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Box(es)

This week in Piecing it Together we made boxes without 90 degree angles on the laser and/or vinyl cutter. I worked with Danielle.

We were both really excited to work with the vinyl cutter and paper. We also wanted to experiment with cardboard on the vinyl and laser cutters.

Here are some highlights from the process.

The vinyl cutter is awesome, but it doesn’t do chipboard. We got a chipboard of light to medium thickness at Blick and couldn’t get it to cut through not matter what the settings.

Box progressing from paper prototype to paper on vinyl cutter, to cardboard and paper on laser cutter.
Box progressing from paper prototype to paper on vinyl cutter, to cardboard and paper on laser cutter.

When we moved the chipboard to the laser cutter, we got it to cut the shape beautifully, but we could not get it to cut dotted lines. We created the dotted lines in our file with the line tool in AI, then used the dashed functionality in the stroke panel. The vinyl cutter just would not recognize these no matter what setting we used. We then tried to make outlines of the dotted lines. That allowed us to raster etch the dots. But the etching wasn’t deep enough to give us the bend lines we needed.

A single box.
A single box.

In the end we created two illustrator files for the laser cutter, one with the shapes to cut, and one with the fold lines. We then printed the files on two different settings—one that would cut all the way through and one that would just cut partially. In the end this was probably a nicer result then the dotted lines because of the thickness of the cardboard (different from how effective the dotted lines worked on the paper on the vinyl cutter).

A few boxes.
A few boxes.

In order to get the color on the inside of the boxes, we used spray adhesive to attach colored paper to the chipboard before putting it through the laser cutter. We put it in the laser cutter with the color face down to make sure the color ended up on the inside.

We used Gorilla super glue to connect the seams.

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