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!

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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┬áSector67 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.