Front - with a paper protector on top (Click to enlarge)
Back - where you can see the burn marks of the laser
Front again of the 30mm markers.
Well, I'm going to count this experiment as a success, but I did have a little bit higher hopes.
I've been wanting to make something using this service for several years now, but couldn't quite decide what to actually make. The service is called Ponoko. They make custom laser cuts, along with 3d printing. They are actually located in New Zealand, and that was part of the reason why I had not tried them sooner, because it cost an arm and a leg to ship anything from NZ to the USA. Since they have become more popular though, they've opened up a few other laser cutting shops (one in California, and I think one in the UK). So shipping wasn't too bad.
I was also caught a little off guard with this project, because I learned (I think Thursday night), that they were having a 30% off sale for "Black Friday". I figured this was a great time to test the whole thing out, and save a few bucks in the process.
There was a slight learning curve on my end, as to how to actually prepare the files for them. Their website was very helpful with that, but there was one hiccup, because one webpage said to make the lines .01" thick, and they had a tutorial video that said to make them .001" - turns out it was the .01". I was also slightly confused as to how to set up the "etched image" part. I was actually expecting them to be completely black and "burned in", but instead they are much lighter. Still a cool effect, so I'm not really complaining. I'm also glad that at the last minute, I decided to put the dark outline around the skull image.
I'm not sure what to do with the "flip side" - I may either paint them, so you don't see all the burn marks from the laser, or I may make some paper stickers with a nice design. We'll see. They are also approx a 1/4" thick. The edges are almost black from the burnt MDF board (and they smell like a campfire too).
Anyway, I have a nice set of custom markers now. Overall I'm happy. I *might* make another attempt, and this time use the clear acrylic plastic material. But I'll probably wait for another sale. The cost of these was approx $35. (I'm also going to try to use the background material to make a tray to hold the models in a tournament situation, so it won't go to waste). Oh, and I should mention that the turn-around time was a little over 2 weeks.
Also, the one other shape is for "Warmachine" to use as a melee gauge. I made a total of 5 skull markers (I plan to use these as Corpse tokens), 5 "x" tokens (using the Malifaux font), 7 blank 30mm, 2x 40mm blanks, and one 50mm token. I threw in the three small "sticks" too - they might be used for warmachine too, for measuring blast damage from a 30mm base.