Making Models With Lasers

Good design starts with a good idea, and being able to flesh that idea out with a model. In the electronics world, we would build a model on a breadboard before soldering everything together. In much the same way that the industrial designer [Eric Strebel] makes models of his creations before creating the final version. In his latest video, he demonstrates the use of a CO2 laser for model making.

While this video could be considered a primer for using a laser cutter, watching some of the fine detail work that [Eric] employs is interesting in the way that watching any master craftsman is. He builds several cubes out of various materials, demonstrating the operation of the laser cutter and showing how best to assemble the “models”. [Eric] starts with acrylic before moving to wood, cardboard, and finally his preferred material: foam core. The final model has beveled edges and an interior cylinder, demonstrating many “tricks of the trade” of model building.

Of course, you may wish to build models of more complex objects than cubes. If you have never had the opportunity to use a laser cutter, you will quickly realize how much simpler the design process is with high-quality tools like this one. It doesn’t hurt to have [Eric]’s experience and mastery of industrial design to help out, either.

4 thoughts on “Making Models With Lasers

  1. When using white glue from the standard bottle – give the bottle a gentle squeeze before and during turning the cap. When the air just starts to escape is the place to stop turning the cap – this leaves just a small passage for glue to escape. Let the bottle re-inflate before turning it over. It will take a firm squeeze to dispense glue at a small rate; adjust from that position to get the comfortable. With practice I have been able to put down a bead of glue finer than the metal tipped dispenser – like on the edge of a sheet of paper such that it bonds almost instantly on contact with another piece of paper. Move quickly – water based glue in thin layers will dry fast while the joint is open. Practice makes perfect.

    1. I think he was thinking in terms of “do it with a computer” vs. “do it with your hands”. Although I think that if you had a good compass holder for an X-acto blade, you could cut a good precise circle in foam core.

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