Half-Life 2 “lambda” logo machined from 1/2″ (12mm) aluminum
A common beginning mistake is to cut a floating object (like the lambda in the logo shown above) without attaching it to the main object. For the lambda, three thin tabs connect it to the circle around it (which isn’t necessary in the logo itself, which is printed).
The Half-Life 2 logo being drawn in CAD software
The red and black image in the background is an image that I found on the Internet somewhere. I simply used a 3 point circle command to place the circles, then draw some lines for the lambda image in the middle. To draw the number “2,” I inserted some True Type Text, since I figured that would be easier than redrawing it.
I could have used some automatic tracing software to do this, but for CAD parts, where exacting precision is preferred, doing it by hand is more appropriate, since it is very easy to specify exact circles, where the tracing software may not be so smart, and would probably result in a sloppy drawing.
If you think the above logo is cool, and you want someone to cut something similar, or perhaps modify your computer case into a true gaming system, then check out the various waterjet job-shop listings.
To view a video of drawing of the above part, making a tool path, and starting the cutting, see below.
The total time to draw the part was approximately 10 minutes, and the video is about 14 minutes long. Cutting time was about 3-½ minutes in ½” (1.2 cm) aluminum.
And, of course, once you’ve created the toolpath to make the part on a waterjet, it’s a simple matter to make the same shape in a different material. Simply choose the material, let the software recalculate speeds for the new material and within minutes you are ready to begin making the same part from a different material.
Here, the Half-Life 2 logo is made from Plexiglas®
It is perfectly legal to make a logo like the above for your own use. It is not legal to sell them or give them away without express written permission of Valve. Please don’t ask us to send you one.
Video of making the Half-Life 2 logo
You can download a video of me drawing the Half-Life 2 logo, starting with a JPG file. The video shows how to trace an image, along with some drawing techniques using OMAX’s Layout software (which I helped write). The video shows drawing techniques that work for any waterjet system and is about 14 minutes long.
Right-click on the link and choose “Save As” to save the file locally and watch it.
Some useful links
If you are interested in making your own parts that reflect your own hobbies, you can look into having a waterjet job shop cut pieces for you.
- waterjet job shops (places that can cut stuff for you)
- waterjet machine tool manufacturers (places that can sell you machines, or refer you to even more job shops)
Techniques for working with brittle materials, such as granite and marble.
When cutting laminated materials with a waterjet, you need to use some techniques to keep the water from getting between the layers and ruining the material.
A discussion about how to cut glass with a waterjet to minimize broken and chipped parts.
Parts made by waterjet
Four pages of various parts made by waterjets, plus some pictures of waterjets and screenshots of software.