When most people talk about makerspaces and their tools, you usually hear about the 3D printer first. Lately, I have enjoyed getting to know the laser cutting and engraving technology at our makerspace. For makers and DIY crafters, the laser cutting and engraving technology enables you to leverage inexpensive materials like wood, acrylic, and cardboard to produce beautiful art, crafts and components. It’s amazing to see what people do with it.
I always enjoy finding things that my wife and I will mutually enjoy. As I started bringing home laser cut stuff from our makerspace, I found that Sarah got very interested in it. There’s just something warm and “crafty” about it. I started seeing her regularly surfing around Pinterest for project ideas. She even started asking questions about the complexities of opening our own Etsy store. In short… my mind was blown!
So, I got an idea. In addition to giving Sarah various gifts for valentines day, I took my wife over to SparkMacon makerspace with wood and acrylic materials in hand. I run the laser cutter certification class for our makerspace. I had the opportunity to do the training class for Sarah so that she could tinker with the technology. She really had a lot of fun. Here’s some of stuff she built in her first session.
“Go Noles!” on wood!
Using the free and open source product Inkscape, Sarah created this quick sketch and cut it into cardboard.
To close out the day, we tinkered with cutting wood to create this small dinosaur toy.
I’m excited to see what Sarah will continue to make to help decorate our home.
How can you get started with laser cutting?
To help you get started, check out the following links for project ideas and tutorials. Even if you don’t have a laser cutter available to you through a makerspace, you can leverage online services like Ponoko to design your jobs, select materials, and have the finished products delivered to your door.
- Project ideas on PInterst
- Project ideas from Thingiverse
- Laser cutting service – Ponoko
- Instructables – Discussion of materials
- Instructables – Tools for designing your project
We enjoy hearing from our readers! Let us know if you find any cool project ideas.
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