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Thread: How to build an Eiffel Tower...

  1. #1

    How to build an Eiffel Tower...

    Hi all,

    When I have time it's been fun making some toys and cool displays just to show off what the laser can do (beyond the obvious commercial applications). But, I have found many of the patterns pretty frustrating when it comes time to figure out how to put them together since most have no instructions, and even the commercially sold ones are very weak in terms of "how to" assistance.

    A few days ago I downloaded the Eiffel Tower pattern after being inspired by a previous thread to try and make my own. Now that it's done, I figured it's high time I start contributing more to the forum, so I put together a little photo tutorial to share with everyone since a lot of folks seem interested in doing this...

    You van find the complete tutorial on-line at: http://gallery.me.com/erik.king#100190

    Here are a few additional tips to go with the pix and captions:

    1) The pattern (as downloaded from the Creek) has a bunch of extra parts in it. All you need is what is shown in the first several pix - so you may want to eliminate the spares.

    2) The pattern is set up to engrave the squares on the "floors", but on mine I cut them instead as I liked keeping the airy look for everything.

    3) I have had good luck using plain out white school glue (Elmers type) as it is easy to apply and dries clear. I recommend applying liberal amounts and smearing it around the joined areas to penetrate and seal all the openings and get a good bond. This makes the finished piece a lot stronger.

    4) I find blue tape to be essential to hold things together while building as this glue takes awhile to set.

    5) If you keep a wet rag in your work area it's easy to cure the "sticky fingers" syndrome and wipe up random glue drips.

    6) The easiest place to go wrong with assembly is to not notice that each of the 4 sides (at each of the three levels) needs to be put together so that the tabs alternate around the corners of the four sides (go tab, blank, tab, blank -not- tab, tab, blank) because they will fit fine at the sides if done backwards - but than the floor will not fit on top.

    This is actually a pretty simple project and I agree that it generates a "wow" factor. Everyone who sees it is impressed!

    Have fun (and a Happy Thanksgiving)!
    Erik King

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,708
    That's GREAT! I wish more people posted step-by-step instructions for people like me!

    How long did it take you to cut it and assemble it?
    Epilog Mini 24 - 45 Watt, Corel Draw X5, Wacom Intuos Tablet, Unengraved HP Laptop, with many more toys to come.....





    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have one idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas... George B. Shaw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    185
    I'm cutting mine now, I am using the prism acrylic I just received. My plans are to see what it looks like with a small light inside of it.
    Thanks for the Gallery pictures, those are great. With instructions like that, I can't go wrong unless I have one to many Scotch's.
    SR Engraving
    Irving, TX
    Epilog 35W, Corel X3 AND "How about those COWBOYS"...this will be the year???

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clarkson View Post
    That's GREAT! I wish more people posted step-by-step instructions for people like me!

    How long did it take you to cut it and assemble it?
    About 30 minitues to cut (but I have 120 watts so I can cut at 100% speed, not sure if it would be slower on a lesser power machine), and about 45 minutes to assemble (but it would only take 15 to do it the 2nd time I think).
    Erik King

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    43
    Thankyou so much for the post on the Eiffel tower. You've inspired me to make some for the grandkids for Christmas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SE Iowa
    Posts
    87

    Just a bit more info, please....

    Erik,

    I also read that same thread with great interest but I was/still am somewhat confused. First, what thickness of wood did you use? Secondly, I believe that there was more than one file originally posted so what is the exact name of the file that you used? And finally, what was the size of the engraving area on the machine that you used?

    Thanks a bunch and Happy Turkey,

    Don

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Garcia View Post
    I'm cutting mine now, I am using the prism acrylic I just received. My plans are to see what it looks like with a small light inside of it.
    Thanks for the Gallery pictures, those are great. With instructions like that, I can't go wrong unless I have one to many Scotch's.
    Phil - I would love to see a photo of yours when you are done. I was planning on cutting one about 50" tall out of 1/4 glass on the waterjet and using some lighting on it. Yours might give me an idea of how it might look before I commit the cutting hours. Thanks.
    Jack

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Gares View Post
    Erik,

    I also read that same thread with great interest but I was/still am somewhat confused. First, what thickness of wood did you use? Secondly, I believe that there was more than one file originally posted so what is the exact name of the file that you used? And finally, what was the size of the engraving area on the machine that you used?

    Thanks a bunch and Happy Turkey,

    Don
    I used 1/8" (nominal) baltic birch plywood. It's cheap (about $12 for a 5' x 5' sheet) and cuts pretty nicely. Tends to be a bit warped, but some tape and or vacuum table fixes that. My laser is 18" x 32" but I cut the ply for max. yield so I made it out of three smaller sheets (I think they were 12" x 24") - probably could rearrange some more and get it out of less material but I did not bother.

    The posted file I used was kind of messed up, so I'll try to build a new one that is more ready to use later on and post it to this thread.
    Erik King

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Harper View Post
    Phil - I would love to see a photo of yours when you are done. I was planning on cutting one about 50" tall out of 1/4 glass on the waterjet and using some lighting on it. Yours might give me an idea of how it might look before I commit the cutting hours. Thanks.
    Might be cool! I'm planning to make another one out of clear acrylic and maybe put some LED's inside it. We're also toying with the idea of adding our own (maybe illuminated) sign letters to it for an advertisement for our commercial sign company (which I also manage). It would be very cool...but I haven't decided if it's worth the trouble just for the grins at this busy time of year.
    Erik King

  10. #10
    Jack, You have taken my idea, I have wanted to make it out of glass but I do not have a waterjet. I am planning to cut stencil and cut it with my sandblaster. If you do do it in glass I definatly want to see it.
    Vytek 4' x 8', 35 watt. Epilog Legend 100 watt, Graphtec plotter. Corel x-4, Autocad 2008, Flexi sign, Adobe Illustrator, Photo Impact X-3 and half a dozen more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    185
    I got it cut and just kinda held it in place by hand to see what it looks like, and it's unbelievable. The prism effect makes it look like it's made of crystal. When I finish I will post a pic.
    SR Engraving
    Irving, TX
    Epilog 35W, Corel X3 AND "How about those COWBOYS"...this will be the year???

  12. #12
    Erik,
    Thanks for the tutorial. It's great and the results look fantastic.

    Phil,
    Can you tell about this prism acrylic? Where to get it etc.?

    Thanks a lot.
    Bob Keyes
    CI Engraving

    60 Watt Chinese Laser (yeah,I like it), Corel X3, Engravograph, KM 2550, Heat Press.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    185
    I'm using florescent light fixture diffusers that a electrician friend brought over, just to see if I want them to practice on. There are different kinds of diffusers on the market and these are the prism type. Most commerical electricians throw these away went they do remodeling jobs. I have now contacted a couple of community groups that are pushing GREEN(recycle-able) products. Since these diffusers are not ending up at the dump but instead on Christmas trees as recycle-able ornaments and things like Eiffel Towers, Windmills, etc..I think it's a great idea. I am my part of being Green. I'll get off my soap box now....
    SR Engraving
    Irving, TX
    Epilog 35W, Corel X3 AND "How about those COWBOYS"...this will be the year???

  14. #14

    Updated Patterns

    Hi All,

    As promised here are the files I used that have been cleaned-up and rearranged a bit. I am posting the same file in three formats: CDR, AI and EPS so that you can download the posted ZIP file and have them in the format you prefer. The file sizes are too large to attach to this posting (and for some reason the forum does not allow .ai files!), so I have posted them on my own file server so that you can download them by clicking on this link instead: http://snipr.com/6zcbm-qth1fj

    Please note that I did not create these - all credit belongs to the original poster/creator (whoever that was) all I did was get them ready for use a bit.

    Please also not that because I use a ULS laser I have everything set to be a RGB red (255/0/0) hairline (.001) so that everything will vector cut. There are no raster engraved items in the file. If you use an Epilog you may need to adjust color and line width to suit your driver. They are also set up in one 32" x 24" sheet - if you have a smaller bed you will need to re-nest them on a couple of smaller sheets instead.

    Hope this helps - have fun!
    Erik King

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SE Iowa
    Posts
    87

    Corel X3 or lower file

    Erik,

    How 'bout uploading a Corel file of the tower in X3 or lower?

    Don

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