Laser Cut Parabolic String Lamp

Wrapping up that retro style with a laser cut wooden frame

At some stage, we’ve probably all done a little parabolic line art. Whether it was in the back cover of a school textbook, or with a series of nails and string on a piece of plywood… there is something about the way those curves and straight lines work together that draws people in. Particularly if you are a fan of 1970’s decor.

Audrey Love has given this retro geometric art form a digital twist by laser cutting a wooden frame for her Parabolic String Lamp on Instructables.

I examined closely and figured out how the illusions of curves appeared in the string art. I was curious if the same principle could be applied to a curved dimensional object.

The laser cutter was handy because it enabled her to quickly produce the numerous notched holes that the string feeds through. All in all, it only took five minutes to cut all the parts out. Here is the laser cutter in action:

Check out the Instructables post to see Audrey’s step-by-step process, where you can also download the pattern to make a Parabolic String Lamp of your own.

Instructables: Parabolic String Lamp

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DIY Kerf measuring tool refines your laser cutting precision

Although it isn’t critical on all laser cut projects, for anything with parts that fit or slot together, kerf is something that is worth paying attention to.

It may sound like a Jim Henson creation – but kerf is in fact a very real technical term. Kerf refers to the gap that is left by the cutting device – in our case, the laser beam in a laser cutter. It’s usually more of an issue when laser cutting in wood, but will also come into play when laser cutting acrylic and other materials.

Open source enthusiast Dave Chamberlin has come up with a nifty device that can be used to accurately measure the kerf of a laser cutter. The simple cutting pattern has been uploaded to Thingiverse, and includes instructions on how to measure your kerf etched right onto the device itself. Here is what it looks like:

Follow the source link below to download the file and try it out on your own laser cutter. You can also discover what else Dave is up to in his open source maker crusade over at Takeaway 3d Tech.

Thingiverse: Laser Kerf Measuring Tool

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Flying straight to your heart on Valentine’s Day

Did you make something special for a loved one this Valentine’s Day? For those with a laser cutter handy (that includes Ponoko users, too!) here is a cute little Laser Cut Cupid from Rob Ives that is sure to win over more than a few hearts.

All of the parts for this romantic automata are available for free over at Instructables and on Rob’s blog. Assembly is quite straightforward, and made even easier thanks to the detailed instructions provided. With the laser cut parts, some thin dowel, and wire from two paperclips, your Cupid will be flapping away in no time.

Turn the handle, and watch as the laser cut wooden gears work their magic.

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Bonded Forever: Jewelry that Unites Cancer Patients and their Families

Bonded Forever designs and sells jewelry for cancer patients, survivors and their families. A portion of the proceeds from every sale are donated to cancer research and patient care.
Bonded Forever Jewelry

In September 2010, Cassandra Hoo faced a difficult situation that ultimately served the as inspiration behind her jewelry company, Bonded Forever.

When her mother was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, Cassandra Hoo wanted to give her a gift that would help her feel grounded, safe, & surrounded by love. “I designed and made a beautiful pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace with semiprecious gemstone beads that I thought would create a soothing, nurturing, and positive effect on her.”

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Soon the jewelry became a hit with friends and family, and Cassandra was inspired to create an entire line of jewelry that could help bond people together during hard times.

With her mother 100% cancer-free, Cassandra teamed up with Ponoko to do her part to help cancer patients and their families.

“A friend of mine, who is professional jewelry maker and designer, suggested that I try Ponoko. I was really pleased that Ponoko offered so many materials and the flexibility of making as much or as little product as I wanted.”

With a little help from her graphic design inclined father, Cassandra created a new laser-cut jewelry line that showcased her beautiful logo.

In addition to her site, Cassandra sells her jewelry at trunk shows and craft fairs locally in the Philadelphia area. Cassandra is also raising funds by participating in this year’s “Get Your Rear in Gear” Philly run.

You can purchase Bonded Forever pendants and more at Bonded Forever Jewelry, and read her blog at bondedforever.org

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