Computer-Controlled Cutting

GROUP ASSIGNMENT: Make lasercutter test part(s), varying cutting settings and slot dimensions.
INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT: Cut something on the vinylcutter design, make, and document a parametric press-fit construction kit, accounting for the lasercutter kerf, which can be assembled in multiple ways.

Group Assignment:
Laser cuttertest part(s), varying cutting settings and slot dimensions

There are two approaches setting parameters while working the laser machine:
  1. Working slow with a low intensity :
    • Will achieve a clean cut of the material
    • The cutting angle will be secondary and imperceptibly
    • The working time of the machine will be longer
    • The thickness of the laser beam will be minimal
  2. Working fast with a high intensity:
    • Will result a sooty cut
    • The cutting angle will be noticeable
    • The working time of the machine will be shorter
    • The thickness of the laser beam will enlarge
There are two method testing the material tolerance (the thickness of the laser beam):

  1. Creating a ruler of slots in which the widest slot is wide as the material thickness, and every next slot is a 0.05mm narrower.

      Notes:
    • In a machine with two separate engines for the X axis and the Y axis, each axis should be tasted.
    • Also there's an importance to the material structure, for example cutting plywood with or against the fibers.

A laser cutter test for a cardboard MTM 1.4mm


  1. Cutting a 10*10mm square and measuring the outcome total ratio. Dividing the difference to half will give us the laser beam thickness.

Testing the tolerance of different material

The different parameters in each material

Individual Assignments:
Using the vinylcutter

For this assignment I used ‘silhouette cameo’ vinylcutter to cut vinyl sticker for a mailbox

Creating a new Illustrator project - CAD sticker
    Working Process:
  1. Type on path

  1. Convert to shape

  1. Create outlines

  1. Ungroup

  1. Outline strock

  1. Release compound path
Importing the file and defining the fabrication setting
    There are three parameters needed to be settel:
  1. Blade depth
  2. Cutting speed
  3. Thickness

Creating a Parametric Press-Fit Kit

My goal on this assignment was to experience a new software, as I have a previous background in Grasshopper, I turn to FreeCAD. In order to achieve this I used a press-fit kit existent design, GIK by Neil Gershenfeld and focused on learning


Sketching on FreeCAD a parametric design parts for the press-fit kit, using a constraints system


Spreading the press-fit kit parts on a layout for cutting and exporting the file to the machine software & Setting the machine cutting values