The coasters above were laser cut from 1/8″ thick cork. The fonts represented include Times New Roman, Gill Sans, Courier New Bold, Futura Bold Italic, and Miso. We picked characters that seemed appropriate for making into single-piece coasters, and scaled them to size, assuming a 3″ diameter glass could be placed on top. For the caret, that meant a larger font size than for the octothorpe.9487K3), and are relatively inexpensive. They cut well with a hobby knife if you have a steady hand. As we’ve mentioned before, these days it is straightforward to get parts laser cut for you. Local laser cutting shops are becoming more common and online services like Ponoko and Pololu make it easy to run small projects like these. Here’s a larger set fabbed out of 6 mm hardwood plywood. Another set, laser cut out of 3 mm white acrylic. Mmmmmmm…. Curvy.
We started this project looking at some of the interesting variations amongst common fonts. Blowing them up to this size lets you start to see those differences more clearly than usual. Cutting them out as tangible forms takes it a step further– you can feel the curves. Also, they make pretty good coasters.