Laser-Cutting 3D Objects
Figure 1: LaserOrigami fabricates 3D structure by bending, rather than using joints, thereby eliminating the need for manual assembly. Here it fabricates a mobile phone screen cam by (a) cutting the contour lines and (b) heating up the bend paths until the material becomes compliant and bends down under the influence of gravity. When the user retrieves the object, it is already assembled and (c) ready to be deployed.
Figure 2: LaserOrigami fabricated the screen cam from Figure 1 in 3min compared to (b) the 240min the 3D printer required (Dimension Elite 3D printer). (c) Traditional laser cutting requires assembly.
|Mueller, S., Kruck, B., and Baudisch, P. LaserOrigami: Laser-Cutting 3D Objects.
In Proceedings of CHI ’13, pp. 2585-2592. [Best Paper Award]
PDF (7.7MB) | Slides (148.1MB) | Video | CHI Talk |
[DEMO AT CHI'13] Interactivity PDF (1.6MB)
Presentation at CHI ’13 (15 min)
LaserOrigami Tutorial (still in the making, May 30)
Download the example file:
This tutorial describes the generic process of how LaserOrigami works at the specific example of a small city outline of Paris, cut from 1.5mm antireflex acrylic with a PLS6.150D Universal Laser Cutter (150W) with a 1.5 lens.
The settings described in this tutorial will vary depending on the type of laser cutter you use, the lens you use in the laser cutter and which thickness of material you are trying to bend.
1) Does your Lasercutter have an automatic motion table? (Auto-Z = ON)
Is your laser cutter able to move the platform on which the workpiece rests up and down?
This feature is normally used to cut materials of different thicknesses, i.e. the platform moves down for thicker materials to keep the workpiece in the focus plane of the laser.
If you are not sure, check the settings of your lasercutter and look for “Autofocus”, “Automatic z-homing” or something similar. For our lasercutter, Auto-z is per default on.
Here is how it looks for our lasercutter :
2) Does your Lasercutter support color-coding different material settings?
LaserOrigami color codes which lines are cut and which lines are bend (see example file above).
Additionally the colors define in which order the different steps are executed.
Here is why: Our lasercutter defines different power, speed and z-axis (motion table up or down) settings in different colors (see image below).
Colors are processed in the order from top to bottom: Black, Red, Green, Yellow and so on.
As you can see the yellow line has a different z-axis setting than the other colors. z-axis is the setting that moves the platform away from the laser. While all other colors are very close to the laser (in focus -> cut), the yellow line causes the platform to move 5.2cm away from the laser in defocused mode (defocus -> bend).
3) Turn Vector-Optimizer off (line order within a certain color)
Many laser-cutters optimize the laser head movement by executing the lines in a different order than they were initially created in the drawing program. This feature is called vector optimizer. For LaserOrigami the order in which lines are executed is very important and should not be changed by the lasercutter. So the vectoroptimizer should be set to “None” (= use the stacking order of layers in the drawing program, which can be changed with “move to front/move to back”) .
4) Lasercut the LaserOrigami stand
These stands are going to replace your honeycomb (so parts have space to drop when being bend). If you want to make your life easier, make the stands exactly the height of your honeycomb.
Cut at least four of these stands or design your own.
Use a heat gun to bend them. Make sure say stand perfectly balanced.
5) Find correct z-axis settings
Pictures for the Press