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Date: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 04:02

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #170

Above is a laser cut wood deer and mountain scene from Seek ‘n’ Find Comfort.

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, elephants, sunshine, tiki gods, type, and medabots…

Above are laser cut wood elephant charms form Happy Supplies.

Above is a laser cut card from Alexis Mattox Design.

Above are laser cut wood with tiki images on them from The Porkchop Show.

Above is an assortment of laser cut wooden ornaments from Absolutely Ice Box.

Above are laser cut mirrored acrylic Medabots Metabee Medals from Chinook Crafts.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Art, Functional Art + Objects, Jewellery..."
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Date: Friday, 11 Apr 2014 11:49

OFFRobot design iterations resolved using laser cutting

Responding to the tempting possibilities posed by the Hack The Arduino Robot challenge, the OFFRobot is a neat little walker designed by John Rees from the UK.

He’s documented his development process and thoughts along the way, from design of the walking mechanism (including inspiration from Disney Research and the ever-impressive Strandbeest) through to various stages of laser cut and 3d printed leg assemblies.

One interesting point to note is that John’s prototyping went from laser cut cardboard in the early stages, on to laser cut plywood and then 3d printing which came into play once the design was more resolved.

With the deadline of the competition looming, he went back to laser cutting in acrylic for the final burst.

“I did more 3d printing. It gave me some great, really solid and light pieces but I left it too late to print everything, so I will revert to laser cutting once again!”

By ‘reverting’ back to laser cutting for the robot’s legs and gears, John was able to achieve reliable, accurate and tangible results really quickly. That’s one of the major advantages of laser cutting – the unrivalled speed and precision.

Here’s a look at how the OFFRobot mechanism works:

Read more at OFFRobot.

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Electronics + Robotics, Guy Blashki, Las..."
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 19:44

Sell the awesome products you make!

At Ponoko we’re all about enabling designers to make a living off of their creativity. If you’ve got a unique product, a great place to connect with folks interested in buying your designs is a craft fare – and Renegade is one of the best.

They just opened vendor applications for 2 west coast fairs this summer:

Applications for both fairs close April 18, 2014, so head over to Renegade’s site to submit your application. Make sure your product really shines by checking out these tips for submitting an all-star application.

If you don’t live in the golden state, don’t despair. Renegade has craft fairs in Austin, Chicago, Brooklyn, and London!

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "Events, Good Stuff, Selling + Business T..."
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Date: Monday, 07 Apr 2014 06:32

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #169

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut veneer and plastic butterfly brooch from Plastic Smith.

After the jump, dead  deer, wine coasters, sleeves, and mustache kisses…

Above is a laser cut metal hunting ornament from DWS Metal Design.

Above is a laser cut bamboo wine coaster from Dimlim.

Above is a laser cut Art Deco invitation pocket from Kat Blu Studio.

Above is a laser cut wood wedding guest book from Decoris Wedding.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Art, Fashion + Textiles, Functional Art ..."
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 21:15

The Kyub offers a six-sided twist on the usual 2D keyboard

Meet the Kyub, a compact, fully programmable MIDI interface that provides a new way to compose, record and perform music.

The Kyub features 11 fully programmable feather-touch keypads that connect to any computer or synthesizer via USB. Inside, an accelerometer tracks the movement of the Kyub to control the volume of the notes played.

These features make the interface really responsive, however the truly amazing thing is the way the Kyub is played. Check out the Kickstarter video below to see the Kyub in action:

The Kyub is designed as a kit that can be assembled at home by just about anyone, using laser cut parts from Ponoko.

If you’re short on soldering skills, you can back the Kyub and get a fully assembled unit as a reward. The Kyub is made to be as open and maker-friendly as possible, any computer-based synthesizer can be used to work with the Kyub.

If all this has got you excited for some cubed-out synth action, head over to the Kyub Kickstarter page to support the project and help make the Kyub a reality.

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "Inventions, Laser Cut Wood, Laser Cuttin..."
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 12:58

Dinosaur costume roams the streets

Meet Felix. As you can tell from his gentle gaze, Felix is a friendly dinosaur and he loves to head out for a leisurely stroll.

Originally conceived (and worn) by Lisa Glover while exploring Industrial Origami as a part of her university studies, this jaw-dropping laser cut cardboard costume deservedly won her first place at a Halloween costume party in 2013.

The response to her 15 foot long wearable creation was so overwhelmingly positive that Lisa decided she had no option but to share it around. So she set out to re-engineer the jurassic costume into a form that is more manageable, and which is now the focus of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Eager, cashed-up backers can get their legs into a giant velociraptor suit of their own, but for the rest of us there are some neat smaller rewards on offer.

Watch Lisa and Felix out for a stroll, and discover more at KitRex or on Kickstarter.

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Functional Art + Objects, Guy Blashki, L..."
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Date: Monday, 31 Mar 2014 07:15

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #168

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut eco-plastic robot mobile from Das Wood.

After the jump, oranges, octopi, and invitations…

Above us a laser cut wood Country Clementine necklace from Robo Roku.

Above is a black leather laser cut and engraved octopus bracelet from Spitfire.

Above is a laser cut paper floral lace wedding invitation from Giant Invitations.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Fashion + Textiles, Functional Art + Obj..."
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Date: Friday, 28 Mar 2014 06:22

Arduino-based modification turns laser cutting into a hands-on affair

Just in time for International Arduino Day, this fun project from Just Add Sharks really has our fingers twitching.

Imagine controlling a serious laser cutter with the dynamic ease of an Etch A Sketch. Having first toyed with the idea years ago, Just Add Sharks have finally followed through and attached a fully functional Etch A Sketch controller to their laser cutter. Talk about dreams coming true!

Complete with authentic twiddly knobs and retro-Etch styling (all laser cut, of course) the modification uses an Arduino Pro Mini to bypass the machine’s existing wiring.

Click through for a video of the controller in action, where you can see the different functionality of either Etch or Cut being demonstrated.

As fun as this is, Martin and his buddies at Just Add Sharks are responsible Evil Genius’ and have therefore built in a few important safety measures. The custom circuitry includes some clever tweaks that not only add functionality, but also prevent the laser from cutting unless the dials are actually in motion.

As long as the laser only cuts while the axis are moving then we should avoid fires.

If you’re itching to have a go yourself, there are more details on Instructables or you can follow through to the source to find out where the cutter is headed next, as it does the rounds of various Maker Faires in the UK.

Arduino based laser cutter: Just Add Sharks

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Electronics + Robotics, Guy Blashki, Har..."
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Date: Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 18:47

Ponoko-made pocket sized robots by Junichi Tsuneoka.

Junichi Tsuneoka is the illustrator and designer behind CHIBIPOCKET – collectable laser cut robot toys that combine traditional woodworking techniques with digital laser fabrication.

Junichi has been a graphic designer since 2002, creating vibrant character-driven illustrations for his company Stubborn Sideburn. In 2012, he was inspired to jump into making three dimensional art when one of his clients hired him to design their vinyl toys:

“When I first got the sample I really liked the idea of my design becoming a 3D form. I had been doing only flat print projects till then so it was very refreshing for me. I wanted to do more 3D projects to expand my design possibilities.”

Junichi experimented with several production methods ranging from soft vinyl, plastic mold and 3D printing before landing on laser wood cutting. “It’s very close to how I usually design graphics and print digitally” he explains, “yet there is a bit of crafting quality.”

His first robot figurine was meant to be more of a personal project rather than a product line, but after showing it around it became clear there was a lot of interest in the idea. “I got a lot of good feedback plus I really enjoyed making it,” he says, “so I decided to expand the project.”

Junichi used his Personal Factory to instantly price lots of design iterations while expanding his new product line:

“It’s very handy that you can see the price right away when you upload the file” he said, “it gives me a chance to modify the file so I can control the price really easily.”

By digitally prototyping with in this way, Junichi was able to control costs early so he could stay competitive at the retail level later on.

CHIBIPOCKET was inspired by the types of toys Junichi grew up carrying around in his pocket. ‘Chibi’ is a Japanese term for ‘short person’ or ‘small child’. In popular culture, chibi has mostly referred to characters with oversized heads and small bodies – similar to babies – to emphasize cuteness and child-like spirit. “My original concept of the whole product line is about my childhood memory.” he says, “So I decided to do pocketable art/toys.”

When I asked what initially drew him to Ponoko, Junichi explained that speed is key:

“When I work with individual laser cut service, I had to spend quite a bit of time giving instructions for custom jobs and communicating back and forth.” he explains. “That would cause errors and a lot of extra time to spend. I don’t have to experience that with Ponoko.”

Each figurine combines several pieces of laser cut bamboo and fluorescent acrylic, which is then hand-sanded and finished with Sumi Ink to bring the characters to life.

What’s on the horizon for Junichi? CHIBIPOCKET was recently commissioned by totem resolve to make all the 10 Wu Tang Clan members into handmade bamboo toys:


Left to right: GZA, RZA, UGOD, Cappa Donna & Ghost Face

Junichi’s robots are available at CHIBIPOCKET.

Inspired to create your own product line? Make it with Ponoko!

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "Design, Digital Fabrication, Laser Cut A..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Mar 2014 19:38

Inventor Studios is hosting a pioneering new summer course for middle and high school students introducing them to 3D object design, digital scanning and 3D printing.

Held at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, 6 – 12 grade students will be getting first-hand experience with the printing process, as well as making 3D scans of real-life objects.

There are two openings available :

  • 3D Printing Lab Instructors – capable 3D modelers with some teaching and/or mentoring experience
  • 3D Printing Intern Instructors- capable 3D modelers with no previous teaching experience.

If this sounds like you, and you live in the SF Bay Area, download the job description for more information including course description, job responsibilities and how to apply.

Qualified applicants should contact Bob Krause, Chief Inventor at Inventor Studios. Interviews are being held between March 26th and April 9th, so don’t wait!

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "3D Printing, Design, Digital Fabrication..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Mar 2014 05:00

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #167

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut covered notebook from Creative Use of Technology.

After the jump, scarf buckles, dinosaurs, lips,  love, and a laser cutter…

Above is a laser cut glitter acrylic scarf ring from Brunella Scarf Rings.

Above is a laser cut and etched cherry wood Allosaurus necklace from Designasaur.

Above is a laser cut acrylic Rocky Horror inspired necklace from The Silmarillion.

Above are laser cut acrylic Love Plates from Emi.Ko.Supplies.

Above is an Arduino 3-axis Mini Lazer Paper-Cutter from kokpat over at Instructables.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Electronics + Robotics, Fashion + Textil..."
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Date: Friday, 21 Mar 2014 11:41

Ingenious optical device folded from a single sheet of paper

With diseases such as Malaria still causing serious trouble across the globe, there is a real need for major change in the way fieldwork is carried out.

Researchers at Stanford University’s Prakash Lab have developed a laser cut microscope that costs just 50 cents to produce and boasts performance that rivals standard lab equipment.

At the heart of a process that has been dubbed ‘Use and Throw Microscopy’, the laser cut Foldscope is so cheap to make that it can be considered a disposable device. The origami inspired pattern snaps out of a single sheet of paper and easily assembles in minutes.

“It was a hard challenge thinking of making the best possible instrument, but almost for free.”

The parts and production may be cheap, but the performance packs a serious punch. Providing over 2,000x magnification and sub-micron 800nm resolution, the assembled device is small enough to fit in a pocket and can withstand considerably rough handling including being stomped on and generally thrown about.

While most of us are having fun with our creative laser cutting projects, it is heartening to see how some clever thinking can turn laser cutting towards helping solve matters of life and death. Learn more about how this was achieved in the following clip from TEDGlobal.

Manu Prakash and his team are excited to explore further applications of the Foldscope and have already envisaged usage beyond global health and science education.

The call has gone out for people to become a part of the 10,000 strong beta program to test the microscopes and develop a broad-reaching field manual.

Foldscope via NOTCOT

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Guy Blashki, Inventions, Laser Cutting, ..."
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Date: Monday, 17 Mar 2014 04:29

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #166

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a fox laser cut from cherry wood from Pepper Sprouts.

After the jump, pineapples, skate decks, table numbers, and cupid…

Above are laser cut wood pineapple earrings from Green Tea Jewelry.

Above is a new Kickstarter from Magnetic Kitchen.

Above is a laser cut and engraved wood wine bottle table number from Sofia Invitations & Prints.

Above is a laser cut wood Cupid Kit from Robives.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Art, Functional Art + Objects, Invention..."
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Date: Friday, 14 Mar 2014 04:58

Wrapping up that retro style with a laser cut wooden frame

At some stage, we’ve probably all done a little parabolic line art. Whether it was in the back cover of a school textbook, or with a series of nails and string on a piece of plywood… there is something about the way those curves and straight lines work together that draws people in. Particularly if you are a fan of 1970’s decor.

Audrey Love has given this retro geometric art form a digital twist by laser cutting a wooden frame for her Parabolic String Lamp on Instructables.

I examined closely and figured out how the illusions of curves appeared in the string art. I was curious if the same principle could be applied to a curved dimensional object.

The laser cutter was handy because it enabled her to quickly produce the numerous notched holes that the string feeds through. All in all, it only took five minutes to cut all the parts out. Here is the laser cutter in action:

Check out the Instructables post to see Audrey’s step-by-step process, where you can also download the pattern to make a Parabolic String Lamp of your own.

Instructables: Parabolic String Lamp

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Functional Art + Objects, Guy Blashki, L..."
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Date: Monday, 10 Mar 2014 05:24

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #165


Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut and etched birch plywood necklace from Fab Parlor.

After the jump, acorns, lollipops, totems, and beer carriers…

Above are laser cut wood acorn earrings from Green Tree Jewelry.

Above is a laser cut acrylic lollipop necklace from Sugar and Vice.

Above is a laser cut and etched wood totem pendant from The Twenty Fingers.

Above is a laser cut wood Bottle CARTER from Prince & Lion.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Functional Art + Objects, Furniture + Li..."
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Date: Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 00:52

Using a laser cutter to give old denim a new kick

When he’s not building laser cut wooden hexapods and other robotic wonders, Queron Williams likes to discover new ways to get creative with a laser cutter.

In this recent exploration, he gives an old pair of jeans a fresh makeover – and even managed to remain true to the Robot theme!

Laser cut clothing is something we’ve seen before, but using the laser cutter to etch fabrics takes a little more fine tuning. There isn’t a lot of room for error, as Williams found out when he began with a ‘leather etch’ setting on his laser cutter. Etching patterns into denim requires a more delicate touch, and here’s what it looks like when you get the settings right:

The robot designs are from illustrator mattcantdraw, and they appear to transpose quite nicely onto the denim material.

“I’m actually very pleased with how this turned out, the effect produced looks like natural fade, but only in specific areas. I love that these jeans have gone from boring ‘off the shelf’ to something interesting and individual.”

via Qbotics

Author: "Guy Blashki" Tags: "Digital Fabric Printing, Fashion + Texti..."
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Date: Monday, 03 Mar 2014 06:31

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #164

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut Mardi Gras bead scarf is from Josephine.

After the jump, deers, jewels, puzzles, hands, and pendants…

Above is a lase cut acrylic stag’s head from Oh, Bother.

Laser cut and etched acrylic Gemstone necklace from Sugar and Vice.

Above is a laser cut wood Mandala Puzzle from 3 Star Studio.

Above are laser cut printed fingers from The Porkchop Show.

Above are laser cut wood pendants from Townlet Bead.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Fashion + Textiles, Functional Art + Obj..."
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Date: Friday, 28 Feb 2014 04:55

Ponoko + Kickstarter = Designer’s Dream

We covered this briefly before, but it’s going bananas! So we thought it was a good idea to introduce how designers are using Ponoko and Kickstarter to make and sell their products.

Jeremy Williams is a San Francisco based engineer and video game enthusiast with a passion for pixel art. His latest project, the Game Frame, is a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art anywhere. Jeremy’s product on Kickstarter just passed $100,000, and is trending to hit over $150,000 before closing.

The Game Frame was initially just a fun personal project – Jeremy loves 8-bit pixel art and wanted to find a way to display it on his walls – but after his prototype was demonstrated for Tested in June, the positive feedback inspired him to see if he could turn the Game Frame into a real product.

Using laser cut parts from Ponoko, Jeremy went through several iterations to refine his design. After months of prototyping, and multiple prototypes, Jeremy arrived at a Game Frame that was sleeker looking, cheaper to build, and easier to use.

With a new Game Frame in hand Jeremy set out to test the market viability of his new product.  There’s many ways to do this, like setting up a website, an ETSY store, or selling at a local event. But he decided to use Kickstarter to put his product directly in front of potential customers to gauge interest in the Game Frame, and to gain pre-orders to fund his first production run.

The enthusiasm was overwhelming. Within 4.5 hours the Game Frame had met it’s initial goal of $15,000. Within a week, he had over $50,000 in backing. As at press time, Jeremy has already sold 448 Game Frames = $107,123 and counting!

Now comes the fun part: Jeremy will spend the coming months fulfilling the orders for his Kickstarter backers, wiring the PCBs, soldering LEDs, & assembling laser cut frames using his Personal Factory at Ponoko. The first orders are scheduled to ship in June.

Jeremy’s story is an inspiring example of how you can take a cool idea, make it real at low cost with Ponoko, and discover a whole market you never knew you had.

We’ll be following this and letting you know more about how to use Ponoko and Kickstarter as the story unfolds.

If you’re interested in starting your own product line too, you can signup for free here to make and sell your own products.

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "Design, Functional Art + Objects, Laser ..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 20:47

The Game Frame gives you a dose of 8-bit nostalgia.

The Game Frame is a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.

Game Frame creator Jeremy Williams got the idea after playing a virtual arcade that featured game artwork hung on the wall. “After searching fruitlessly to buy something like that in the real world, I decided to make it myself” said Williams.

Prototyped with laser-cut parts from Ponoko, the Game Frame has already passed it’s $15,000 Kickstarter goal and is well on it’s way to pass the $100,000 mark.

Backers can pre-order a fully assembled unit at the $230 level, or assemble their own for $150.

The campaign ends March 9. For more on Game Frame, check out the Kickstarter video below.

Author: "dandevorkin" Tags: "Design, Functional Art + Objects, Laser ..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 00:26

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #163

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut acrylic laundry necklace from Oronkol.

After the jump, coasters, school, deers, and Loki…

Above is a laser cut and etched acrylic drink coaster from Invenio Craft.

Above are laser cut wood icons from Isakay Boutique.

Above is a laser cut acrylic Buck and Doe pendant from Country Road Jewelry.

Above is a laser cut acrylic Loki necklace from The Nerd Craft.

Author: "Sam" Tags: "Fashion + Textiles, Functional Art + Obj..."
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