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LASER 
The laser cuts by 
concentrating a high 
level of energy in a small 
spot, melting, burning or 
vaporizing the material 
which consequently is 
being blown away by a 
gas jet, leaving a very 
high quality cut.
THE CUT 
The laser makes a very precise cut, 
usually perpendicular to the bed, with a 
thickness varying from 0,1 to 0,5 mm. 
The average is considered 0,2 mm 
In some particular cases, for example 
glass, it could have no thickness since it 
cuts through thermal shock. 
The characteristics depend on the 
machine being used. 
http://scottcampbellstudio.com/
THE CUT – make a frames
DESIGN THE 
NOTCHES 
Design notches on 
the borders of the 
pieces helps to 
obtain a more 
resistant piece. 
Usually the lenght is 
at least 3 times the 
thickness of the 
material
AN EXAMPLE: 
THE BOX 
The box is the first example 
of a project to laser cut. The 
easiest shape is the cross. 
If the box would be cut 
following these lines it 
would be impossible to 
mount due to the 
thicknesses, that in this 
case are not considered.
AN EXAMPLE: 
THE BOX 
Moving on to designing the joints 
of the pieces, you can see that 
once the pieces are mounted, the 
total lenght is less than what 
would be expected.
STEP 1: mark middle points
STEP 2: basic module
STEP 3: copy it up to the middle point
STEP 4: mirror it and fix the extra lines
STEP 5: copy or mirror it where there is the same base line
STEP 6: mirror around a 45° the basic module
STEP 7: follow the steps from 3 to 6 again
STEP 8: copy the basic module to the next border
STEP 9: mirror it and draw the last side
STEP 10: delete everything not needed and cut the extra lines
STEP 11: optimize the space and delete the duplicate lines
http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/
ASSEMBLING 
The easiest one is 
linear. It has no 
interference nor 
curves. It can be 
regular, or irregular. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012 
/04/13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
Usually you try to 
create perfectly 
specular pieces to 
facilitate the assembly. 
If that isn't possible, it's 
better to accentuate 
the differences to 
reduce the risk of 
mounting them 
incorrectly. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
In this case it's better to 
make the joints 
asymmetrical, to mount 
the surfaces in the right 
order.
ASSEMBLING 
The linear joint can be 
placed even in the 
centre of the surface. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
The geometry of the 
linear joints can be 
mixed with the use of 
screws to create 
resistant and reversible 
joints. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
The joints with screws 
can be used even on 
the edges. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
The joints might not be 
in a 90° angle, or with 
perpendicular walls. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
ASSEMBLING 
In flat joints you can 
even use different 
geometries. Ift he goal 
is to create a joint that 
is resistant without the 
use of glue you can 
use the puzzle shape. 
If you want to facilitate 
the gluing and 
centering of the pieces, 
you can use the comb 
shape. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
SNAPFIT 
Using the elasticity of 
the material you can 
even create snapfits. 
Usually they are very 
delicate elements. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
KEYS 
Other kind of joints use 
the rotation or sliding of 
an element. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
COMPLEX JOINTS 
Combining what we've 
seen above you can 
create highly articulate 
joints. 
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 
13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
JOINTS IN 2.5D 
Gluing different layers it 
is even possible to use 
the tipical milling joints. 
http://www.flexiblestream.org/Digit 
al-Wood-J oints-001.php
http://www.123dapp.com/make
THE CUT - gears
http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html
http://www.gearotic.com/
http://www.rayflectar.com/Rhino/gearGen.zip
http://www.lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/weirdgears1.htm
THE CUT - hinges
THE CUT - mechanism
http://507movements.com/
THE INLAY 
Using the precision of the cut you can 
wedge in pieces of different materials 
(different tipes of wood, different 
coloured plexiglass, etc.) to reproduce 
the effect of inlay.
THE DOTTED LINES  PARTIAL 
CUT 
Through the settings of the machine, it's 
possible to create dotted lines, by 
creating cuts that are interrupted. 
In the file they appear as continous 
lines, but with an assigned frequency of 
turning on and off the laser. 
This is very useful for paper, when you 
want to create folding lines.
http://www.witindustries.nl/
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kineticcreatures/kinetic-creatures
http://bryantyee.wordpress.com/
MATERIAL 
Easily cut: 
● plexiglass (max 5mm) 
● Wood/plywood (max 6mm) 
● Cardboard, paper, etc. 
● Rubber, leather, fabrics, 
etc. 
Not easily cut: 
● PC 
● PVC 
● Glass 
● Metal 
● Thich materials (including 
foams)
THE ENGRAVE 
By regulating the potency and the 
focus it is possible to incise lines, 
which don't cut through the material, 
onto the surface. 
The thickness and the depth of the 
incisions depends on the parameters 
of the machine, and the material. It's 
very useful even when wanting to 
number pieces which eventually has 
to be mounted together. Generally 
it's a good idea to make a test, to 
check the result. 
http://blog.ponoko.com/2010/07/14/laser-engraving- 
and-processing/
THE ENGRAVING 
It is possible to chose 
directly from the file closed 
paths within which you want 
to assing a filling. 
Based on the power it is 
possible to change the 
depth of the engraving.
THE IMAGES 
Using an analog principle, 
you can assign various 
power related to the 
brightness of the pixels in an 
immage. 
If the power is low you 
obtain a “grayscale print” of 
the immage. 
If the power is high you 
obtain an effect similar to 
the bas-releif.
Z-BUFFER IMAGES 
Some particular images 
store the depth values in a 
3D image, associating them 
to the brightness of the 
pixels. 
If you laser cut it the result is 
very similar to a bas-relief.
MATERIALS 
You can engrave: 
● Plexi glass (max 5mm) 
● Wood/plywood (max 6mm) 
● Cardboard, paper, etc. 
● Rubber, leather, fabrics, 
etc. 
● Anodized metals 
● Varnished metals 
● Glass 
● Stone 
● Ceramics
TYPES OF MACHINES
FOR WOOD 
AND PLEXI 
These are 2.5 or 3 axis 
machines. 
Usually the laser source 
is CO2 based 
The laser bounces on 
several mirrors before 
focusing on the piece. 
http://www.vectorealism.com/
FOR METALS 
The principle is very 
similar to the last one, 
but the power is 
higher. 
Sometimes it uses a 
different sources of 
lasers instead of 
mirrors. 
http://www.lasermio.com/
GALVANIC 
LASER 
Instead of cartesian axis, it uses 
mirrors 
The working area is usually 
smaller, and related to the lens 
used. 
Also the quality is related to the 
lens. 
On the other hand it's much 
faster than the traditional 3 axis 
laser 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybCN5QkppLw
MORE THAN 
3 AXIS LASER 
To work on more complex 
shapes lasers can have more 
than 3 axis 
Obviously it's a more expencive 
and complex machine.
EXAMPLES
PROFILES 
In its' easiest form, 
the laser cuts profiles 
in flat sheets. 
These profiles can 
then be mounted 
together in a 
permanent or 
temporary way.
PROFILES 2 
The molded pieces 
can be curved into 3D 
objects. 
http://besttopdesign.com/lighting/levent-romme% 
E2%80%99s-in-bklyn-designs-show- 
with-elegant-laser-cut-paper-lamps/
FASHION 
Laser cutting fabric is 
something fairly common 
and easily made.
PERPENDICULAR 
SECTIONS 
One of the easiest ways 
to describe a complex 
geometry is to wedge 
perpendicular sections 
together.
RADIAL SECTIONS 
As an alternative you can 
use a radial disposition, 
especially for a revolving 
solid.
MULTILAYER 
Another way to create 
3D objects is 
multilayering. 
There are even some 
free softwares that 
slice the objects to 
work in this way. 
http://www.123dapp.com/
MULTILAYER 2 
If the layers are very 
thin the result is a 
practially continous 
piece. 
http://www.laser-stanzungen.de/
DIFFERENT DIRECTION 
It's obviously possible to combine 
section with different directions 
together, to make a single object
WEDGING 1 
The various elements 
can be wedged 
together and 
assembled to create 
for example a box. 
There are online tools 
made to automatically 
design simple boxes. 
http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/
FLEXIBLE 
LASER CUTS 
Using paritcular 
patterns you can 
obtain very flexible 
materials. 
This does however 
create a very fragile 
object. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maindinte 
raction/7655393032/sizes/l/in/photostr 
eam/
WEDGING 2 
Increasing the level of 
complexity you can 
create very advanced 
objects. 
The easiest way to 
wedge pieces is at a 
90° angle, but you 
can join pieces even 
in other angles.
WEDGING 3 
The pieces can be 
jointed or static. 
It's very simple to 
create precise cuts 
and stable wedgings. 
This highly facilitates 
the realization of 
mobile parts. 
http://www.instructables.com/id/Laser- 
Cut-Front-End-Loader-Toy/
FOLDABLE 
PIECES 
If properly designed, you 
can even achieve foldable 
parts. 
It is, however, difficult to 
create them using only a 
laser cutter. 
http://www.core77designawards.com/ 
2012/recipients/laser-cut-folding-ukulele- 
kit/
MECHANISMS 2 
Combining the 
various elements, the 
final result can be a 
highly complex 
object. 
http://www.bustedbricks.com/mar 
ble-machine-kit-1-146-p.asp
MAIN SOURCES 
http://blog.ponoko.com/ 
http://www.ve ctorealism.com/ 
http://grabcad.com/challenge s /the -e vd-make -your-lase r-cut-toy-conte s t/ 
http://cncking.com/category/toys

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NABA 2014 - Design & laser cut

  • 1. LLAASSEERR CCUUTTTTIINNGG IINNTTRROO,, EEXXAAMMPPLLEESS AANNDD AAPPPPLLIICCAATTIIOONNSS
  • 2. LASER The laser cuts by concentrating a high level of energy in a small spot, melting, burning or vaporizing the material which consequently is being blown away by a gas jet, leaving a very high quality cut.
  • 3. THE CUT The laser makes a very precise cut, usually perpendicular to the bed, with a thickness varying from 0,1 to 0,5 mm. The average is considered 0,2 mm In some particular cases, for example glass, it could have no thickness since it cuts through thermal shock. The characteristics depend on the machine being used. http://scottcampbellstudio.com/
  • 4. THE CUT – make a frames
  • 5. DESIGN THE NOTCHES Design notches on the borders of the pieces helps to obtain a more resistant piece. Usually the lenght is at least 3 times the thickness of the material
  • 6. AN EXAMPLE: THE BOX The box is the first example of a project to laser cut. The easiest shape is the cross. If the box would be cut following these lines it would be impossible to mount due to the thicknesses, that in this case are not considered.
  • 7. AN EXAMPLE: THE BOX Moving on to designing the joints of the pieces, you can see that once the pieces are mounted, the total lenght is less than what would be expected.
  • 8. STEP 1: mark middle points
  • 9. STEP 2: basic module
  • 10. STEP 3: copy it up to the middle point
  • 11. STEP 4: mirror it and fix the extra lines
  • 12. STEP 5: copy or mirror it where there is the same base line
  • 13. STEP 6: mirror around a 45° the basic module
  • 14. STEP 7: follow the steps from 3 to 6 again
  • 15. STEP 8: copy the basic module to the next border
  • 16. STEP 9: mirror it and draw the last side
  • 17. STEP 10: delete everything not needed and cut the extra lines
  • 18. STEP 11: optimize the space and delete the duplicate lines
  • 20. ASSEMBLING The easiest one is linear. It has no interference nor curves. It can be regular, or irregular. http://blog.makezine.com/2012 /04/13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 21. ASSEMBLING Usually you try to create perfectly specular pieces to facilitate the assembly. If that isn't possible, it's better to accentuate the differences to reduce the risk of mounting them incorrectly. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 22. ASSEMBLING In this case it's better to make the joints asymmetrical, to mount the surfaces in the right order.
  • 23. ASSEMBLING The linear joint can be placed even in the centre of the surface. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 24. ASSEMBLING The geometry of the linear joints can be mixed with the use of screws to create resistant and reversible joints. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 25. ASSEMBLING The joints with screws can be used even on the edges. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 26. ASSEMBLING The joints might not be in a 90° angle, or with perpendicular walls. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 27. ASSEMBLING In flat joints you can even use different geometries. Ift he goal is to create a joint that is resistant without the use of glue you can use the puzzle shape. If you want to facilitate the gluing and centering of the pieces, you can use the comb shape. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 28. SNAPFIT Using the elasticity of the material you can even create snapfits. Usually they are very delicate elements. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 29. KEYS Other kind of joints use the rotation or sliding of an element. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 30. COMPLEX JOINTS Combining what we've seen above you can create highly articulate joints. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/ 13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/
  • 31. JOINTS IN 2.5D Gluing different layers it is even possible to use the tipical milling joints. http://www.flexiblestream.org/Digit al-Wood-J oints-001.php
  • 33. THE CUT - gears
  • 38. THE CUT - hinges
  • 39. THE CUT - mechanism
  • 41. THE INLAY Using the precision of the cut you can wedge in pieces of different materials (different tipes of wood, different coloured plexiglass, etc.) to reproduce the effect of inlay.
  • 42. THE DOTTED LINES PARTIAL CUT Through the settings of the machine, it's possible to create dotted lines, by creating cuts that are interrupted. In the file they appear as continous lines, but with an assigned frequency of turning on and off the laser. This is very useful for paper, when you want to create folding lines.
  • 46. MATERIAL Easily cut: ● plexiglass (max 5mm) ● Wood/plywood (max 6mm) ● Cardboard, paper, etc. ● Rubber, leather, fabrics, etc. Not easily cut: ● PC ● PVC ● Glass ● Metal ● Thich materials (including foams)
  • 47. THE ENGRAVE By regulating the potency and the focus it is possible to incise lines, which don't cut through the material, onto the surface. The thickness and the depth of the incisions depends on the parameters of the machine, and the material. It's very useful even when wanting to number pieces which eventually has to be mounted together. Generally it's a good idea to make a test, to check the result. http://blog.ponoko.com/2010/07/14/laser-engraving- and-processing/
  • 48. THE ENGRAVING It is possible to chose directly from the file closed paths within which you want to assing a filling. Based on the power it is possible to change the depth of the engraving.
  • 49. THE IMAGES Using an analog principle, you can assign various power related to the brightness of the pixels in an immage. If the power is low you obtain a “grayscale print” of the immage. If the power is high you obtain an effect similar to the bas-releif.
  • 50. Z-BUFFER IMAGES Some particular images store the depth values in a 3D image, associating them to the brightness of the pixels. If you laser cut it the result is very similar to a bas-relief.
  • 51. MATERIALS You can engrave: ● Plexi glass (max 5mm) ● Wood/plywood (max 6mm) ● Cardboard, paper, etc. ● Rubber, leather, fabrics, etc. ● Anodized metals ● Varnished metals ● Glass ● Stone ● Ceramics
  • 53. FOR WOOD AND PLEXI These are 2.5 or 3 axis machines. Usually the laser source is CO2 based The laser bounces on several mirrors before focusing on the piece. http://www.vectorealism.com/
  • 54. FOR METALS The principle is very similar to the last one, but the power is higher. Sometimes it uses a different sources of lasers instead of mirrors. http://www.lasermio.com/
  • 55. GALVANIC LASER Instead of cartesian axis, it uses mirrors The working area is usually smaller, and related to the lens used. Also the quality is related to the lens. On the other hand it's much faster than the traditional 3 axis laser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybCN5QkppLw
  • 56. MORE THAN 3 AXIS LASER To work on more complex shapes lasers can have more than 3 axis Obviously it's a more expencive and complex machine.
  • 58. PROFILES In its' easiest form, the laser cuts profiles in flat sheets. These profiles can then be mounted together in a permanent or temporary way.
  • 59. PROFILES 2 The molded pieces can be curved into 3D objects. http://besttopdesign.com/lighting/levent-romme% E2%80%99s-in-bklyn-designs-show- with-elegant-laser-cut-paper-lamps/
  • 60. FASHION Laser cutting fabric is something fairly common and easily made.
  • 61. PERPENDICULAR SECTIONS One of the easiest ways to describe a complex geometry is to wedge perpendicular sections together.
  • 62. RADIAL SECTIONS As an alternative you can use a radial disposition, especially for a revolving solid.
  • 63. MULTILAYER Another way to create 3D objects is multilayering. There are even some free softwares that slice the objects to work in this way. http://www.123dapp.com/
  • 64. MULTILAYER 2 If the layers are very thin the result is a practially continous piece. http://www.laser-stanzungen.de/
  • 65. DIFFERENT DIRECTION It's obviously possible to combine section with different directions together, to make a single object
  • 66. WEDGING 1 The various elements can be wedged together and assembled to create for example a box. There are online tools made to automatically design simple boxes. http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/
  • 67. FLEXIBLE LASER CUTS Using paritcular patterns you can obtain very flexible materials. This does however create a very fragile object. http://www.flickr.com/photos/maindinte raction/7655393032/sizes/l/in/photostr eam/
  • 68. WEDGING 2 Increasing the level of complexity you can create very advanced objects. The easiest way to wedge pieces is at a 90° angle, but you can join pieces even in other angles.
  • 69. WEDGING 3 The pieces can be jointed or static. It's very simple to create precise cuts and stable wedgings. This highly facilitates the realization of mobile parts. http://www.instructables.com/id/Laser- Cut-Front-End-Loader-Toy/
  • 70. FOLDABLE PIECES If properly designed, you can even achieve foldable parts. It is, however, difficult to create them using only a laser cutter. http://www.core77designawards.com/ 2012/recipients/laser-cut-folding-ukulele- kit/
  • 71. MECHANISMS 2 Combining the various elements, the final result can be a highly complex object. http://www.bustedbricks.com/mar ble-machine-kit-1-146-p.asp
  • 72. MAIN SOURCES http://blog.ponoko.com/ http://www.ve ctorealism.com/ http://grabcad.com/challenge s /the -e vd-make -your-lase r-cut-toy-conte s t/ http://cncking.com/category/toys