Laser cutting prototypes no. 3 & 4

The day yesterday was so productive, fun, exciting, and I learned so much about laser cutting. I am so excited about this project!

Me and Sasha met up to work on the project and make prototypes by using laser cutting. I have never used laser cutting before so I was very excited to try. Sasha had used it a lot for her previous studio project so she knew what to do. She showed me how to set up the file for laser cutting which was really good. There is a laser cutting introduction workshop coming up but I will miss it because I have signed up for other workshops on that day. I was a bit nervous to miss it but now I know anyway what to do so it’s not a problem anymore.

I am so happy that we laser cut prototypes. They turned out so great. I love them! I think they look so much more professional than the cardboard prototypes that we did before both on our own. I just want to laser cut more now!

We made one X-shaped and one Y-shaped prototype. We also tried two different sign ideas based on my previous models.We also agreed that the storage compartment idea from the previous models is a good idea so we included that in the wooden models too.

After we creating files for laser cutting in Illustrator, we went to buy material from a shop called 4D Modelshop (link to the website) a couple of minutes walk away from the uni. I had no idea that a shop like that was there. They sell so much cool stuff. Bought plywood, metal wire and tiny wooden balls for wheels. We also took a look at other stuff that could be useful for when we build the real shop. We found long dowels that we could use to make pegs. I am sure we will go back there at some point. The shop isn’t that expensive either. Everything we bought yesterday came to only 8 pounds.

The girl working in the laser cutting room was so nice and helpful too! She said that she has been there for 2 months now and only a few people have come to use the room in that time. So, I think she was happy to have us come there to use laser cutting. She said that she learns more every time she can help others and she was excited too to see how our cutting turns out.

We talked with her about the facilities and how it is a shame that people don’t know about laser cutting or don’t know how to use it. I can’t believe that I only discovered it now myself with only a couple of months left of the studies. But I never had an introduction before so I wouldn’t know how to use it. I didn’t even know where to room was to be honest. But I think all that applies to other facilities too. It is silly that we have all these specialist facilities for printing and other stuff but we aren’t properly taught to use them. I think they should give students introductions in everything in the beginning of their first year and only after that start working on projects. That way students would know all the facilities and could then use them for the projects right from the beginning.

After laser cutting we went to the library to put the prototypes together with hot glue. Team work between us went very smoothly. I spread glue on the pieces and Sasha stack them on the prototype. I think it was really good to build them together because alone it would have been 10 time harder to get the pieces in place perfectly before the glue sets.

We photographed the finished prototypes in the photography room in the library. I knew it exists but I have never used it to photograph my work before. I think both prototypes have good qualities. I like both sign designs and the storage compartments work well with both shapes. I like how the Y-shape is more open (there is more room between the walls) but on the other hand the X-shape is more compact which can be a good thing too depending on what you are looking for. I also like the X-shape and how the words cross each other in the sign. Then again, I also like how in the Y-shape the negative space of the sign has been cut and words “sit on top of the structure”. I really don’t know which model better. I think we need to discuss with Regular Practice next week and hear their thoughts on this.

X-shaped prototype:

Y-shaped prototype:

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