Week 7: Lasers!

This was rather special for me, I finally got to test out a laser cutter, which is my main source for my project.

Laser cutters are a device mostly used for industrial purpose by using a powerful laser to cut materials, mostly wood, and I decided to try out 1/8" red and blue acrylic sheets made from plexiglass, which is a type of acrylic.

When using a laser cutter, there are couple things to remember. There are some materials that you are not allowed to use, EVER, due to chlorine, and they are PVC plastic and vinyl. Fabrics are not allowed to be laser cut, especially woven fabric such as cotton or satin.

Using Adobe Illustrator, I made a sketch of the design I wanted to make, and I made the thickness of the border to 0.001px for a precise cutting, which then I changed the color to red. For the eyes, I decided to etch them with laser. I made the border for the eyes thicker and kept the color black. Why did I keep it black, you may ask? Red lines define as a command for cutting, and black lines define as a command for etching. Due to the commands, that was the reason why the thickness of the border was extra-fine. Since the etchings don’t need to be cut, the blue plexiglass shows a thick etching on the eyes. If you’re lost on what I just talked about, I uploaded a picture down below to show how the red and blue acrylic sheets were cut.

Afterwards, I used super glue to connect the two cut pieces together. I personally don’t recommend it due to super glue residues, but since this was a prototype for testing out the laser cutter, I decided to use it anyways. After glueing the pieces together, I wiped away any overflowing super glue, and my first laser cut prototype was done.

The material I will be using mostly for the project will be EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) foam, otherwise known as playmat foam, but I decided to try Acrylic since it was a more durable piece to test the laser cutter with. I will be posting more updates as time goes on, and hopefully I will be able to assemble all of the parts soon!

Adobe Illustrator sketch for laser cutting
Finished product!
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