Lots of acrylic to choose from!

Lots of acrylic to choose from!

Ever wanted to know how to make acrylic laser cut jewelry? I took at workshop at the Chicago Public Library’s Maker Lab and got to learn just that.

Here's the design on the computer screen.

Here’s the design on the computer screen.

The software, while not at all intuitive, was easy to learn and it has some things in common with the software for the Silhouette Cameo, so if you have one of those for cutting stencils, paper and metal clay, you might get it more quickly.

Harold the Laser Printer

Here’s the machine we used to cut our acrylic with, that’s my purple piece loaded into the machine. This one is named Harold and the other laser cutter is named Washington. (The Maker Lab is located inside the Harold Washington Library.)

And finally, here’s the finished earring! The class was to make a monogram earring, I made these as a gift.

The finished earring!

The finished earring!

These have niobium ear wires, because the gift recipient has sensitive ears, plus two sterling jump rings. Though I followed the instructions (I thought) exactly, the loop on the top of the earring turned out to be very small and narrow. The only way I could get a jump ring to go through was to use a triangle shaped one. Luckily, I had some of those on hand.

Overall — it’s easy! If you get a chance to take a class in person, at a library Maker Lab, local Hacker Space or Tech Shop, I encourage you to do it!

If there isn’t one near you, you can still design your item and send the file to a company that will cut it for you.

I’m thinking about ways to combine acrylic laser cut elements with metal.

What about you? Have you tried any of the new equipment choices that are out there?

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