Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Laser Etched TurtleArt Rubber Stamps



I am thrilled by the reaction to my 3D Printed TurtleArt Stamps project. Sarah Barclay and a group of teachers and students at UCC Prep ICT also programmed TurtleArt procedures to turn into clay containers! I love to see how people remix my projects: it inspires me to revisit my own work and change it in some way. A characteristic of a good maker is to always be updating your projects, observing how people use them, misuse them, or find new uses for them and modifying your work to make it easier to build, more durable, more remixable.

Recently I was invited to a friend's school to try out some rubber he purchased to use with the maker space's Epilog Laser.


This amazing tool is incredibly expensive. It is also incredibly easy to use, as it turns out.

I programmed a couple of simple TurtleArt procedures and cropped one of my TurtleArt procedures I created for the clay tile project. We converted the .png files to .eps files in Illustrator, removed the background color, then sent them to the Epilog to engrave the rubber. The laser cutter uses a driver that is just like a print driver interface. Consulting the manual, my friend made the necessary adjustments for engraving rubber rather than cutting wood. With that we sent the job to the printer. We wanted it to etch a 4 inch square design. The rubber comes in 8 1/2 inch X 11 inch sheets. The laser started etching. I think it took less than ten minutes to complete one stamp.


My friend repositioned the laser head and we were able to print three more designs on a single sheet of rubber.


I cut the stamps apart with a ruler and an X-Acto knife. 

Once home I designed a handle in Tinkercad. I 3D printed the handle on my Thing-O-Matic, then used a machine screw to attach the handle to a 4 inch by four inch block of wood that I had sunk a screw hole in, so the screw head would sit below the rubber stamp.


I found oversized ink pads on Amazon. They allow me to coat the stamp in one good press.


My son enjoys coloring in the patterns that the stamp makes. With a little math and a ruler one could create beautiful wrapping paper or even decorate the walls of a room.




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