Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Nametag: Drew Zelac

In the beginning … there was an idea. In the end … there was a very different idea.

Before I began my design in Inkscape, I spent some time coming up with my two ideas. The first idea consisted of a bike with a tennis ball as one of the wheels and a wide tennis racquet somehow embedded in the other wheel. I soon realized that I would not have much space for my name in this design and it wouldn’t be able to incorporate many other of my interests as well.

This led to my second and final idea, which incorporates my fondness of beer and many other interesting details about me. I chose to use an svg image of a beer bottle with a visible crown on the bottle. Then I thought of a bunch of other things I like such as goldfish, popcorn, milk, and bad jokes. I tried to model the design on the beer bottle from other beer bottle designs I have seen previously, but with some modifications.

Creating the design in Inkscape

I looked through the fonts to try to find some nice ones, especially for the name itself and the est date. For the remainder of the text, I thought it best to have one font, to avoid having too many different fonts on the nametag. I also was able to find an image on Wikipedia Commons of my home state with my county highlighted, so I was able to use that as an image to raster on the bottle. I considered adding more in the space between my name and the Assembled at UIUC text as well as between the est and the cap, but I decided that it would be best to leave some white space on the design, as to not overcrowd it.

While I was creating the design, I did get stuck a few times and needed some help. One time in particular was when I was trying to change the original color on the bottle from black to clear, but doing this would change the cap to clear as well. After tinkering with it for a little while, I asked Duncan for help and he showed me the techniques needed in order to accomplish this. I also needed some resizing help, as the original beer bottle that I imported came in at around 13 inches tall.

PDF ready to print

After resizing the image from the original 13 inches, I made a pdf and proceeded to print it out. At this point I thought the design I made had been shortened to around 4 inches, but when I asked someone for help with the laser cutter, he noticed that it was much larger than 4 inches. On my computer, when I checked the height, I actually clicked a different tool, which showed me the height of a certain node in the design, rather than the entire design’s height. The final design in the pdf was actually 10 inches tall.

I decided to print it out at this size anyway, as my original ideal size was around 8 inches, which would be a bit shorter than a normal beer bottle. So I sent the print request to the laser cutter and waited for it to come out.

During the engraving
Finished product

I think it actually turned out pretty well. The only problem during the rastering and vectoring process was when the left edge was being cut out. My design had the red line to be cut on right on the edge of the layout. When the machine was cutting it out, it failed to cut a bit of the wood on the left side due to this and due to the wood that was being cut not completely against the edge of the machine. To fix this I had to sand a bit of the edge off.

If I had to change anything, I would have left a bit of space on the edge of the design, so the above edge problem wouldn’t occur. I would also make the design somewhat smaller. I wouldn’t want to make it too small, but it might have been better if it were around 6 inches instead of 10.

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