View Full Version : Mirrored Acrylic

Shaddy Dedmore
10-13-2004, 4:04 PM
I took a scroll saw pattern and scanned it in. Vectorized it (took forEVER to clean it up). My goal was to use my laser as a scrollsaw and cut out a piece of wood. I was having trouble consistantly cutting 1/4" wood, so i tried acrylic. There's too many small holes and the detail was lost, it was , ummm, messy to look at. I thought I'd throw on some mirrored and see what it'd look like. I "filled" in all the vector lines except the outside one, the outline (took me a few tries to figure that one out... Why did it all turn black? hehe). Then I etched off the mirroring, when done I spraypainted it black for contrast.

I may have showed this before, but I'm just re-thinking that it looks pretty good... lots of detail and I think I maybe even like it better than vector cutting.

Not the greatest picture or design, I was just mostly sharing the idea. Try taking a vector cut project that you have, fill in where the holes would be, and etch it (remember to either make the vector lines None or on an epilog, choose to Raster print, not Vector or Combined). Then spraypaint the back.

Also, I know I didn't come up with this process, there are even other examples on this forum I think, I'm just sharing. I plan on making some round ones, then make a frame for it and a stand... make it a candle holder with the mirror as a background (someday). I also thought about making 4 pieces or mirrored acrylic, and making a box, and putting the candle on the inside, not sure if that would look good or not.

Kevin Huffman
10-13-2004, 5:09 PM
Hey Shaddy,

What you did is what is called a Contour Cut. You don't have to vectorize the whole image to get cut line around it. In most popular softwares there is an option to Contour cut. To enclude Corel, Engravelab and Adobe Illustrator.

It is a printing feature where you print your image out on a large format printer, have a contour cut, then transfer material to a vinyl cutter and cut the image out of that material (which is usually Vinyl). We do it all the time here.

The way to do exactly what you did, is scan the image in, that is engravable so you don't have to vectorize it. Then put the contour cut around it, assign it a hairline outline and send to laser. You can do all the engraving and then cut the coutour cut line out.

P.S. Coloring books work really well for applications like this. They scan real well and vectorize very easily if you need to.

Shaddy Dedmore
10-13-2004, 6:09 PM
Maybe you could help me. If i took a regular drawing, like a scrollsaw plan or a coloring book page, and I scanned it in. I'd then import it onto a Corel Draw page. How do I contour cut if I don't vectorize it? I haven't found a way around that. I could leave it raster/bitmap and color fill all the places I want etched, but I still don't know a way for it to find the outer edge without it being a vector. but I'm fairly new and haven't had any training.

My original intention was to vector cut everything (so i DID need to vectorize it), the scrollsaw plan was originally for a shelf, but left off the bottom and made it into just a picture. But for future similar projects, it would be nice to leave it raster and find a way to contour cut the outer edge.

Thanks for any tips.

Kevin Huffman
10-14-2004, 9:29 AM
Hello Shaddy,

Normally we don't support Corel Draw, luckily most graphics programs are the same and they dont mind us knowing more than one program. Along the top where you have File/Edit/View/Layout, there is an option for Bitmap. Select it and there will be an option for Contour. In Corel 10 there are 3 options Edge Dectect, Find edge and Trace Countour.

You will have to work with the find/detect edge tools to set how far away from the bitmap you want the cut line.

I myself have not worked with Corel's version of contour for to long so I don't know all the little tricks to make it work. I have worked with others though, like engravelabs and flexi signs.

Chuck Burke
10-15-2004, 10:04 PM
Hi Shaddy,

First you did THAT on your Laser? I am impressed. WOW!. You are my new best friend. ( Until of course someone else comes along {insert gregarious laugh here} )
Anyway, on Yahoo you will find in there GROUPS, a forum called Corel Draw Users Group or CDUG. Lots of friendly folk there and lots of good information.
Yahoo also has a Laser Engraving group with more great stuff.
Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration.

Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works