Vinyl & Laser Cutter

(Week 2)

For this weeks assignment we had to design and build a press fit construction kits using the laser cutter. For this project I decided to start small with a basic kit to get used to all the tools before playing around and making a mess.

Press Fit Kit

To get to grips with the laser cutter I started with a simple design which closely followed that of Neil's GIK kit. I firstly designed this in Solidworks as a simple sketch and then exported it as a DWG file allowing it to be imported into AutoCAD for machining.

This process was not as simple as I hoped having drawn all my sketches on the wrong axis within Solidworks. Having discovered the Rotate3D command in AutoCAD I eventually got these all imported into the same file for cutting.

Having previously been given some expert advise on machine settings (Thanks Shahar) it cut without any problems. Sadly though my dimensions were a few millimeters out and so had to repeat the process again using 3.75mm as the card width. On the second attempt this seemed to work with the kit successfully holding together.

Press Fit Tree

After getting AutoCAD under control I decided to play around with more complicated structures and so designed a press fit tree. This was similarly designed as multiple parts within Solidworks and then individually imported into AutoCAD for cutting.

This attempt was much more successful and cut without any problems having now readjusted the dimensions. As you can see the tree is formed of two simple interlocking elements that are pushed into a base. To prevent this from lifting out the legs have notches on them which clip out on the underside of the base.

Settings - Epilog 120W

Speed - 50
Power - 25

Source Files

Press Fit Kit - Solidworks
Press Fit Desktop Tree - Solidworks


When importing existing sketches into AutoCAD they can sit on the wrong axis depending on how they were exported. To rotate the sketch on a different axis you must use the ROTATE3D command which can be typed into the command line interface.

Always refocus the laser cutter after moving anything on the bed...

Basic press fit shapes

Playing with the kit

Laser cut tree shapes

Tree components

Final construction with leaves