As with all good projects, what seems like it shouldn’t take long to whip out, winds up consuming 10x more time than expected. This project was no exception.
It began with my wife wanting the word HOPE in a fancy script and translated into metal that could be hung on the wall of our home. Immediately, this project screamed WATERJET ME! The one thing I’ve learned with waterjetting is that the more continuous the path, the shorter the cut time and the less the finished part will cost. And at $2 per minute that the pump is running, designing the part with the fewest starts and stops to cut holes is a significant cost savings.
After playing around with different fonts in CorelDraw and nothing really hitting the mark, a search for a good script was necessary. After a quick search on the web, I found the script below designed by José de Wal.
I contacted José and she allowed me to use her design for this project. If you have any need of logo design, I highly recommend José, she’s a great pleasure to work with. Just go to http://www.jose-design.nl/ to see what she’s working on.
This design is elegant, and that is what makes it so attractive. However, some of the sections are so thin that waterjetting them would not be practical. Minimal adjustments were made to thicken these areas and the first examples were cut. One aspect that I didn’t anticipate was how linear CorelDraw would interpret the curves.
After talking to the folks at TechShop, this is a common problem encountered when using vector graphics with CNC machines such as the waterjet or vinyl cutter. They had a plug-in that “smoothed” the curves and allowed the .dxf file to be taken to the FlowJet software and subsequently cut on the waterjet machine.
This project turned out well after much finessing of the files and process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, I definitely learned a great deal about the whole process from data creation, to file conversion, to cutting on the waterjet.