Valentine’s Day is coming so I decided I would make something small but sweet for my boyfriend. Browsing through ideas, I came across this cheesy puzzle key chain piece. Since I have formed a habit of asking “how is this made” everything I see something, I immediately thought of waterjet and laser cutter. “I can do this myself!” -So it was decided.
I went ahead and made my own design in Inkscape.
Then I made a prototype for this design with scrap wood on laser cutter.
Wow the key chain hole looks way bigger and disproportionate than I thought. Other than that, things looks quite as I hoped.
With design modification, I went ahead and tried the engraving power settings of the laser cutter on steel. TherMark was used for this application. After some power and speed trials, I got a pretty good result.
Next is to actually cut the key chain on waterjet. I used 1/4” steel.
I happened to find a big scrap piece that lay around and is of right thickness. Converting Inkscape file into .DXF has been proven to be such a pain. Due to the curve portion on the puzzle piece outline, OMAX (the waterjet program used at Georgia Tech) thinks the tool radius is too big for these curves, I had to “trick” the waterjet into thinking the curves are accessible. By deleting some connecting points and instead inserting straight lines, I made water jet working for this file. The result looks like this:
Since I have previous straightened out the puzzle curves, now the puzzle pieces will no longer fit.
Dremel is here to help! After much sanding, engraving, and putting on key chain hoops, the file product is here!
Hope my boyfriend will like this little surprise gift 🙂