Laser-upcycle your wardrobe

Using a laser cutter to give old denim a new kick

When he’s not building laser cut wooden hexapods and other robotic wonders, Queron Williams likes to discover new ways to get creative with a laser cutter.

In this recent exploration, he gives an old pair of jeans a fresh makeover – and even managed to remain true to the Robot theme!

Laser cut clothing is something we’ve seen before, but using the laser cutter to etch fabrics takes a little more fine tuning. There isn’t a lot of room for error, as Williams found out when he began with a ‘leather etch’ setting on his laser cutter. Etching patterns into denim requires a more delicate touch, and here’s what it looks like when you get the settings right:

The robot designs are from illustrator mattcantdraw, and they appear to transpose quite nicely onto the denim material.

“I’m actually very pleased with how this turned out, the effect produced looks like natural fade, but only in specific areas. I love that these jeans have gone from boring ‘off the shelf’ to something interesting and individual.”

via Qbotics

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Laser cut all around

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #160

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

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut greeting card from Mr Yen Designs.

After the jump, pigeons, clocks, kings, art, and Digifabulous 2014… (more…)

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Dapper DIY — make your own bow ties!

Ponoko-made project by Jay Thomson

Jay Thomson wears a bow tie to work every day. “[People] get a kick out of seeing them, and they often will strike up a conversation with me about my tie. They’re always amazed when they find out I make many of the ties I wear,” Jay writes on his website Lavaguy.com

He wanted to wear a different tie every day, but between his day job of managing the gift store at The Barnes Foundation museum, painting beautiful abstractions, and designing fabric patterns, he was having a hard time finding the hours it took to make a single tie.

So Jay decided to find a way to streamline the bow tie making process. He designed 7 different tie shapes and used Ponoko’s laser cutting service to create acrylic templates (shown in action in the photo above).

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Spoonflower free swatch day is TODAY!

DIY on the cheap free

Our digital fabric printing friends, Spoonflower, are having a 24 hour FREE swatch day.

Get a free swatch of your own design printed on any of their 8 fabrics, or order an indie design from the Spoonflower marketplace. Shipping is also free to anyone, anywhere!

When you order your free swatch, you can also choose to a make a $5 donation to Heifer International.

Get all the details on Spoonflower’s free swatch day HERE.

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Tools For Textiles and Music

Reed tools and miniature weaving looms with Spoonflower and Ponoko

Andy and Becka Rahn have been dabbling with Ponoko service since 2008.  Becka was curious about designing puzzles, and Andy who is a software engineer couldn’t pass the geek aspect of laser cutting his own designs.  The day Ponoko crossed his computer screen, he started designing his first project.

An art and fiber teacher, Becka decided to make tiny textile tools as holiday ornaments.  She knew of plenty of people who would find miniature weaving looms irresistible.  Andy started with designing reed tools for his oboe, as he found that he was in need of a gizmo to help with the meticulous job of creating reeds for the instrument.  The couple are currently working together on a DIY mini frame loom for weaving enthusiasts.

Both Andy and Becka love working with bamboo and acrylic.  The bamboo is a favourite for its natural finish and feel as well as strength, and the acrylic colors are always an inspiration for fun, vibrant projects.  Becka combines the lasercut pieces with Spoonflower printed fabrics that she also designs.  This means that she has ultimate control over every step of the design process, enabling her to create highly individualised ornaments.

In the past, these handmade fans approached making very differently, sticking to their traditional hobby tools and techniques.  Andy found the transition to digifabbing especially natural, as he was already familiar with digital design tools.  Becka found the new design possibilities exciting and inspirational, and she loves the “whole new level of cool to the materials” that she now has available to her

More from the couple under the cut:

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Win a free yard of *your design* printed on fabric from Spoonflower

Contest ends June 30th

UPDATE: Thanks so much for entering our Sponnflower fabric giveaway. The contest is now closed and winners will be notified and announced very soon!

This month the Ponoko blog has partnered with digi fabric printers Spoonflower to give away a free yard of printed fabric to 5 winners.

Spoonflower lets you upload your own design, choose a fabric, and get your design professionally printed on to fabric.

They’ve been digitally printing fabric for the masses since 2008, and the Spoonflower marketplace is the largest collection of independent fabric designs in the world.

Spoonflower can digitally print on 7 different kinds of fabric, and winners of our blog giveaway can choose whichever fabric they like.

How would you use digitally printed fabric from Spoonflower in a Personal Factory project?

How to enter:
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling us how you would use digitally printed fabric from Spoonflower in a Personal Factory project.

Think about how you would combine your own textile design with your own design for 3D printing; CNC routing; or laser cutting. Or all three!

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Electric Painting

Before there were inkjets, at the dawn of digital art…

Having developed a career as a video artist and painter, Anton Perich was earning his keep working for Andy Warhol when he had a vision of the future.

I dreamed of a machine that would paint. No more hand made paintings, but machine made, with sharp electric lines, on and off, like Morse code, short and long.

It was in the late 1970s that this dream became a reality. The components for the painting machine were all sourced or salvaged from local bargain stores in the famous Canal Street strip in NY.
Consisting of an array of photocells wired to airbrushes and then mounted on a motorized scanning unit, Anton’s contraption would have earned him some serious cred even amongst today’s hardcore hackers.

Click through for a video that shows the Electric Painting Machine in action, as projected images are transferred onto giant canvasses.   (more…)

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Craft You Can Touch, Craft You Can Eat

What do preserves and digifabbing have in common?
Last Saturday’s Craft2.0 fair had Ponoko smeared all over it. Sticky, sweet and delicious, where the former and the latter aptly describe the JamOff jam making competition, while the middle is just as appropriate for the featured designs. Chromatophobic, Freestylen and Super Very proudly displayed their allegiance to Ponoko in form of banners, which attracted many questions from the public.

Keep reading…

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LAB CRAFT — an exhibition celebrating digital fabrication

digital adventures in contemporary craft

Lab Craft is an exhibition featuring 26 makers who combine their artistic vision and manual skills “with cutting-edge digital technologies such as rapid prototyping, laser cutting, laser scanning and digital printing.”

Curated by Max Fraser for the UK’s Crafts Council, the exhibition showcases work from several makers previously featured here on the blog including Gareth Neal, Geoffrey Mann, Liam Hopkins, Lynne MacLachlan, and Tord Boontje.

My favorite piece in the show is Shine by Geoffrey Mann. This piece is the result of 3D scanning a Victorian candelabra and 3D printing the scanned information in silver plated bronze. The scanner being unable to distinguish the actual surface of the object from the reflections produces spikes which vary with the intensity of the reflection.

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These Scarves Show off What Digital Printing is All About

the Spring/Summer 2011 collection from Charlotte Linton


Traditional fabric printing involves a limited color palette. Whether it’s block printing or screen printing, more colors always means more cost.

One of the greatest thing about digital textile printing is that designs can have unlimited colors at the same cost as a single color. Yet designers using digital fabric printing still cling to flat designs with a few, flat colors.

Let Charlotte Linton show you how it’s done.

above: Mineralogy

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