When you squint a bit and loose scale these mandarin oranges look a bit like small pumpkins. I wanted to rev up the Halloween spirit around the house and without a real pumpkin to carve I settled for the next best thing. That is of course a laser etched pumpkin carving onto a mini orange which is lit from the inside using an LED.
I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since there is so much water content in an orange, I thought it might not even remove any material because of this. Thankfully I was wrong and the fruit etches quite well! I downloaded the image from this Halloween carving site. I used trial and error on the 60 watt laser machine to see what speed and power would work the best to etch the orange. Turns out that a speed of 400 and a power of 40 works great to remove the outer orange color and leave the white inner part of the peel. With a speed of 100 and a power of 95, three passes is what it took to blast away the entire peel right to the flesh of the fruit. There is a bit of inconsistent cutting since the small fruits have a very curved surface making it impossible to keep the entire etching area in focus. A rotary unit could be used to solve one axis of curvature but the results were good enough without adding any more complexity…
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