My university held a laser cutter workshop over the weekend to help students get familiar with their brand new toy. I saw it as an excellent chance to learn how to use an exciting new tool for prototyping, designing, building or whatever.
The cutter was very easy to use. There’s a standard Adobe Illustrator template that comes with a custom color swatch from the laser cutter manufacturers, and you simply use these to draw your design.
The red line cuts all the way through the material, and the gray-scale is used to choose shading.
On the first day of the workshop there was a business card challenge, where we had to put our skills to use to make a creative business card for a fictional person. I designed a business card for Carlos the Clown. I chose to cut it in tree, so the shadings came out nicely, although it was hard to see the difference in the shadings on the background. It’s hard to see from the screenshot, but a thin red line surrounds the business card, to instruct the laser cutter to cut all the way through. Here’s a picture of what I ended up with:
The second day of the workshop there was a design challenge where participants could team up and, design and build a product for a few different categories. I teamed up with a buddy of mine and we decided to design a lamp. It’s cut from plastic, wood and cork, and we made the sheet of wood bendable by cutting a large number of lines into it.
The curved wood is held in place by four pieces of plastic, which in turn is held up by two other pieces of plastic, and a string of cork. This picture should explain it a little better.
The cork string was connected, but I dropped the lamp one time and it sadly it broke.
We won 1st price in the design challenge, and took home a Raspberry Pi 2.
If you got your own laser cutter and want this lamp, send me an email and I’ll be happy to share the project file.