Design a Gingerbread House in CAD, then cut pieces with a laser

design-your-gingerbreak-house-in-cad

This is one of those ideas that’s so simple we can’t believe we haven’t heard of it before now. [Johan von Konow] is upping his holiday decorating game this year by designing his Gingerbread House in CAD and cutting it out on a laser cutter. If designed well this will easily allow you to increase the complexity of your design by orders of magnitude.

We remember making Gingerbread Houses with mom when we were little. She would bake a sheet of gingerbread, then pull out stencils she had made from file folders to carefully cut the walls and roof of the houses. But these were the homesteading equivalent of candy construction — one room consisting of four walls and two roof pieces. [Johan's] design uses roofs with multiple pitches, dormers, and an entryway off the front of the main building. Quite impressive!

He mentions a few things to keep in mind. The gingerbread should be an even thickness for best results. You’re also going to want to plan for ventilation during cutting and give up the idea that you might eat the house when the holidays are over. The cutting process creates quite a stink and leaves a horribly burnt taste in the baked goods. Of course you could always cut out templates and use a knife when working with food.

Comments

  1. T4b says:

    In my opinion, it’s a pity to waste the gingerbread like that.

  2. Gary says:

    With a femtosecond laser, the gingerbread would not burn. They are not yet compatible with the hobbyist budget, though.

  3. fm` says:
    • Leif says:

      I have a commercial device similar to that which I bought at a thrift store for a couple dollars. It takes proprietary shape cartridges and cuts the shapes out of paper. I thought I might pull the electronics and replace then with something more standard so it doesn’t require buying cartridges anymore. It has a bed that would be rather small on a reprap even though, maybe that’s why I haven’t been in a hurry to get this done.

  4. Leif says:

    Somebody tasted it? My question would be what’s on the bed from previous cuts!

    • Ren says:

      Are gingerbread houses meant to be eaten? Most I’ve seen are for decoration, some are even packed away and brought out on subsequent seasons.

      • Sven says:

        The tradition in Sweden is to break the house in to pieces and eat it as the christmas tree is thrown out in january.

        Why wouldn’t you be able to eat laser cut gingerbread? There is a very thin scorch on the edges but the same can be said for most home baked gingerbread.

        • Leithoa says:

          He didn’t mean you couldn’t eat the house, just that frequently in the US no one does and they are ‘saved’ until the next year, sometimes until they start falling apart.

        • EntropyBot says:

          @Sven – I think the icing guide-patterns are probably the reason. I wonder if it would lessen the horrible burned taste if he lowered the power further and “sanded” the edges.

  5. c3p says:

    I have done the exact samt thing last year and can’t recommend it!
    Yes it is precisly cut, but the _horrible_ taste is all over the bread, you can’t file the burned part of.
    Also the enhanced precison is a somewhat moot point since you have to glue it together somehow (of course you could use super glue, since you can’t eat it anyway…)

    tl;dr sounds like a good idea, is not!

  6. Nate says:

    Here at HeatSync Labs, in Mesa Arizona, a couple of the kids had no trouble cutting out some Gingerbread men…and women!

    DSC_0391.JPG

  7. bufalo1973 says:

    Can it be done with a water cutter? Just asking

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