2. Cookie Press-Fit Construction Kit


Laser-cut cookies tastes like burning cardboard.

This week, we learned how to use the vinyl cutter and laser cutter. The project is to build a press-fit construction kit using the laser cutter. We were given a choice of materials: cardboard, plywood, acetate... I figured, why not cookies? After all, it’d be really rad to have a gingerbread construction kit that built castles.

Due to the time constraint (20 people needed to sign up for 2 hour slots over 4 days), I decided to just do a simple proof-of-concept and save the fancy design work for later. This is the design I made in Corel Draw.

The choice of cookie recipe took some thought. I wanted something with a uniform texture, fairly hard, and non-crumbly. A friend suggested animal crackers, which seemed like the perfect candidate. I wanted to compare the results with a denser cookie, so I made a batch of lemon shortbread as well.

Animal crackers on the left, lemon shortbread on the right. As you can see, I got a lot better at rolling out sheets of cookie dough. One trick is to continuously trim the dough while rolling to keep the nice shape.

The difficult part, I found, was in rolling out the cookie dough as evenly as possible. Going over the cookies with a rolling pin right after they come out of the oven helped too. 

Laser cutting the cookies worked surprisingly well. The power for the first attempt was too low, and the cookie was nicely engraved instead of cut. We found that 76% power and 2.8% speed cut the cookie nicely.

The finished product:

I ended making quite a few pieces. The animal cracker pieces were better for actual construction, as the lemon shortbread had a tendency to break apart.