piece of oak sometime soon, perhaps with a frame cut by the CNC Router.
-This was done on wall-board (or some variant thereof). The laser didn’t so much etch the piece; it pretty much just carbonized the top layer. As such, it smears and will continue to smear until I seal it.
-The total time to etch/carbonize this was about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
-Settings were: 100% power, 75% speed, and 500 ppi.
-For some reason, it wouldn’t print until Kevin deleted my picture and input some sample text. After he hit “print”, it started printing my picture. No, I have no idea what happened.
-The original SVG (Illustrator file) I found on Brian D’Allesandro’s Blog.
Hopefully I’ll be able to experiment a bit more with this wonderful tool and see what comes of it. I already want to take one of the posters that I made for the Makerspace and see about etching most of it onto a nice 1/8″ piece of plywood. Hey, Milwaukee Makerspace custom coasters might not be far behind….