Sooyeon Jeong

Computer Controlled Cutting

I made a picture frame of my son in which the picture itself is drawn by raster etching. I started by choosing a relatively good picture of my 5 year-old son Jayden and tried various effects on the photo.

original photo

photos with various effects

In the end, I chose the third photo in the line above, which used artistic mosaic effect, to be etched on the frame and used Fab Modules to roughly check how the etching would look like. I selected “invert image” and “auto focus” feature, and it looked like this.

The picture frame looks like a tree, on which stars and the moon can be attached with press-fitted connectors on various locations. I made four different lengths of connectors. I also created triangular stands that will hold the frame upright on a flat surface. I used Inkscape to draw the vector paths for the laser cutouts. Then I layered the picture and the text for etching task. Each layer was exported into PNG files.

Standing in front of the Epilog laser cutter and running the mock-up job, I soon realized that the cardboard was a lot smaller than I thought and does not cover the entire cuttable size by the machine. So I had to divide pieces into groups and run the jobs multiple times. After cutting out the cloud-looking shape with the picture on, I left the cardboard piece still inside and ran the raster job. Originally, I was planning on using the halftone feature in Fab Modules for the picture etching but decided to use the raster effect in Corel DRAW.

After finishing the raster process and putting pieces together, it looked like this.

I used Fab Modules to cut out the rest of the parts. However, some of the parts were cut out really clean and the other parts were only half way cut. So I had to manually cut them out of the cardboard. I am guessing because the cardboard was a little bent. The setting was 80% power and 20% speed. And this is after I assembled everything together.