Javascript Laser Cut Lamp Shades

A few lines of code to brighten your day

When Maxime Beauchemin set out to design a pair of laser cut lamp shades, he decided that it would be fun to make use of his coding skills. Already familiar with d3.js, he used Javascript to generate the vector artwork that would then be sent to the laser cutter.

This was much easier than it may otherwise appear thanks to the interactive setup at jsfiddle.net, a fantastic resource that some refer to as a ‘playground for developers’. Here is a screenshot of the number crunching that makes Maxime’s lamp possible:

This looks like an interesting way to approach design for laser cutting, with the interactive preview keeping the outcome right there on screen. Of course, a little coding knowledge would be handy to get started… but for those who just want to play, you can head over to jsfiddle and tweak Maxime’s code to make further iterations of his Javascript Laser Cut Lampshade.

via Maxime Beauchemin

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Sweet dreams thanks to Sleep Sensei

Ponoko laser cut Kickstarter trains you to fall asleep. Eyes closed, now breathe…

Chasing those Z’s is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to this nifty innovation from Jeremy Wilson on Kickstarter. The Sleep Sensei sits on your nightstand and gently guides you towards a deep, restful sleep.

How does it do this? To some insomniacs, such an achievement may sound like pure magic, but there is some serious science behind the device. Jeremy’s own insomnia saw him trial numerous sleep aids before he set out to use his Arduino skills to sort out their collective shortcomings.

The functional laser cut prototype pictured above is at the core of this Kickstarter campaign, with the final design yet to be revealed. The key technology has all been sorted out already, as can be attested by an overwhelmingly positive outcome from product trials on real sleep-challenged volunteers.

“The Sleep Sensei primarily helps those with sleeping problems caused by stress or an overactive mind at bedtime.”

If you are one of those creative over-achievers who just can’t stop their mind racing at the end of the day (we probably all know at least a few people who fall into that category!) then head over to Kickstarter to discover more about The Sleep Sensei.

via Kickstarter

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Progressively less elegant laser cutting

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #198

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

Above is a laser engraved Baltic Birch wood Audrey Hepburn picture from Bumble Bunny Media.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, rats, flying rats, trilobites, and hands… (more…)

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Laser-cut Mechanical Claw

Bringing laser cut Halloween costumes within grasp

We love to see people using a laser cutter to create complex and clever Halloween costumes. This laser cut mechanical claw becomes an extension of the wearer’s hand, and comes alive thanks to mechanical tendons that animate in unison with the wearer’s finger movements.

Put together and posted on Instructables by musicandsky (Xintian Chu), the goal of this project is to make it easy for others to build their own set of mechanical hands.

“…you may see some projects on Instructables and YouTube with similar mechanisms which are awesome, but it may be hard to replicate one of those. In order to let anyone make one, I’ve kept material lists simple, with a lot of pictures to help you assemble.”

I think that he also just really enjoys having giant mechanical claws instead of fingers, and understandably so! Check out this photo from the streets of Taipei:

To read the thorough walkthrough on Instructables, follow the source link below and discover how Xintian Chu and his friends Mac Yu and Ted Hung from FabLab Taipei make it easier than ever to get handy this Halloween.

via Instructables

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Fab Academy 2015

Applications now open for the next Fab Academy Diploma

Applications are now open for the fifth edition of the Fab Academy Diploma, the main educational program of the Fab Lab Network.

For five months running between January and June in 2015, participants will find themselves immersed in an advanced digital fabrication program directed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms. The diploma is based on MIT’s rapid prototyping course, MAS 863: How to Make (Almost) Anything, and operates as a worldwide, distributed campus where Fab Labs across the globe become classrooms and libraries for a new kind of technical literacy.

Learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with cutting edge digital fabrication technology.

Take note of the following important dates if you think this sounds like a great way to supercharge your creativity and productivity in 2015:

Application period: October 6th, 2014 – November 20th, 2014
Application revisions: November 21st, 2014 – November 31st, 2014
Application notification: December 1st, 2014 – December 10th, 2014
Classes: January 21st, 2015 – May 27th, 2015

A list of participating labs can be viewed here, and more information is available on the Fab Academy website. Applications are open… apply now for the 2015 course!

via Fab Academy

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Get it in laser cut gear

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #197

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

Above is a laser cut birch plywood magnetic gear toy from Steven Mattern Design.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, crosses, keys, and cuffs… (more…)

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Award Winning Laser-Cut Shadows

Mesmerising projection installation wins major art prize

The intricate patterns projected by artist Anila Quayyum Agha’s installation piece envelop the surrounding space with an immersive interplay of light and shadow.

Titled Intersections, the laser cut cube houses a single light bulb that shines through the exquisitely detailed panels. Evoking the distinct aesthetics of Islamic art and architecture, the suspended artefact blurs boundaries as the viewer is invited into the space, drawing them in while at the same time excluding them from physically reaching the central focus point.

Anila describes the installation as challenging the viewer to “…confront the contradictory nature of all intersections, while simultaneously exploring boundaries.”

Making an impact beyond the physical space, Intersections deservedly won Anila both the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize and the $100,000 Juried Grand Prize at ArtPrize international art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Click through to learn more about the thinking behind this intriguing laser cut art piece.

Anila Quayyum Agha via The Creators Project

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7 Important Dates for Online Sellers

For folks selling online, Christmas is without a doubt the busiest time of year.

Online shoppers shelled out over $46.5 billion in the 2013 holiday season.

While a big chunk of sales went to powerful online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart, last year shopping carts such as Shopify and Big Commerce commanded the highest dollar value per individual order.

If you’re making and selling online, get ready for this year’s influx of holiday orders by planing around the following important holiday milestones:

Feel free to embed this infographic on your site or blog using the code below:

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Laser-Cut Halloween Costume

How one dad used Ponoko to make his kid’s dreams take flight

Halloween is approaching once again, and that means creative parents are busy putting together costumes for their eager little Trick or Treaters.

Taking note of his son’s ‘outsized interest in aviation’, SketchUp guru Aidan Chopra set himself the task of building an aeroplane at just the right scale for the diminutive 2½ year old pilot. The outcome – a laser cut cardboard aeroplane costume – looks fantastic, with cartoon-like proportions that give a real sense of comic aviation nostalgia.

Aidan has put together a thorough walkthrough of his design process, including references and explanatory diagrams that take you through each stage of the project in comprehensive detail. We’ve included a few snippets from the original SketchUp post here, but do be sure to click through to the source for all of the juicy insights.

He began by referencing an enthusiast’s model of a WWII era fighter plane, and squished the proportions until it looked both fun and wearable. Having decided on laser cut cardboard for the final construction, Aidan then explored using Ponoko to produce the components… and that was where things really became interesting.

By taking time to plan out which materials to use, what sheet sizes and the relevant Ponoko requirements, he could then proceed with modeling the plane so that both construction and laser cutting costs were optimised.

The plane is constructed from 58 laser cut parts, of which 32 are unique. It took a little patience to work out how to best fit these onto the Ponoko P3 laser cutting template for double-layered corrugated cardboard, but the effort quite literally paid off by reducing cutting time.

“I’d discovered that it’s significantly cheaper to produce two copies of the same cutting file than it is to make two different sheets. Good thing, because it turns out that most of my airplane parts are symmetrical; they’re mirrored copies that exist in pairs.”

A lot of thought went in to each stage of the design process; from considering the scale and proportions appropriate for a child pilot, the material thickness and template sizes in the Ponoko Personal Factory, through to the inclusion of nodes on the slotted sections so that all the components fit together and hold in place securely.

The accuracy of the cutting was astounding. I’ve never laser cut anything; I expected the pieces to look good, but the quality of what I got made me alternate between grinning and literally giggling. For a person who spent hundreds of hours in architecture school hacking away at cardboard, foam core, basswood and plexiglass with an X-Acto knife, the extravagant expense of laser cutting instantly justified itself. I was hooked.

What a fantastic success story for a first-time Ponoko user. Why did he start off with a project as complex as this? It all may make a little more sense when you consider Aidan’s background. Having moved on from architecture, he became a master of the modeling program SketchUp. That’s no idle boast – some users may find him familiar as the author of the SketchUp for Dummies book series. Aidan’s guest post on SparkFun is both informative and entertaining, so click through if you’d like to hear the full story.

via SparkFun and SketchUp

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A heady mix of laser cutting

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #196

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

Above are laser etched wood rolling pins (for Play Dough) from Humble Elephant.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, bunnies, ghosts, Afros, chapels, and ice cream… (more…)

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