A Sausage with Your Name on It

Imagine going to a party and all the food you eat has your name on it …

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They’re quite the hit at parties! Well, as long as I spell everyone’s name right.

No, I didn’t use a branding typeset. I etched/burned them on a laser cutter. Here’s how:

 

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First, I dried a bag of little sausages. if you don’t dry them first, you’ll get bubbles as you etch. Water seriously impacts the burn. I didn’t just dry the outside, I wrapped each sausage in a couple layers of paper towel and squeezed it without breaking it open. See the material science just waiting to be learned!

Then, I made a quick jig to place the sausages in the laser so I could etch many at once and actually finish in my reserved time.

 

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I measured a sausage with my trusty 6-inch hem gauge which I always travel with.

The first time I did this I learned I’d picked one of the smallest sausages and so I had to tweak my process later.

I placed an 11×17 piece of paper on the laser table to hold the sausages. I made laser marks on the paper to tell me where to place the sausages. Then I used the same digital file to position and size the names.

So, in CorelDraw, I built a rectangle 2 inches wide by 3/4 inch high to match what I thought was every sausage’s dimensions.

I added two very tiny circles in the upper left and right of that rectangle, grouped it all together and replicated it across my 11×17 workspace, putting the rectangles anywhere. They don’t have to be aligned with each other. A very nice quick way to build a jig for many purposes.

I chose just the circles and had the laser cut them out. This would be faster than etching anything across this large area.

 

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This image shows the laser cut circles with two of the many rectangles photo-shopped in to give you an idea.

 

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Then I laid out the sausages on the paper lined up with the tiny holes.

I was planning on lining them up more densely than this but since I’d unknowingly chosen the smallest sausage on which to build my jig, I had to improvise. I used every other rectangle so that it was easy to remember a pattern to then build out the names.

I filled every other rectangle with an appropriately sized name and sent just the names to the laser.

 

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These are getting etched. You can see a bit of light coming off the first sausage. They’re also still showing signs of moisture but it’s subtle enough to still allow the words to be readable.

 

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Harvest them and get thee to a party!!

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