KSP (Kerbal Space Program) //// is awesome! Building, flying and blowing up space craft (mainly blowing up). I was googling around when I came across some amazing blueprints by ZeroFoxWereGiven. And my first thought turned to *That’s perfect for lasering*. Ben Showed me the great KVV mod (Kronal Vessel Viewer) and which you can get flat images of you rockets. With a bit of tweeking with the settings you can get a strong outline.

KVV I used(all just a guide, have a tweak to see if you can get it better):

general settings:

orthographic true

shadow 0

file quality max

Colour adjust:

black 0.0

white 0.33

gamma 0.75

edge detection:

normal power 1.5

depth power 1.5

select offset view to show it staged and stuff. (revert to go back)

Then use the screen shot button to make an image. (saves it in your KSP folder/screenshots).

That’s the KSP bit done.

Now to make it a vector for lasering. I’ve been using inkscape and gimp for this but use what you want. I have been thinking of trying a python version to make it more automated.

There are 2 main steps:

1. creating the etch pattern.

2. creating the outer cut line.

Etch Pattern

Creating the etch pattern is easy. Load the image into inkscape, select Path -> Trace bitmap. Put it in edge detection mode and put 0.250-0.350 in it’s threshold field, again tweaking is required to get the best result (use update to get a preview). Now you may need to select invert depending on the background colour. Click ok and your done, just center it to you page and set the colour to engrave for you laser.

Cut Line

The out line longer. A outline of a combined vector would be nice in inkscape, but for now we will use gimp to help. Import the original image to gimp, use the fuzzy select tool and click near the edge of the rocket. This selected the outside of it. Using the fill tool with fill whole section selected, fill the background white. To fill the rocket do Select -> Invert to select the rocket area, then with the same fill settings fill it black. Export it from gimp (new file better) and go back to inkscape.

In inkscape import that file and Path -> Trace bitmap it, this time we are using brightness cutoff (edge detection creates 2 lines which is bad for cutting). Set the threshold high about 1.00, again inverting may be need. Ok that, then set the colour to cut on your laser. Align to page center like the etch pattern. Now optionally you can use the Path -> Outset tool to move the cut away from the etch. I think 2 Outsets gives a nice finish. But remember to make sure the cut and etch are aligned after out-setting.

Boom we are done. Feed that file to your laser and your done. Lovely rockets to play with or hang on a wall (Playing so much more fun, I pretend).

Next to experiment with is staging

making it stay together in one piece then pull apart as you stage.