Lazer cutting has assisted my work process since I first discovered it. It allows me to take a sketch, photograph, scan of a sculpture, recording of sound and create a physical object. I often use both negative and positive space in the creative process.
I have used both Coral Draw and Illustrator but my preferred method is Illustrator. This year I am going to be doing some designs in Rhino 3d and using that for laser cutting.
This design was created in Illustrator, taken form a photograph then sketched from a wacom graphic tablet.
In fab field we discussed other sources of laser cutting such as sun burning and laser assisted by Gas jet and water jet cutters. Laser cutting using a machine has to be precise when setting power, speed and modulation. When using the sun it is more of a free flow. This wonderful piece of work by Markus Kayser demonstrates it is called SUN CUTTER. Understanding how a laser cutter works and is made will help with designs and understanding its strengths and weaknesses, click link.
Having access to a laser cutter is not something everyone has and they are very expensive to purchase. There are groups and associations such as your local fablab and Hackspace that you can gain access to laser cutters and 3d printers but there is a trend starting around the world that will hopefully help with carbon footprint. You can go to Maker Cafes such as this one in Shortditch London and have a coffee whilst you print your proto type. 3d printed is a brilliant invention but has limitations in materials and also size, I still prefer a CNC cutter due to the size capacity but laser cutting gives you the ability to heat a bend into polymer sheets and you can etch a design into plywood sheets that weakens the joint enabling you to create a bend Laser cutting 3d objects. Open source instructions and software to create your own Laser cutter Here. You can get 2 axis and 3 axis laser cutters.
When using the cutter its important to use the correct DPI, power and speed for your material.
click here for a list of materials that are able to be cut in Fab labs.
Most materials can be cut such as plywood sheets, polymer sheets, paper in some machines metal but Vinyl cannot due to its toxicity.
I have decided to laser cut a 3d object using nodes as connectors and engraving to create a bend called sninges. I will be using perspex sheet 400mm x 600mm. SVG Downloaded from Thingiverse
Creating a press fit of two separate pieces is called a Kerf is important it requires the measurements of the design to be in relation to the width of the material. Click here to demonstrate. You can also use a node to interlock two separate pieces together click here for example.
I have imported SVG file and will be engraving a letter onto the box. You use stroke for cutting and fill for engraving when using Illustrator.
I laser cut the file and the sninges were a success and defiantly a design I will use again but the nodes were not successful and very difficult to get the right measurement so that they lock together.
My future projects regarding laser cutting will be similar to this work by YKsong Model of the Brain
This work was done by Bert Simon and he has created paper sculptures using open source Blender
There are so many creative ways you can use laser cutter the StippleGen is something I will be demonstrating throughout my fine art studies
StippleGen can be explained and downloaded