this week, i learned how to operate a laser cutter for my second assignment, which is to cut pieces to be held together with friction. after long deliberation and several hours on pinterest, i finally decided to attempt to build a dutch-style windmill. i was inspired by last year student Dan Chen who made a wheel for his laser cut car from flat cardboard. i adapted it for my windmill wheel.

here is my preliminary drawing, modeled on rhino:

i later rotated the two windmill "walls" on the left and right side each 25 degrees toward each other for aesthetics and stability. as a note for next time using rhino, i should keep the curves even after extruding the surface in order to edit later. i realized that Duplicate Face Border gives me a curve with more points than my original vertices, which makes it difficult to maintain straight edges.

i started by laser cutting a few pieces to test the grip:

i made the notches .150 inches thick, which resulted in a good tightness. i should, however, chamfer the slots next time because the tightness made assembly much more difficult later on as more pieces were introduced. i ended up marking some irreparable creases in my pieces because i was too impatiently forceful.

the finished product:

i liked the way the blades turned out--especially from the side where you can see the holes between the corrugated paper innards in addition to the cutout square pattern. but otherwise, it's a derpy, dorky, dalek-resembling dutch windmill!

but it does spin!

i had intended to make the body of the windmill hollow, which i think would make it more elegant. but i just completely forgot.