After getting familiar with the CNC drill on the laptop project, I decided to try cutting ASCII. Our demoscene club space needed a door sign so I figured why not do it in proper style ;).
H7 sketched the logo for me and converting it to a format suitable for the drill took quite a bit of testing. I first tried exporting the artwork from CorelDraw as AutoCAD project, failing horribly. The CAD software used at the CNC computer interpreted this as thousands of tiny lines that would’ve needed to be manually joined for the routing export to the drill control sofware to work.
I don’t know if it’s just me or the CAD software on the CNC computer, but I find it a very cumbersome and illogical piece of turd. This app has f.ex. very limited undo that is available only on certain tools. Yes, some tools have no undo history whatsoever! So, make a mistake and you’ll spend a while deleting the mistakes one by one and starting all over again. Editing tools seem to have no keyboard shortcuts either, so you’ll spend quite a lot of time selecting stuff from the pulldown menus.
Not that I’m exactly an expert with CAD sofware, but WTF anyway! What kind of a fucking dick designs software like this? Sure hope functionality (or moreover, the lack of it) like this is not de-facto CAD :).
I eventually managed to get the text imported somewhat ok-ish and so it was cutting time! Not sure what’s up, but the CAD program seemed to pick the contoured side for the characters at random. This resulted in some misaligned characters, messing up the ASCII a bit. No idea if the machining route could be forced somehow.. Anyway:
Thanks to H7 for the ASCII! Wonder if this is the first ASCII art door sign ever in the world..? :)
Some of the products I repair at work use TFT LCD display elements and out of these, a 10,4″ size unit (manufactured by NEC) is of most common variety. When these parts are swapped during repairs, I’m of course left with a defunct LCD which I have to take apart and sort for recycling (plastic/metal/electronics). Two of the most usable ‘DIY bits’ in these display elements are the enclosure back plates (2x very thin aluminium sheets, can be cut with scissors) and the backlight diffusion/dispersion element. The latter is basically a piece of plexi glass that has, on the side facing the visible LCD surface, a stack of different thin plastic films (think overhead projector slides) taped together. These films help scattering the light coming from the CCFL tube evenly across the whole surface. Some of these films are pretty fun for trippy eyeglasses whereas the plexi glass is good for, well, whatever plexi usually is good for :)
Returning to the issue LCDs in a short while, I’ll shortly present Kewlers, as the group hasn’t yet been mentioned in my previous posts and it relates to what I’m getting at here. Kewlers is one of the demoscene groups I’m a member with and one of the key visual elements of the group are the Kewlers and the Finger(tm) logos designed by Curly Brace. Those of you lazy enough NOT to visit the Kewlers website through the link above, the Kewlers logo looks like this: