I got my lasercut test back. It worked out pretty well.
I was surprised at how well the fine detail came out on the GPS track. One blob is missing; I had a widowed little lozenge at bottom right that was detached. Fair enough. But all the fine details came out surprisingly well on the cardstock. The letters came out great too; all I did was convert some Postscript font text to a path and it came out fine.
The thing that didn’t work was the SF Bravo space (see earlier post). Entirely because of the double lines; Ponoko warns against doing that and they’re right. I also didn’t like the cardstock itself, particularly the burnt edges from the laser. To be expected, and no big deal since this was just a test cut, but unappealing. The solid grey areas came out surprisingly well; they sort of half burn it with the laser and it looked OK. Surprisingly the results came back glued to a wax paper back that I think was attached during the burning. Nice for not losing small parts, and frankly I’m amazed they can tune the laser so it cuts through the material but not the paper backing. I wonder how well that works with something like plexiglass.
Next project will be to re-do the Bravo, but do it right this time. First, use the right projection so the circles aren’t ovals! Second, create a series of stacked objects, one layer for each 1000′ of altitude. That’ll require some union magic in PostGIS. My goal is to get a stack of plexiglass layers with a hole in the middle so I can make a proper 3d object.