Great post on painting engraved parts @ponoko

Ponoko – Blog

Paint filling and masking laser engraved parts.

Painting in engraved detail gives your design an additional unique factor and makes less likely to scream ???I???m laser cut!???  In the old days of hand cutting materials, you would have to sit there for hours, carefully applying masking tape of fluid in strategic areas to ensure a crisp paint edge.  Like trying to paint straight stripes on a wall, only on much smaller scale.

Fortunately, should you choose to try paint filling your laser cut engraving, your can mask required areas with laser cut precision.  The acrylics are cut with protective paper on, and all engraved areas are ready to be painted.  Other materials can have transfer tape applied to top surface on request.  The exceptions to this are leather and felt because transfer tape does not stick well to those.  Some woods can present the same problem also, so experimentation is always advised.  Protective paper and transfer tape are not the same thing.  Protective paper is the brown film on both sides of acrylic sheets and is applied at point of manufacture, which means that, by default, all our stocked acrylic has protective paper on both sides.  Transfer tape is the light-coloured adhesive sheet that is stuck on to keep all the parts in place when the cut design is removed from the lasercutter.

Transfer tape over white acrylic, over bamboo ply

There are two main factors in this process: digital, which is your design; and physical, which is the actual painting.

Let???s start with the digital.  Whether you???re using a raster fill or vector engraving, you need to use the heavy lines/fills, which you can also read about here.  A vector outline around your raster fill will also give a crisper edge, which works well on larger, less detailed areas.  Small details end up too cluttered, and the extra engraving time adds to the making cost.

Vector outline on the right, and how it comes out (after painting)  on white acrylic and Eurolite

You can see that there???s some paint bleeding on the plywood resulting from insufficient adherence of transfer tape to wood surface.  Don???s say we didn???t warn you!

If you???re using vector engraving only, experiment with doubling or even tripling your lines to make the detail more obvious, like in the Sammich Midi boxes

Top to bottom: raster fill, raster fill with vector outline, single vector outline, multiple vector outline created using the ???expand??? command.  Left to right: file, Eurolite, white acrylic

At this point you will upload your file and enthusiastically wait for your ???another exciting shipment from Ponoko??? with all its Yippee! goodness.

The real work begins once you open you package.  Firstly, very very carefully peel the transfer tape off the top of the sheet.  Now if this is acrylic, it should be pretty straight forward because the protective paper is stuck firmly to the material, and there is little risk of it lifting off.  If the material is anything else, i.e. it is protected by transfer tape, you need to peel off the top layer with caution, as not to raise off the masking layer.

Once the transfer tape is off, vector engraving is ready to be filled in.  Use a blower brush to get rid of the residue from raster engraving first.   You can either use Indian ink or spray paint.

This is how you do it with a paint brush:

If your engraving is detailed and close to the edge, do no spray directly out of a can, as it will result in overspray.  Options in this case are ink with a fine brush, or you can spray a little bit of paint into the lid and dip your brush into that.  Usual spray painting safety rules apply.

Middle shows overspay from using spray paint.  Ink and brush are best for small, detailed designs

This is how you spray paint your engraving:

You can safely use spray paint if your engraving is limited to centre of the sheet, the edges of which can be easily masked.

The next step is waiting for the paint/ink to dry, and then you can gleefully spend hours grinding down your nails as you peel off all the tiny bits of paper.  Good luck!



This is a broad topic with lots of ifs and buts, so post your questions in the comments section, and we???ll use them for more blog posts dealing with the specifics.

Sent with Reeder

3D mashups there is a app for that but it windoz @shapeways

Shapeways Blog – Art

meshmixer is a free experimental 3D modeling tool for Windows designed to make it easy to compose a new 3D models from existing meshes. So if you don’t have any CAD skills but would like to try tweaking an existing model downloaded from Shapeways, 3D Warehouse or Thingiverse, simply download meshmixer and start tweaking.  Of course you could also make a mash-up of a few of your own designs and see what kind of wild amalgamations you can come up with to 3D print.

Download meshmixer now and start mashing up your models….

Sent with Reeder

Here is a dress or 3 I would wear @ponoko

Bosnian designer Amila Hrustic has come up with a stunning way to complement the smooth and sensual curves of the human form.

Sewn onto dresses in her Plato???s Collection are an array of faceted paper surfaces. In a retro-futuristic bloom that would surely have Buckminster Fuller???s nod of approval, these designs introduce geometric contours with an alluring and elegant style.

Fashion visions for the future can certainly <a href="http://blog.ponoko.com/2010/11/09/fashion-for-the-21st-century-we-always-envisioned/ Continue reading

Some nice student work from Eindhoven @ponoko

Here is some inspiration for all you 5th years. I like the 3d printed chair of course. Seen @ponoko

The Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show.

One of the main events during Dutch Design Week was the graduation show for the Design Academy. The exhibit featured 131 graduating students from eight undergraduate departments and two masters programs. You can find plenty more information on the official website for the show.

The show was huge and covered two floors of the academy with several large rooms each. In the several hours it took me to make it through, I picked some of my favorite projects to share.

Check out the projects after the jump!

A Pensioned Machine Can Have a Second Life
Dirk van der Kooij
Man and Living

Kooij took an old machine retired from a production line in China and turned it into a large-scale 3D printer. Most people who use 3D printers are constantly pushing for a higher resolution, but Kooij turned the low resolution of his printer into an advantage and designed chairs specifically for this printer. The design allows them to be manufactured quickly for a much lower cost than typical 3D printing.

Showing the Beauty of Mechanics
Paul Heijnen
Man and Living

Heijnen designed this cabinet the showcase the mechanical aspects that are normally concealed. He put all the framing and hinges on the outside and used them as aesthetic components. I love the door hinges.

A Tile To Help Us Control Our Stuff
Menno Oosterhuis

Man and Activity

These modular wall tiles come in a variety of patterns to hold just about anything. It???s a wonderful marriage of aesthetics and functionality.

Continuous Bodies
Maurizio Montalti
IM Master

For this project Montalti worked with a group of scientists to explore the possibilities of using fungi to solve problems. The images show experiments with decomposing plastic. On the left in the second image is what the experiment looked like in December 2009, and on the right is what it looks like now, 10 months later. Considering we hear so much about how long it takes plastic to decompose, these experiments could have enormous benefit.

Authenticity in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility
Sang Hyeon Cho
IM Master

Through this clock Cho explored the possibilities of making authentic objects in a technological age. I also have to point out the impressive use of laser cutting. (Try out your own design with Ponoko Make.)

The Geography of Objects
Jeonghwa Seo
IM Master

This table is part of a series of objects which look at the differences between Eastern and Western culture and their effects on design. Yes, the surface of that table is water, not rippled glass. Every time one of the cups is moved the surface of the table ripples and shakes beautifully.

Sent with Reeder