Layered Paper Coaster: GCMC Test

A few more attempts at layered paper construction, done with plain white Art Paper of various vintages:

Layered paper coasters
Layered paper coasters

The middle one comes from a version of the original GCMC marquetry shape generator, tweaked to produce just the frame SVG, called by a Bash script to change the sash width, and imported into LightBurn for laser control:

LightBurn - Marq-6-0.6-0.0mm
LightBurn – Marq-6-0.6-0.0mm

I generated the plain disk for the bottom by deleting all the inner shapes.

The left and right coasters use LightBurn’s Offset tool to reduce the size of the interior holes on successive layers:

LightBurn - Marq-8-0.40-20.0mm-Layers
LightBurn – Marq-8-0.40-20.0mm-Layers

Although the GCMC version turned out OK, you’ll note it lacks the central disk, as I was unwilling to tweak the code enough to make the disk diameter vary with the kerf width.

Applying the LB Offset tool requires selecting only the inner shapes (it has an option to ignore the inner shapes) and applying the appropriate offset. Because the tool remembers its previous settings, it’s straightforward to step the offset from 1.0 mm to 7.0 mm on successive patterns.

Applying glue (from a glue stick!) to the bottom of each disk, aligning them atop each other, and pressing them together becomes tedious in short order. If I had to do a lot of these, I’d be tempted to add three wings (not at 120° angles!) around the perimeter with holes for pegs, then stacking the layers in a fixture to ensure good alignment. A polygonal perimeter would simplify trimming the tabs.

Spray adhesive might be faster, but each layer would have sticky edges and the finished coaster would become a dust collector par excellence.

I like the overall effect, but …

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

# Layering paper cutouts
# Ed Nisley KE4ZNU - 2022-08-21
Flags='-P 4 --pedantic' # quote to avoid leading hyphen gotcha
SVGFlags='--svg --svg-no-movelayer --svg-opacity=1.0 --svg-toolwidth=0.2'
# Set these to match your file layout
ProjPath='/mnt/bulkdata/Project Files/Laser Cutter/Coasters/Source Code'
Script='Marquetry Layers.gcmc'
[ -z "$1" ] && leaves="6" || leaves="$1"
[ -z "$2" ] && aspect="0.50" || aspect="$2"
[ -z "$3" ] && center="0.0mm" || center="$3"
sashmax=$(echo "$sashmin+$sashstep*($numlayers-1)" | bc)
echo min: $sashmin step: $sashstep max: $sashmax
for sash in $(seq $sashmin $sashstep $sashmax) ; do
echo Output: $fn
gcmc $Flags $SVGFlags --include "$LibPath" \
-D "NumLeaves=$leaves" -D "LeafAspect=$aspect" -D "CenterDia=$center" \
-D "Sash=${sash}mm" \
"$ScriptPath"/"$Script" > "$fn"
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// Marquetry Layers
// Ed Nisley KE4ZNU
// 2022-08-21 layered paper test piece
layerstack("Frame","Leaves","Rim","Base","Center","Tool1"); // SVG layers map to LightBurn colors
// Library routines
FALSE = 0;
// Command line parameters
// -D various useful tidbits
// add unit to speeds and depths: 2000mm / -3.00mm / etc
if (!isdefined("OuterDia")) {
OuterDia = 120.0mm;
if (!isdefined("CenterDia")) {
CenterDia = 20.0mm;
if (!isdefined("NumLeaves")) {
NumLeaves = 8;
if (!isdefined("Sash")) {
Sash = 4.0mm;
if (!isdefined("LeafAspect")) {
LeafAspect = 0.50;
// Leaf values
LeafStemAngle = 360.0deg/NumLeaves; // subtended by inner sides
LeafStemHA = LeafStemAngle/2;
LeafOAL = OuterDia/2 - Sash - (Sash/2)/sin(LeafStemHA);
LeafWidth = LeafAspect*LeafOAL;
L1 = (LeafWidth/2)/tan(LeafStemHA);
L2 = LeafOAL - L1;
// message("Len: ",LeafOAL," L1: ",L1," L2: ",L2);
LeafTipHA = to_deg(atan(LeafWidth/2,L2)); // subtended by outer sides
LeafTipAngle = 2*LeafTipHA;
// message("Width: ",LeafWidth);
// message("Tip HA: ",LeafTipHA);
LeafID = CenterDia + 2*Sash;
LeafOD = LeafID + LeafOAL;
// message("ID: ",LeafID," OD: ",LeafOD);
// Find leaf and rim vertices
P0 = [(Sash/2) / sin(LeafStemHA),0.0mm];
m = tan(LeafStemHA);
y0 = -(Sash/2) / cos(LeafStemHA);
if (CenterDia) { // one sash width around center spot
a = 1 + pow(m,2);
b = 2 * m * y0;
c = pow(y0,2) - pow(LeafID/2,2);
xp = (-b + sqrt(pow(b,2) - 4*a*c))/(2*a);
xn = (-b - sqrt(pow(b,2) - 4*a*c))/(2*a);
y = xp*tan(LeafStemHA) - (Sash/2) / cos(LeafStemHA);
P1 = [xp,y];
if (FALSE) {
message("a: ",a);
message("b: ",b);
message("c: ",c);
message("p: ",xp," n: ",xn," y: ",y);
else { // force sharp point without center spot
P1 = P0;
P2 = P0 + [L1,LeafWidth/2];
P3 = P0 + [LeafOAL,0mm];
P4 = P3 + [Sash/sin(LeafTipHA),0.0mm];
P5r = P4.x * sin(LeafTipHA) / sin(180deg - LeafStemHA - LeafTipHA);
P5 = rotate_xy([P5r,0.0mm],LeafStemHA);
P6 = rotate_xy(P4,LeafStemAngle);
t2 = pow(tan(-LeafTipHA),2);
a = 1 + t2;
b = -2 * t2 * P4.x;
c = t2 * pow(P4.x,2) - pow(P3.x,2);
xp = (-b + sqrt(pow(b,2) - 4*a*c))/(2*a);
xn = (-b - sqrt(pow(b,2) - 4*a*c))/(2*a);
y = (xp - P4.x)*tan(-LeafTipHA);
// message("p: ",xp," n: ",xn," y: ",y);
P4a = [xp,y];
P6a = rotate_xy(P4a,LeafStemAngle - 2*atan(P4a.y,P4a.x));
if (FALSE) {
message("P0: ",P0);
message("P1: ",P1);
message("P2: ",P2);
message("P3: ",P3);
message("P4: ",P4);
message("P4a: ",P4a);
message("P5: ",P5);
message("P6: ",P6);
message("P6a: ",P6a);
// Construct paths
LeafPoints = {P1,P2,P3,[P2.x,-P2.y],[P1.x,-P1.y]};
if (P0 != P1) {
StemArc = varc_ccw(P1 - [P1.x,-P1.y],LeafID/2);
StemArc += [P1.x,-P1.y];
LeafPoints += StemArc;
RimChord = length(P4a - P6a);
RimThick = OuterDia/2 - Sash - length(P5);
RimPoints = {P4a,P5,P6a};
RimArc = varc_cw(P4a - P6a,P4a.x);
RimArc += P6a;
RimPoints += RimArc;
//--- Lay out the frame
if (CenterDia) {
repeat(NumLeaves;i) {
a = (i-1)*LeafStemAngle;
repeat(NumLeaves;i) {
a = (i-1)*LeafStemAngle;

4 thoughts on “Layered Paper Coaster: GCMC Test

  1. I’m way lazier than you are; I’d put tapeless sticky sheets on the back of the full paper stock before cutting, then peel and stack.

    1. After a decade of 3D printing, the thing I’m having trouble with is how much scrap comes out of a laser cutter: all those “inside” pieces that are too small to make anything else.

      Using a whole sheet of sticky just to cover those lattices seems wasteful in some sense I can’t define.

      Gotta get over it, eh?

      1. Maybe you can turn one of the 3d printers into a CNC glue dispenser. :)

        1. Now that is one of the most horrifying suggestions I’ve ever seen: on point, perfectly sensible, eminently practical, and exactly matches my character flaws.

          You devil, you!

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