Week 1: Vinyl/laser cutting

Skills used: Fusion 360, mods, vinyl cutter, laser cutter

Vinyl cutting: For my vinyl cut, I used an image of a linocut print of a dog, edited it in photoshop to get rid of some of the noise from the lino process, and then used mods to do the vinyl cutting.

The original image

Applying the vinyl using contact paper

I used the positive sticker first, but I also really liked what was left, so I applied the negative sticker too - a low-waste sticker experience.

Laser cutting: The concept for my parametric building kit was to make connectable shapes that could be combined in different ways to make different animals (I didn't notice the animal theme here until now...)

When I made my original sketch, I was imagining having a set of bodies and legs that could be mixed and matched to make fun made-up animals, but then realized if the whole thing was going to be parametric I would run into a lot of issues with such organic shapes.

My second idea was to simplify the shapes using different gemotries, but as I was making these I realized it would be even more fun if you weren't constrained to certain full animals, and could instead make up your own real or pretend animals using a more open-ended kit.

Here are all of the shapes drawn out in fusion. I didn't know how to use reference lines to align shapes, so I was using a lot of constraints to keep everything in place, and eventually this came back to haunt me as some of the constraints weren't happy when I tried to update the parameters. So I went back and updated the ones that were causing issues.

The design was parametric - because I had a certain size for the animals in mind, I didn't set the full shape to be dependent on the width of the cardboard, so I had two parameters that took numerical input (diameter of the body and width of the cardboard slots). I also cut and measured a 1" square to measure the kerf, and it was about 0.0085" so I took that into consideration when changing the parameter for the width of the joins.

The full set of parts

A slideshow of a few different animals (and a portrait) I made using my kit!