Week_3 Meet the magic laser cutter!

Fabrication 2016Fall

Having a difficult time picking classes?

Try this!

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In last week, the topic were always ‘Spring2017 Classes’. I felt confused and not sure which to choose. I recalled that when I was young, I always make small pieces to help myself plan and understand things. It was nice and making me feel safe when things became tangible.

Also, this came from a joke my adviser made: ‘There are all kinds of good courses, you can get in good ones just by pointing with your eyes closed’

To make it possible for players to pick with their eyes closed, I used different shapes to represent courses with different units. Rectangle for 4 credits, ellipse for 2 credits, hexagon for 1 credit.

Materials & Tools

Plywood + Acrylic piece(I found in junk shelf)+ laser cutter


1.Calculation and Drawing in Ai.  I drew the calendar and small tokens in size that fit the materials I had.

2.Test with junk materials in laser cutter. Test to make sure the sizes are good and the engrave could cover everything.

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3. Cut with laser cutter. The engraving on the wood was super slow, I only did it once. The engraving and cutting on acrylic went three times to make a good result.

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4.Sanding to make them feel good. I fell in love with sanding, it’s such a relieve!

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5. Color them(failed). My original idea was to differentiate courses with colors to mark them as programming ones, Pcom ones and design ones. But the coloring didn’t went well, it could not fill the whole thing and looks ugly. It may have something to do with the material.

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6.Placing them into the calendar & try pick some with my eyes closed.

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The classes I picked with closing eyes.

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How it looks

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  1. I should test the coloring before I cut the whole thing. Then I could have realized the whiteboard marker did not work well and finding alternative solution such as using acrylic with different colors.

2. The contrast between the plywood calendar and the acrylic tokens is almost zero. I should have planned it better. The tokens look better on darker surfaces. Now it’s not clear enough.

3. Acrylic is so satisfying. 😉 Wanna making more with it!

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