Laser Cutting

Projects using the Laser Cutter at Sector67
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
Tonight I am presenting at the Sector67 Monthly Meeting a little project I made this summer to hold my phone properly aligned on it's wireless charger.  Here is a link to my presentation.

Kate's Laser-Cut Charging Cradle
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
Once again, Brian Vesperman and I partnered to make awards for an Isthmus event, The Beer and Cheese Fest. We were given access to the lovely artwork of Tommy Washbush, which we used to make laser engraved wood and acrylic wall plaques for Best Beer, Best Cheese, and Best Booth awards.

We used Chicago Screws and laser cut washers to off-set the acrylic from the wood.

On the back, we gave credit to the illustrator (Tommy Washbush), and our makerspace, Sector67.
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
I started making my rabbit enclosure at Build Madison 2014. I just recently finished it. Other than the final assembly, it was made at Sector67.

Prezi Presentation

The rabbinet consists of two mirror-image towers connected by a bridge.

The upper 3 stories of each tower are for the rabbit.

The lower level is half storage, and half stairs for the rabbit to exit/enter the rabbinet.

The exit/entrance door can be opened or closed.

The upper doors are clear acrylic and they open wide (like french doors) for easy access.

It's green-edge acrylic, so it looks similar to glass, but is still easy to see through.

Each level has at least 2 exits so that the rabbit will never feel cornered. I used regular stairs, spiral stairs, rabbit ladders, and bridges.

The rabbit ladder consists of a platform in-between the two stories, and then connecting ladders with carpet on each step.

Spiral stairs connect all three stories.

Each step is curved.

The bridge connecting the 2 towers looks like a row of bones.

The inside is smooth.

My rabbit loves the bone bridge!

Each level has a rug of marine carpet. It has a smooth rubber backing, and isn't made of little tufts so thus far my rabbit has shown no interest in eating it. I bought the carpet off a roll at Menards, but I noticed that they already discontinued the smooth rubber-backed carpet. I have more than one rug for each level so that I can toss them in the washing machine as needed. They wash and dry well so far.

The outer parts of the Rabinet are painted with copper paint and a verdigris patina applied. I applied more patina to the upper layers of the doors than the lower layers to accentuate the pattern. The paint and patina came from Sculpt Nouveau.

My Bunny really seems to enjoy her Rabbinet. I leave the door open almost all the time, but she chooses to spend most of her time in there. She runs back and forth across the Bone Bridge often.

The large doors have allowed for easy cleaning. Each tower is independent from the bone bridge, so I can roll them out to clean underneath them. The junction between the bridge and the tower consists of an over-lapping step up.

How it was Made

I designed the enclosure to best take advantage of two small corners in our living room. My plan was to have a tower in each of the two corners, connected by a bridge over the glass doors. I started making my plan when we first bought the house, and it looked like this photo.

This was a small cardboard model I made while making my plans.

I cut the doors of the upper section out of clear acrylic on the laser cutter.

This was a small test-cut of the door concept.

The lower doors of the storage area are made of solid wood, to hide the storage.

Here is the CNC router at Sector67 cutting the doors:

The rabbit ladder was laser cut out of wood. I used lots of notches and tabs so that it would glue-up strong.

The spiral stairs have a 2X2 square rod at their center. The rise and size of the steps were planned for rabbits, and the final numbers came out with 25 different step-shapes. The curves on each step were inspired by nautilus shells.

The bone bridge connects the two towers. The internal shape is identical, but the outer shape resembles a bone and subtly changes from arch to arch.
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
I made some holiday lighted, scented pine cones on the laser cutter.

They were featured in the Isthmus Newspaper.

Here is a presentation about how they are made.

You can see more of the pine cones at
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
I recently made a heating vent cover for our bathroom. The vent is on the kick-plate of the vanity.

Custom Heating Vent Cover

It says, "Kate & Jeremy 2015."

Custom Heating Vent Cover Laser Cut Heating Vent Cover

It's cut from thin wood using the laser cutter at Sector67.

I also laser cut the frame, out of thicker (0.2in) wood, and glued the tongue & groove tabs with wood glue.

Custom Heating Vent Cover

K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
Last year I made laser-cut folded lacy wedding invitations. Mountain View

I designed them over the course of many interations and cut them out using the laser cutter at Sector67.

Each invitation took 33 minutes to cut out and assemble.

Laser Cutter Font by KateI designed a new font for the address part of in the invitation where the inverse of the letters gets cuts away. This way you don't have to worry about the middle of your Os dropping out like when you cut out the letters themselves. You can download my font here. I made the "<" symbol correspond to a half circle and I put that at the beginning and end of every line of address to give it a rounded-edges.

A key step was getting the invitations thin enough to go through the regular mail. If they were too thick, they had to be shipped as a parcel. I tried mailing a test invite as a parcel, and it never arrived, probably because it was too small really to be a parcel and got lost in the shuffle. In order to make them thinner, I ironed them. ironing invivations

There were failed ideas along the route to this design, as you can see in this video.

In the end we had a perfect delivery rate through the USPS with 70 cent stamps and our guests were pleased. We put the return address on the stamp themselves, and they did function as return address.
K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @

This year I made what may be the world's first botanically accurate Poison Ivy  costume.
Generally, Poison Ivy costumes use English Ivy leaves, leading to a misunderstanding of the true appearance of dangerous poison ivy.

In order to make real poison ivy leaf shapes, I had to make them myself.  I used photos of Poison Ivy from my backyard to trace genuine leaf shapes. Then I used the laser cutter on wool felt to make leaves for my costume.

K8Baldwin by K8Baldwin @
I got married in August of 2014, and we served pie.  I made cardboard and parchment paper boxes for guests to take leftover pie home.  I used the laser cutter at Sector67 and some chipboard (cardboard) that was kindly donated by another Sector member for us to use at a discount.

Pile of Pie Boxes

I drew the designs in Adobe Illustrator.  The chipboard was cut and scored using the CNC laser cutter, and then glued using Elmer's glue and clips to hold them while they dried.

Design for pie box

The liner was made of parchment paper to insure that pie-goo would not soak through the chipboard.  It turns out that parchment paper is not only impervious to pie jelly, but it also resists all glues and tape that I tried.  Since I could not use an adhesive to secure the liner in a triangle shape, I decided to use folded tabs and slots instead.

Design for Pie Box Liner

Parchment paper cuts easily on the laser cutter, but I was unable to score it because even the lowest setting cut through the parchment paper.  Instead, I laser cut a piece of wood with guide-slots for where the creases should be.  Then I used a dried-up old BIC pen to score the parchment using the wooden template.

Wood guide template used for scoring the parchment paper

Then it was folded along the score lines and the tabs inserted into the slots.

Pie Box Liner made of Parchment Paper

I bought some wooden forks from Amazon, and my Friend, Allison, helped me tie them to the box lids with ribbon.

Pie Box with Liner and Fork

The boxes worked really well for holding pie, but somewhere along the course of the night the staff hid all the pie boxes left under a table so guests thought we had run out.  Oh well!  We have been finding other uses for them.

Pie Boxes
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