In my work I’ve been experimenting with distorting words and sometimes images. I’ve been working with the circle almost exclusively, but this time, I wanted to go back to some paper folding roots, but “fold” some mirror acrylic.
This project is still a work in progress, and this blog post shows my trial and errors. I will update as I figure this one out…
I began with a digital file in illustrator. I use a Glowforge Pro, so I set up the file accordingly and uploaded it to the Glowforge User Interface. I’ve been working on different settings to achieve the best etched effect, and for this one I was etching 1/4” mirror acrylic with a power of 85, speed of 140, and LPI 340. I also messed with the defocusing, but I’m not sold on that yet, so I will get back to you with those settings. You can see the results below.
I started assembly by printing out the digital file to scale. I then scored all of the fold lines and folded them accordingly. I used spray adhesive to attached the cut out pieces to the paper. I used paper as a base so that it would be flexible. But I ran into some issues…
ERROR NUMBER ONE
I didn’t take into consideration the thickness of the acrylic sheet. This caused problems when folding. The peak folds work fine, but the valley folds didn’t have enough space to fold in…. so I moved onto…
ATTEMPT NUMBER TWO
I pulled out some vinyl to use as the flexible backing of my mirror. This would allow me to attach the pieces with enough space between them for folding tolerances.
ERROR NUMBER TWO
The vinyl was a little TOO flexible. I also hadn’t made the marks to properly align everything, so I was “eyeballing it" AKA not a dependable method. So I had differing gaps between my pieces. The vinyl adhesive also wasn’t strong enough to keep the pieces attached to it.
BUT it did allow more room for folding valley folds…
ATTEMPT NUMBER THREE
This attempt has yet to be completed, but I have some plans of action.
• Use a thinner acrylic or material (1/16” maybe?)
• Assemble it differently (strong tape?)
• Reprint paper with more allowance for folds