For those who need to know the phases of the moon, there are options way more satisfying than turning to your favourite Internet search engine.
This laser cut marvel was produced by Lukas Christensen as a gift for his brother, a biodynamic farmer who relies on Moon phases to plant and harvest crops.
When investigating exactly what to make, Lukas decided that merely tracking phases of the Moon would be far too easy. To add an extra challenge, he incorporated the function of showing rise and set times of the Moon. And so the Moon Machine began to take form.
Clearly no stranger to working with numbers, Lukas has included a thorough walkthrough of his process on Instructables.
Although an actual video would have been great to see, here is the next best thing – an animation of the mechanism where you can see the hand crank turning away. In real-world use, one turn of the crank is made each day.
Some of the wooden gears broke under the considerable pressure of the assembled machine at the point where forces are translated to the central planetary gear. To get around this, substitute parts were cut from aluminium.
Reflecting on the completed Moon Phase machine, Lukas has identified a number of ways to make it even more accurate should he come to attempt another version.
Perfect for the active chess player who likes to get out and about, Got Chess? presents a stylish contemporary solution. This laser cut wooden chess board concept by product designer Peter Baeten folds flat into a neat leather pouch that also acts as a playing surface during the game.
“Inspired by the classic leather notebooks, ‘Got Chess?’ is a fully functional chess set, but stripped to its essentials.”
The line between 2D and 3D is blurred as the silhouettes of the pieces take centre stage. Due to the way that the pieces slot in to the board, only the active players have a full view of the game at hand.
Laser cut and then hand finished, Got Chess? consists of four tablets – one each to house the black and white pieces, and two to make up the board.
So if you see a guy wandering around with a stylish folded leather pouch, don’t automatically assume it’s a hipster iPad case. This could be your big opportunity to challenge a Grand Master.
Las TV’s laser cut souvenir captures the feel of a city
How do you capture the soul of a city? When it comes to the dynamic metropolis of Barcelona, there are so many vibrant cultural elements to choose from.
The Las TV’s project came up with this cute little keepsake, which these Spaniards feel gives a snippet of daily life in their home town. Made from laser cut wood at Fab Lab Barcelona, the miniature retro-TV set has a nostalgic photo of the city on the screen, and at the push of a button it plays sounds recorded on the city streets.
So it is now possible to hold the soul of Barcelona in your hand, and rekindle fond memories of this unique urban landscape.
“Las TV’s seek to evoke an experience, share and exchange spaces, capture light, sound and time.”
Click through to see a few pics of the laser cut wooden TV sets being produced at Fab Lab. (more…)
Providing the magical ability to scan not only the surface, but also to reveal details of the insides of an object, the CT (computed tomography) scanner has quite literally changed the way we see ourselves.
Modern CT scanners are frightfully expensive and are usually found in hospitals but Canadian-born Peter Jansen has built one himself out of laser cut wood.
“After seeing the cost for my CT scan, I decided it was time to try to build an open source desktop CT scanner for small objects, and to do it for much less than the cost of a single scan.”
With a design quite similar to the early commercial CT scanners, Peter’s device began as a quarter-scale laser cut acrylic version that he whipped up in a single day.
He then used this mockup to help refine the design, under the watchful gaze of a friendly house cat. (more…)
OFFRobot design iterations resolved using laser cutting
Responding to the tempting possibilities posed by the Hack The Arduino Robot challenge, the OFFRobot is a neat little walker designed by John Rees from the UK.
He’s documented his development process and thoughts along the way, from design of the walking mechanism (including inspiration from Disney Research and the ever-impressive Strandbeest) through to various stages of laser cut and 3d printed leg assemblies.
One interesting point to note is that John’s prototyping went from laser cut cardboard in the early stages, on to laser cut plywood and then 3d printing which came into play once the design was more resolved.
With the deadline of the competition looming, he went back to laser cutting in acrylic for the final burst.
“I did more 3d printing. It gave me some great, really solid and light pieces but I left it too late to print everything, so I will revert to laser cutting once again!”
By ‘reverting’ back to laser cutting for the robot’s legs and gears, John was able to achieve reliable, accurate and tangible results really quickly. That’s one of the major advantages of laser cutting – the unrivalled speed and precision.
Here’s a look at how the OFFRobot mechanism works:
Meet Felix. As you can tell from his gentle gaze, Felix is a friendly dinosaur and he loves to head out for a leisurely stroll.
Originally conceived (and worn) by Lisa Glover while exploring Industrial Origami as a part of her university studies, this jaw-dropping laser cut cardboard costume deservedly won her first place at a Halloween costume party in 2013.
The response to her 15 foot long wearable creation was so overwhelmingly positive that Lisa decided she had no option but to share it around. So she set out to re-engineer the jurassic costume into a form that is more manageable, and which is now the focus of a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Eager, cashed-up backers can get their legs into a giant velociraptor suit of their own, but for the rest of us there are some neat smaller rewards on offer.
Imagine controlling a serious laser cutter with the dynamic ease of an Etch A Sketch. Having first toyed with the idea years ago, Just Add Sharks have finally followed through and attached a fully functional Etch A Sketch controller to their laser cutter. Talk about dreams coming true!
Complete with authentic twiddly knobs and retro-Etch styling (all laser cut, of course) the modification uses an Arduino Pro Mini to bypass the machine’s existing wiring.
Click through for a video of the controller in action, where you can see the different functionality of either Etch or Cut being demonstrated.
Ingenious optical device folded from a single sheet of paper
With diseases such as Malaria still causing serious trouble across the globe, there is a real need for major change in the way fieldwork is carried out.
Researchers at Stanford University’s Prakash Lab have developed a laser cut microscope that costs just 50 cents to produce and boasts performance that rivals standard lab equipment.
At the heart of a process that has been dubbed ‘Use and Throw Microscopy’, the laser cut Foldscope is so cheap to make that it can be considered a disposable device. The origami inspired pattern snaps out of a single sheet of paper and easily assembles in minutes.
“It was a hard challenge thinking of making the best possible instrument, but almost for free.”
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.