How to Make Almost Anything > John's class Homepage > the vinyl cutter, the laser cutter, and the waterjet cutter


Cutters: Slice, Blast, and Burn


This second assignment we are to make something that snaps together with the vinyl cutter, the laser cutter, and the waterjet cutter.


I decided for this snap-together project to make a musical instrument. It’s got to be something primitive i.e. a wind or brass instrument. It would need a square or trapezoidal bore, since round isn’t really possible with the materials and equipment on hand.


Here are some designs for PVC flutes that could be adapted.


And there are excellent designs for the Peruvian flute, called the Quena:


But my real inspiration came from this family of square brass instruments.


The final verdict: I will make the Sqoboe --- loosely based on the Squorm but with an oboe double reed. All my oboe friends will love me. J


My design used CorelDraw 12. There’s a 30 day trial version on the web. I also just discovered that there are fully operating versions of CorelDraw on \\nemo at the lab as well.


CorelDraw took a bit of getting used to.  I learned to:

  • Use shapes, not lines. Otherwise combining objects is problematic.
  • To make interlocking pieces, use squares as teeth and use the weld command just before cutting. The do <UNDO> and reshape the squares as necessary.


Here is my design (before the weld command and after the weld command) saved in CorelDraw 10 format.


I made a cardboard model first, then some test pieces. Finally, I cut the final sqoboe in red acrylic. Acrylic is more brittle than I thought. I broke three pieces trying to snap the thing together.


And it sounds…like it isn’t airtight!


Here is the final product, along with some cardboard prototypes: