by Blake Fisher
This model was derived from an initial image of some kind of organic object that the professor handed out on the first day.
From that image you were to translate the structural and formal/ornamental qualities of the object and model these in the computer.
After many different 3D model iterations (Rhino was the 3D program) I settled on one that I thought was the best and then constructed pieces from that to be cut by a laser cutter from flat sheets of 18″x32″ clear acrylic.
Basically you have to deconstruct the 3D object and spread the pieces out kind of like cookies on a cookie sheet. (Did this with AutoCAD). So anyway, it’s a pretty cool process, but very time consuming. And you have to be extremely accurate in the model building and the drawings because the laser cuts whatever you tell it to and it doesn’t absorb human errors of lines not fully connecting.
I had to do a couple of test pieces to figure out exactly what amount of material the laser was shaving off beyond the designed distance in the drawing files. From there, I had to determine which fit of the notches was the best fit where the acrylic actually “snapped” together.
It turned out the laser was actually shaving off about an extra 0.165mm on both sides of the notches. So I had to go back into the AutoCAD files and offset on both sides to account for this tolerance of the laser. Pretty tedious and complicated!!!
Photos by Blake Fisher