This week’s intro to fab assignment was to make something on the laser cutter. My first idea (inspired by Paula and Ella’s work from last week) was to make a psychedelic mobile.
I went to Canal Plastics to get some material and found a reflective paper. The idea was to make the paper double sided, cut it into shapes on the laser cutter, then hang it from fishing line from a wire structure that would have a set of Christmas lights on top. I was going to try to make it wide enough that someone could stand among the pieces of paper with the lights turned off and get lost in the sparkles.
I bought some samples of the paper and brought it back to test out on the laser cutter. The paper was unmarked in the store, so I didn’t know what it was made out of. I unfortunately found out that it was made of vinyl and I couldn’t cut it on the laser. Whomp whomp.
I tried to think of another material to make my mobile out of, but nothing was coming to mind and I didn’t want to spend a lot on materials for this project. I decided to just grab some cardboard and start playing around with patterns. I ended up making some bracelets out of cardboard.
It took me several hours to get the laser cutter to print properly. First I was having a problem with my Illustrator file, so I had to redraw quite a bit of it. Then my settings weren’t properly cutting the cardboard.
In the end, I think I have a fun early prototype for some paper jewelry. Obviously the cardboard won’t hold up long on its own. I could shellac it if I wanted to take the idea further. Or I could look into using tyvek on either side of the cardboard to toughen it up.
Ben, you’ll be happy to hear that, although it was fun to use, I have not yet fallen in love with the laser cutter.