Laser Cutter

Complete assembly

This week our assignment was to create a snap-together kit from laser cut (or otherwise) materials.


I've been doing this fairly regularly now, but I haven't quite settled on the best method. This is my current procedure...

I've had bad luck with the exported PDFs + Corel Draw, but good luck with exported DWGs. Once in Corel Draw, you can arrange the different parts to make the best use of the stock.

Now... I'm not satisfied with this method, because the machine has a kerf, and in my models, I don't account for kerf. Jonathan Ward suggested that for each part, I make a dependent part, where all cut dimensions are adjusted to account for kerf. Then I would repeat the procedures as described above. This is a lot of work - haven't tried it yet though...

As a contrast, Jonathan Ward exports each part as a DXF and imports into Rhino where he arranges parts on virtual stock and cuts directly from Rhino.

For this project, I created a few simple parts in Inventor, then patterned used the second method (I made a "stock" part and arranged them in an assembly).

Snap-Together Construction Kit

Since I was careful to keep crucial dimensions parametric during the design of each of the construction elements, I was able to iterate a few times varying the tolarance and sizing of the parts very easily.

Complete assembly

The parts were cut out from Corel Draw at 100% power 20% speed. Some of the parts were not cut entirely through. They were all on the lower right of the workpiece. My hypothesis is that the telescope is defocused a little at that distance and does not have enough power to cut through.