A truly useless end to the year

Closing out the year with a laser cut Useless Machine

If you’re wondering how to make the most of that ever-so-tempting Ponoko Boxing Day discount, here is a completely useless project idea.

How about building your very own laser cut Useless Machine? Thingiverse user Aaron posted this decorative version, along with instructions on how to make your own diabolical contraption. He has even included handy tips on customisation to suit different material thicknesses.

For those who don’t know, a Useless Machine consists of a simple box with a single switch on the top. Upon activating the switch, a hatch opens up and out pops a lever that turns the switch off again.

Originally invented by Artificial Intelligence pioneer Martn Minsky, the Useless Machine is kind of reminiscent of a 19th century novelty mechanical curio. If you do a bit of research you’ll find dozens of examples of how people have had fun with this idea by creating their own variations, and here is a nice video of Martin talking about what he terms the ‘most useless machine ever made’.

As a laser cutting project for both new and experienced makers, this could in fact prove to be quite useful after all.

Thanks to Aaron on Thingiverse.

It’s always time for laser cuttng

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #206

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

Above is a laser cut Chrono Trigger wood clock from GameVetz.

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After the jump, boxes, stencil, and girls in yoga pants… (more…)

Laser cut maps and numbers

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #205

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

Above is a laser cur walnut plywood map of Ohio from Cut Maps.

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After the jump, Chicago, police boxes,, 10, and three… (more…)

Laser cut multiples

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #204

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

Above are laser cut and powder coated steel bookends from Design Atelier Article.

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After the jump, bees, octopi, chess, and embroidery… (more…)

Laser cutting, not found

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #203

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

Above is a laser cut felt coaster from The Little Factory.

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After the jump, a bag and a blazer… (more…)

Laser cutting looking at you

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #202

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

Above is a laser cut and etched birch work from Adam Rosenberg.

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After the jump, space ships, gorilla’s, shells, hangers… (more…)

laser cutting, baby!

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #201

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

Above is a laser cut wood nursery poster from Tuli.

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After the jump, flower girls, cakes, apples, and Louisville

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Later cut tessellation

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #200

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

Above is a laser cut and assembled wood cutting board from Artifacture.

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After the jump, bags, tree toppers, reindeer, necklace… (more…)

Laser Cut Robots Remind You to Water Your Plants

Your Geranium is texting you – thanks to Plant Friends

Some of us are blessed with a natural talent for caring for our houseplants. Others, however, struggle with merely keeping our houseplants alive.

For those of us born without a green thumb, Plant Friends are here to help save the lives of innocent plants everywhere.

Plant Friends is a moisture sensor system that monitors the air temperature, humidity, & soil moisture of of your indoor plants that will alert you via email or text message when your plants are thirsty.

(more…)

Laser Cut Scales

Fabric-inspired pattern knits together like a 21st century chainmail

Here is an interesting way to use laser cutting to produce a dynamic, malleable surface. Inspired by the structure and physical characteristics of certain fabrics, Scales from Japanese designer Shino Onodera is beautiful in its simplicity.

An intricate woven material is constructed from laser cut repetitions of a single simple wiggly pattern. Onodera experimented with a number of different materials to test the structural integrity of the design, with these images showing the version made from tracing paper.

Demonstrations of the laser cut Scales were featured in an exhibition at Japan’s prestigious Keio University, including sheets suspended from the ceiling and examples of the pattern applied in different materials.

What would you make if you could laser cut your own fabric?

See how to make your own Scales on Instructables.

via Instructables