Assignment 5

Working with the Laser Cutter: Creating a Screen


The laser cutter is a powerful digital tool for designers. The cutter allows for complexity in a model without the associated time cost to produce such a model. In this exercise you will use the laser cutter to cut out a complex screen like the ones shown in lecture.

Part I: Setting up your Illustrator file.

  • Your final screen should be at least 6” x 6” and no larger than 8” x 10”
  • Your new Illustrator file must be in “RGB”
  • You must draw a rectangle with a 0.1 pt width (you will have to type the value it is not a pre-set in Illustrator) in pure red (255,0,0) where you would like your screen cut out. This rectangle must be on a separate layer.
  • You can use both cut and engrave to your advantage (cuts are obvious, but engraves can be fold lines)
  • Try to make your engrave lines horizontal rather than vertical as it will dramatically speed up cutting.

Part II: Design & Test days (Thursday 10/21, Tuesday 10/26)

  • On Thursday 10/21 I will give an introductory lecture on folding screens. During the lab period you will work on exercise 5.2, which will help you develop your first screen.
  • On Tuesday 10/26, there will be no formal lecture. Instead, you have the full class period to work on your screen. You will need to sign up for a time slot on the door of ET 118 anytime between 11am – 3pm to run a test cut of your screen. This process will increase your familiarity with the laser cutter and help you develop your design.

Part III: Submitting your work

  • This will be a two part process. You must submit your .ai file by the beginning of class on Thursday 10/28 to the shared Dropbox folder. Your file is due at the beginning of class.
  • You will again sign up for a time slot to cut your screen. Specific dates and times for cutting will be posted (most will be during HBA, though some will be during the lab section of the class. After you have cut your screen, you will have until the next class period to “finish” folding your screen and turn it in to me.

Download .pdf of Assignment 5

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