This time I had to make something using Laser Cutter. Previously I had been using Laser Cutter for Pcomp project and to etch my phone stand. But it was using woods. So, this time I wanted to explore more about acrylic.
The idea is to make a box and pair of glasses. I wanted to make a box that can store pen, pencils, and other tools. But I didn’t want to make just a plain box, I wanted the joint like puzzles. Also, I wanted to etch images on the box.
It seemed easy at first, but I was struggling making the puzzle-like joint in Illustrator. I didn’t have that much experience using Adobe Illustrator. I also had to measure it so that the joint would match each other. I sketched it first on paper, then tried to fold it to make sure it fits.
I wanted to play around with acrylic. So I used acrylic as the main materials. I also, used acrylic glue to stick them together.
I bought the acrylics in Canal Plastic Center. They sure are specialized in plastics. They have a lot kind of plastics. I was overwhelmed choosing what to buy then. Also, they had leftover materials which are much cheaper. I just grabbed some for my next project.
Draw it using Illustrator
After I successfully made the skeleton on Illustrator, a friend of mine told me that there was a box template generator on internet, specifically for laser cutting. Alright, I was pissed. Just spent my time to make it one by one trying to figure out how to make them fit, but then there were a template generator. It would make my life so much easier! This is the box template generator: MakerCase.
These are the images of the skeletons that I made using Adobe Illustrator.
Let’s laser cut it
First of all, I tried to laser cut using cardboard since I didn’t want to mess with expensive acrylic. I needed to know whether the joint fit perfectly.
Okay, after it’s successfully cut, I tried using the 60W Laser Cutter (the 50 was all booked for Tuesday). This was the setting that I used to cut and etch the acrylics. I followed the materials guideline.
This was the not so exciting part. When I used it to cut my glasses, the laser cutter suddenly stopped. It said X/Y disabled. I asked John what was wrong, I was scared to death if I broke it. I was kinda relieved that it wasn’t because I did something unsuspiciously, but the machine itself needed to be repaired. But it was a nightmare! I didn’t finish cutting my glasses, and now I couldn’t use the 60W laser cutter. Well, I was still hoping I could finish it the next day using the 50W.
The next day, I used the 50W laser cutter to continue my work. I did hope it worked well and could finish cutting my glasses. Unfortunately, the 50W isn’t exactly the same as the 60W (besides the settings that need to be adjusted). I placed my acrylic exactly on the top-left corner, I taped it like what I did in 60W. But still, the beam projection coordinates wasn’t exactly the same as the 60W. It ruined my glasses, my expensive acrylic. I needed to use the other side of the acrylic. Thank God I bought extra.
After I successfully cut them, what I had in mind was to just glued them together. For the box, I had no issue gluing them together.
For the glasses, I was thinking to use hinges to joint each sides and glue the hinges to the acrylic. But I went to look for one in Blick and Home Depot and I couldn’t find one. So I gave up and just glued the sticks to the glasses.
Here’s the result. After all, I was trying to fall in love with the laser cutter, but apparently not. I needed to stay by it for hours, also it could ruin your expensive materials.