Friendship & French Fries

A podcast & blog about life and the creative pursuit of happiness

Fabrication: Laser Cutter

Fabrication: Laser Cutter

This week, our assignment was to make something with the help of the laser cutter. YES. I have been waiting for this week with baited breath, and it’s finally here!

I started by thinking of all the magical amazing things I would be able to do with it…and then I drew a blank. Too many possibilities! But I took a step back, and slowly I started to get more and more ideas. Some were clearly more complicated than the others, so I decided to go with something seemingly simple for my first laser cutter project.

I love films and movies and have a very deep love and appreciation for Disney and Pixar. The artists that work in both companies are just above and beyond, and character design has always had a very special place in my heart. Glen Keane, the mastermind behind most of the most famous characters for Disney, is clearly at the top of my list.

So, for my project,  I decided to use one of his magnificent sketches and turn it into a puzzle.  He’s very well known for designing the beast, from Beauty and The Beast, so I went with a great sketch that had a lot of different lines and shading in it to see how the etching would work.


I got the sketch from the vast world of the internet and dropped it into my file template in illustrator. From there, I found a puzzle vector template (that took FOREVER) and added it to my template as well. Unfortunately  the puzzle was not a vector, so I had to recreate it by hand and make sure everything fit. After the setup work was completed, I put my file on my USB and off to the laser cutter I went!

vector template that didn't work :/
vector template that didn’t work :/

I set up the laser cutter for my 1/8 inch plywood piece, set it for a combined etching/cutting job and hit print! I didn’t plan on the laser cutter taking so long, but I guess I now know for next time. I had only signed up for half an hour thinking it would be enough, but the etching part of it took by itself 28 mins and it was too light. I cancelled the job, and restarted it to go over the etching again, but once another 28 mins were done, that was still to light. ::sigh::




By then, I was already running over my allotted time and someone else had already booked the machine. I had time booked an hour after, but we managed to jiggle some stuff around and he was nice enough to move to the other laser cutter and let me finish my job. This meant that, after what was probably 2.5 hours, 3 rounds of etching and 3 rounds of cutting (all in different settings)… I was done!






One thought on “Fabrication: Laser Cutter

  1. This looks good. Yes, jobs always take longer than you think. Always times by pi.

    It’s a good idea to do some test to your material first before you “go for it”. But the finished result turned out great.

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