More Details About Laser Cut Gingerbread Houses

Members of Sector67 tried their hands at laser cut gingerbread houses. The Madison, Wisconsin based hackerspace is using the tabbed box method of assembly for the corners of the structure. They’ve also put up a bunch of information about laser settings and published the recipe used to mix up a sheet of gingerbread. This quite a bit more info than was provided with the project we saw a couple of weeks back.

The initial designs were made in Inkscape and then transferred to Corel Draw before heading to the cutter. They’ve got a 150W machine and found that a speed of 15 worked well when the speed was set to 100, with a corner speed of 60. The raw dough was rolled out to 1/8″ thickness. Possibly the best tip coming out of Sector67 is to lay 1/8″ dowels on either side of the dough. This way the rolling pin will stop when it hits the dowels resulting in the best possible uniform thickness. As reported in the previous project the odor generated while cutting is not the most pleasant. But we love the fusion of lasers with the age old process of building with cookies and decorating with candy.

18 thoughts on “More Details About Laser Cut Gingerbread Houses

    1. A gingerbread house is a traditional decorative and sometimes consumable holiday centerpiece made of cookies, candy, and other confections. A hackerspace (group of technically-minded individuals) in Madison, Wisconsin decided to automate the more labor-intensive parts of the construction.They baked flat sheets of gingerbread cookie, using spacers to roll a uniform thickness. Then, they used Corel Draw to design the components of a structure, and create cut paths for a laser cutter. After some experimenting with laser power and speed settings, they found that a speed of 15 (out of 100) and power of 100 (out of 100) on a 150 watt CO2 laser would cut all the way through the cookie. The corner speed of 60 was likely necessary to prevent excessive charring of the cookie during ramp down at sharp corners along the path. Apparently the smell of burning cookie is not pleasant. After all the pieces were cut, a structure resembling a small house was constructed and cemented together with frosting, then decorated with candy.

  1. As wonderful as it is to see the melding of old and new and high- and low-tech in this project, I have to say that I am very disappointed that they go to so much effort simply to throw candy and royal icing haphazardly onto their carefully assembled structures.

    This reminded me of an amazing haunted ghost ship made of gingerbread (complete with gingerbread skeletons) that won a Food Network Challenge a few years back. The baker’s name was Dawn Nemec.
    Check it out at 0:30 and 3:15 under “Gingerbread Judging” at:

    I’d love to see what Sector67 could do if they teamed up with Dawn!

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