For the reopening day I decided to make a new keyring design for the Dundee Maker Space. I chose to make them in the space so that they would be cheaper and show what we can make ourselves.
The previous design was made from laser cut, clear acrylic with the logo etched onto it. This did it’s job well but was a little bland in my opinion.
Like the old keyring I was going to be laser cutting the design which meant that I needed to make a path for the laser to cut around. James gave me a SVG file of the logo which I edited in Adobe Illustrator to neaten up the design which was slightly off in places.
For the outside of the design I used a white 6mm acrylic with the letters and brackets cut and the word “Space” engraved. This was done at 65 power and speed 4. The same goes for the orange acrylic on the inside. However this is ideally a bit thinner than the outside so that there’s no bump where the characters are.
The orange characters fit into the white but there is a problem doing it this way. The laser melts approximately 0.7 mm of material around the edges meaning they are far too loose to fit in neatly. To solve this problem I made the insides 0.15 mm thicker meaning that it would leave a gap of 0.2 mm of material each side. I did try making it 0.35mm to start off with so that there would be no gap but I found that I needed to use a mallet to push the letters in which resulted in me breaking the keyring.
To attach them to each other I used plastic weld (plastic cement) which chemical melts the two pieces together. This should make a join that’s as strong as the material itself. To apply it I used a paint brush.
Personally I’m very happy with the design of the keyring. It looks interesting and says a lot about what the maker space can do and a lot of people really liked the design however there are some problems with it that I would want to address before making another batch.
The orange pieces kept falling out. I did test this myself for a week and I personally didn’t have any problems but most of the people that took the keyring unfortunately lost some of their letters. This could be because: the gap was made too big and needs to be reduced, the plastic weld was ineffective and I need to use a different one, the way that I was applying it was ineffective and I should use of used a syringe, I should have made there more surface area for the weld to join on to. Or maybe I should do a combination of all these things. Please leave a comment if you have any other ideas for how I can make the design more durable.
The text saying “Space” is a bit hard to see in some lights. I did find that by using some acrylic paint you can make this a lot more visible so in future I think I will do that for the design.
Again I’m very happy with the design but there’s always room for improvement so let me know in the comments if you have any ideas for the next Dundee Maker Space keyring 😀