Rhino and Laser Cutter: Part 3

On the 25 of November, I went back to the dFab lab to laser cut the layouts.

This is where issues with trying to cut and print my images became apparent. Let me back up a bit, Ryan said that there is a general rule in the lab that you can’t use Illustrator files in Rhino. Images should be created directly in Rhino for best results. For example, when I opened the Illustrator file in Rhino, it automatically changed the scale of my layout. It also wouldn’t open the final Illustrator image without having to open all the images used to create it as well.

Ryan suggested adding a bleed to the the images to make cutting easier. However, I wasn’t sure how to do that and keep the completed images from looking messy. In other words, the dummy book would have the layout out on a singe page, not already punched-out. Therefore, I didn’t want a lot of bleed around the images.

The other thing he suggested was adding registration marks to the layouts, which I did. However, if you have read my previous entries, you will know that I’m not proficient in Illustrator and that I’m even worse with measuring and alignments. Therefore, when I went to finally print, the cuts were not measuring up exactly with the images.

Tyler was the lab technician that night, and he was extremely helpful. He helped me solve the issue by painstakingly measuring my registration marks to the dimensions of the outside of the paper. However, since my registration marks were not perfect, every sheet I wanted to print had to be hand calibrated which takes a lot of patience and time i.e. nightmare.

Once we did calibrate a few, the actual laser cutting process took a long time as well. Times ranged from 8 to 15 minutes per sheet. Therefore, I did not print many laser copies.

To live and learn, if I had to do process again, I would create the images in Rhino.

Published by Nancy Whitcraft

Graduate student in Masters in Illustration program.

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