Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 21, 2011

Halloween Orange Laser Etched into a Glowing Mini Pumpkin

at 11:39 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


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…

The following components were used to light the guts of the orange (that wants to be a pumpkin):

To make the circuit simply solder the resistor to the long lead of the LED, then connect the red battery snap wire to the free end of the resistor. Finally solder the black wire to the short lead of the LED. Now when a battery is connected your LED will light. Look at the completed circuit in the picture gallery below.

Please note that the LED shining through the mini orange has been exaggerated by using a long shutter speed. It does produce a nice glow with the room lights out but it doesn’t look like the very bright orange picture to the naked eye.


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5 Responses to “Halloween Orange Laser Etched into a Glowing Mini Pumpkin”

  1. Travis Says:

    I think the burnt edges make it look all the more sinister.

  2. SunGod Says:

    Yeah The burnt Edges look great.! Since You went down to the Pith , You might want to dunk the mini jack o’ lantern into some “real” lemon juice. The Citric acid will slow the decay.

  3. MAKE Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup Says:

    […] pool’s first Jack-o’-lantern of 2011—a leering, laser-cut, LED-lit orange from Hacked Gadgets blogger Alan Parekh. I’m also pretty stoked about the bolt-shouldered, needle-felted frog […]

  4. Laser etching mini Jack-o-lanterns from oranges « BuildLounge Says:

    […] you are seeing here, is a laser etched mandarin orange. Using a 60 watt laser and a little trial and error, this orange was transformed into a tiny […]

  5. Delta 3D Printer used to Laser Engrave - Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] at 2 watts but it isn’t much compared to real laser etching machines such as the one that was used to make the etched orange, this one for example is 60 watts. The result of the leather etching is quite nice but I am not […]

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