Where I live it's been a loooong, extra cold winter. It's still winter here buuuuuut, I am looking forward to spring and summer -
especially with my new Happy Pants!
Happy Pants are great because when you can't think of anything positive, when you're only looking at the cup as half empty - just look down at your pants. That cup will be half full in no time!
Do you need Happy Pants too? Here's what you gotta do!
Step 1: Everything you need to make Happy Pants...
a laser engraver / etcher machine.
i used the 2 available from my local makerspace (assenworks): the Epilog Helix (little blue) and the ILS from Universal Laser Systems(big red). (The only reason I used two was because one got shipped away before I finished)
one design program that will work with your laser (for me that is Corel Draw)
a happy design. i created a crossword style piece of art with synonyms for happy or energized!
Step 2: Create Your Design
Happy pants need a happy design. Corel Draw works seamlessly with the laser machines at our makerspace so it was used to create my Happy Crossword Design.
At least you need to be able to import your artwork into a design program that can "talk to" your laser etcher! Since I designed this from scratch it was easy enough to manipulate it when the time came.
Here are the files I used...
Step 3: Test Your Design: Papercut
I tested my design by vector cutting it out on paper first.
To test, the design had to be changed. To cut (as opposed to etch) the following was modified:
Step 4: Test Your Design: Machine Settings
Now we're going to send the design to your laser.
Step 5: Test Your Design: Laser Machine Settings
Now that your design has been sent to the Laser Machine let's do the following:
The results are pretty cool. The laser machine bed is full of tiny letters! That I cleaned up!
Step 6: Examine Results
I put the resulting design on the jeans and decided that it was pretty good. I liked it. What do you think? There really are sooooo many possibilities aren't there? What can you think of? What do you want to see laser etched on your (Happy) jeans?
Step 7: Run The Design: Design Settings
Now that we're ready to run the design we're going to make sure the design is ready to be etched and NOT vector cut. If you're design is in vector cut mode let's take it back to etch mode by changing it's Object Properties in Corel Draw.
Change the line width property from Hairline to none.
Change the fill type to Uniform Fill (if it was set to none).
Now, Select File->Print and select your laser cutter. This time I selected the ILS machine (big red!). Little Blue (the Helix) was taking a vacation.
Oh, one thing I did here was flip the design by 180 degrees because I knew my material would be put in upside down.
Step 8: Run The Design: Machine Settings
You will set up your material and machine settings for the Universal Laser Systems machine in the Universal Control Panel. In the Universal Control Panel do the following:
Before hitting play I tried to take measurements of where the design was on the laser bed and where I would want the design to be etched. I then tried to match this design position on the software side (in the Universal Control Panel). Make sure the laser machine is on.... then hit the green play button.
Step 9: Run The Design: Machine Execution
The machine will start running right away and you will see if your placement in the x,y,z space has been close… this was pretty close. If you are worried while running the design about the Power being too little or too great it is easy to go into the file while it is running by hitting "play" on the machine, scrolling down using the up, down arrows and increasing, decreasing the power, speed or ppi, using the left, right arrows.
Step 10: Conclusion
Note, I did this 8 times: the 2 legs, front and back around the lower leg, then I running it all again one 'sheet' higher. It took a long time and there was probably a more efficient way to do this. Any suggestions?
Pretty happy with the results.
Warning: Happy Pants have the possibility to make you deliriously happy. Please.... try this at home!