June 11, 2012 AT 3:40 pm

Creating Illuminated 3D Objects with a Laser Cutter

 3dlaserurchin

theseeker writes:

Have you ever seen acrylic that’s been edge-lit using LEDs or similar?  The light normally just passes through, but wherever there’s a scratch you’ll find that the light refracts and it appears quite brightly.  People engrave messages and patterns onto plastic sheeting to make it really stand out when lit.  Well, what if you did the same thing, but instead of just etching the surface, you cut sections out of it and then scuffed up the parts that had been cut?  Now the entire thickness of the sheet begins to glow in those areas!

Although I used these techniques to create art, the real beauty of this is that you can create any 3D object you want with a laser cutter, whether it’s the object itself, or a negative of the object encased in a block, as I did. In essence, you’re turning your laser cutter into a 3D printer with a resolution limited only by the thickness of your material.

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1 Comment

  1. Neat! I used skeinforge to slice STL models for laser cutting and found the result interesting in a chunky 8-bit sort of way: http://www.nycresistor.com/2012/02/27/laser-slicing/

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