Engraving Acrylic for Mother’s Day

Life is hard when you are a 7th Grader who doesn’t have a present for Mother’s Day.  However, have no fear…ShopBot to the rescue!

The Set-up:  A student at my school…let’s call him “D”…approached me at the end of the day and told me that he wanted to make something nice for his Mom for Mother’s Day.  He had noticed that I had recently been engraving business card sized pieces of acrylic as giveaways for my robotics club and he wanted to make something similar.  I had already made up fixtures for my ShopBot Desktop using some MDF I had available so I figured that it would be an easy job:


Designing in PartWorks:  “D” just wanted to engrave something simple so I had him create some text and then showed him how to wrap the text along a curve…He was amazed and the math teacher in me was thrilled to be able use the words “arc” and “chord” in a conversation with a 12 year-old!  We were also able to find a nice bitmap picture of a heart that we were able to easily import into PartWorks and trace with a vector.  This was the first time “D” had used PartWorks and it was interesting to see how quickly he was able to pick it up.

PartWorks1          PartWorks2 (320x240)


We then walked through the process of calculating toolpaths for the project using a Ø 0.125″, 60° v-bit carbide engraving tool that I purchased for milling circuit boards.


Results:  After adjusting the Z-Zero of the machine to the top surface of the acrylic, it only took a few minutes to produce the finished parts!

Ready2Cut               Results1


Needless to say that Mom was happy and “D” learned something.  He’s already talking to me about the other projects that he wants to try to make using my ShopBot Desktop. What projects have you been creating? I’d love to hear about it.



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