Week 6: Laser Cutting

In the presentation there were some really intriguing examples that I was impressed by. For example, there was a book that was laser-cut as a face, some cool textbooks, designer noris for sushi, food, paper, metal and so on. It is impressive how many different applications laser cutting has. Last year I attended a laser cutting workshop so I am more or less informed about the way it works.


Some useful tips that I came across during my research concerning the preparation prior laser cutting:

  • Use masking tape to avoid the smoke around the cut shapes
  • When designing digitally, use layers! Thus you can control the order of cuts, you can also create guides (one of the layers might be a target showing where the object is going to be situated; cut it first) (cut inner parts first, outer lines after because you want the piece secured in place), and you can also have several designs within one file.
  • Avoid overlapping lines (time consuming, edge might burn and not be clean cut)
  • Raster or vector? Raster takes a lot longer, but you can use line thickness. Vector on the other hand is really quick, but only follows a line which is really thin.
  • Nice trick for type: when engraving make a vector outline to get sharp edges


21/1/2016 Update

Today we had a laser cutting workshop in the soft modelling space with Charlie. I tried cutting a basic box and a bendable structure that is useful for making books. Why I chose doing this is because these are two components that I will use in my final project and I wanted to see what comes out.

Here are a few things to remember when using the laser cutter in Soft Modelling:

  • Document size: 400 x 600 millimetres (max size that fits into the machine)
  • RGB!
  • Use 0.001pt lines in Illustrator.
  •  Colour mapping is an excellent tool to control the order of cuts.

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