A Laser Cut Gingerbread Cathedral

One of the more disappointing news stories of 2019 was the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral. Widely considered a building of great historical importance and architectural merit, it was heavily damaged and will take significant time and resources to repair. Fundamentally though, if you’re reading this, that’s probably someone else’s job. Instead, why not just build your own Notre Dame out of gingerbread at home? [Scott Hasse] did just that.

The stained glass windows are the real party piece of the build.

The project began by using an existing papercraft model. This had to be heavily modified to account for the thickness of gingerbread and the fact that it can’t easily be folded around corners. The modified geometry was then lasercut at the Sector 67 hackerspace, as they’re experienced with the material.

With parts cut out, royal frosting was used as a mortar to help stick parts together during assembly. Significant development time was also spent in perfecting the stained glass windows, made from colored sugar. After much experimentation, a process involving melting the sugar on silicone sheets proved to be most successful. To complete the look, a series of RGB LEDs were also installed during the construction process.

The final results are nothing short of stunning. The build is instantly recognisable as the famous French cathedral, and the back-lit stained glass is absolutely breathtaking. We wouldn’t want to be going up against [Scott]’s family at the county fair baking contest, that’s for sure!

8 thoughts on “A Laser Cut Gingerbread Cathedral

  1. We build (and eat!) a family gingerbread house every year. The year we got our first laser cutter at work I started experimenting with precision cut and engraved gingerbread. Cutting results weren’t bad but the cut gingerbread taste was awful.
    We also make glass panes using crushed sweets melted into frames sitting on baking paper. You can get some cool colors from different sweets.

  2. i am sure they are going to rebuild and repair as the building has too much historic and cultural significance to just knock down and turn into memorial park like is with the world trade center towers.

    cost may be another factor but nickel and diming the repair overmany years even decades is more of a solution than knocking it down.

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