week 1

Lasercutting & Vinyl Cutting

Sept 15,2020

In the first week of making, we did lasercutting and vinyl cutting. The constraint for the lasercutting assignments were to 1- use cardboard sheets 2- make a parametric construction kit


I was thinking about what to design and I noticed that my plants that I have collected over the last year, are crowding each other and fighting for sunlight from the window.

I decided to make a parametric design for a plant stand that can be customized for different sized pots and different planter heights.

I made some initial sketches for the shape of the planter and began modelling them in Fusion360, I used the user parameter feature in fusion to create custom parameters for the planter shape and the height of the plant stand. I also created a user paramaeter for the thickness of the carboard that way I could dynamically change it based on available materials

After designing the stand in fusion, I tried changing the parameters to see if the model would change, I was preety satisfied with how the design turned out.

I went to the CBA shop after getting a covid pass and a mandetory covid test. at the shop I first cut out a caliberation piece to see which thickness provided the best fit. The actual thickness of the cardboard was 4.7mm but a cut with 4.1mm gave me te best fit that was able to hold the piece together with friction.

So I changed the material thickness parameter in fusion to 4.1 and fed in the sizes of the 2 planters i had at home. I made flat drawings of the fusion parts, saved them as pdf and opened the pdf in Adobe Illustrator in order to arrange all the pieces in a compact arrangement on a 2feet x 3feet panel of cardboard. I found this process inefficient as I had to manually make a pdf drawing with each part, there must be an easier way to do this.

I was able to cut all the pieces needed on a single sheet of cardboard. I then took the pieces home and assembled them, it took under 10 minutes to assemble the stands.

I quite like the way the stands turned out. I think I'll use them, but I am concerned about the stands getting wet and collapse while watering the plants, but thats in the future.

Vinyl cutting

I traced a wavy pattern in Adobe Illustrator that I thoght would be a good thing to cut. I wanted to make stickers for my notebooks. While playing with the designs, I realised that if I put 2 deigns on top f each other and slightly misalign them, I get very interesting patterns, for this I would need to cut 2 of the same patterns in 2 contrasting colors.

This was the first time I was using the vinyl cutter, I followed the steps from the training session, but I was not able to get good cuts, my initial attempts did not cut the pattens completely. Later attempts were cutting the designs but because the lines were so close together, the pieces I wanted to keep were getting pulled away into the cutter. I tried a few more times, changing parameters and scaling up the design. I was running out of time so I decided to scrap the idea of layering the stickers and make do with the patterns I had at hand.