Learning to laser cut — a collective journey


So cool! Which version of Inkscape did you use with the plugin in the end?


I used version 0.91, @emma, because that’s what the web forum mentioned. However, after installing ok I concluded any version is probably fine. The problem I had was finding where to install extensions, which wasn’t explained correctly. In Windows, ‘extensions’ is a subdirectory of Program Files\Inkscape\Share rather than being directly below …\Inkscape.

The forum also explains how to install for Linux, but says “On Mac you’re on your own”.

Follow this link: http://wiki.lvl1.org/Inkscape_Extension_to_Render_a_Living_Hinge


Here’s an early MDF prototype for a lampshade. Ultimately, I’d like to cut one from plywood or coloured acrylic sheet. I started from a template I found online, then stretched the fin. I had a few tries at the slot widths before this which has very little play when assembled. The top & bottom of the fins need reducing to stop them fouling on each other.

I split the discs into a separate file, so the fins can be resized independently of these. Normally, I’d select ‘copys’ (yes, misspelt) on the laser-cutter PC to cut multiple fins from 1 shape, but this doesn’t work for nesting multiple convex/ concave shapes - ‘columns’ need to overlap, and a negative gap can’t be entered. So, I cut them 1 at a time, but will copy multiples in the input file when design is finalised.


The latest community request for help has come from Hebden Royd Town Council to make a stencil for their upcoming pumpkin festival. It took me a lot longer than I expected to come up with this:

The intention is to cut through everything apart from the text. Just discovered the event’s a bit more arty than I was expecting, so I may try for a slicker design yet! See: https://www.evensi.uk/the-great-pumpkin-festival-hebden-royd-town-council/219566643


Guy, so sorry I forgot! I was frazzled. Drop me an email if you’d still like any help on this.


Cut this spiral tonight, inspired by a weird bowl-like wooden trinket that @emma showed me, which seemed to have been hand cut. Her piece had pegs that could prop it open/ extended.


I’ve just submitted 4 laser-cut pictures for exhibition at Artsmill, starting 22nd November. The pictures are the top 4 from this page: http://www.guylymer.co.uk/laser-cutting

For details of the exhibition, see: http://artsmill.org/


Hi guy etc
I’m wondering if it might be possible to use /hire /give Donation to use the last cutter for the artts organisation I work for in Huddersfield, HOOT creative arts.?
The art group that I run have been asked to create a public sculpture for Greenhead Park. I wanted to potentially transfer their drawings of aquatic creatures and water onto small pieces of perspex and mdf
Please let me know if that’s any possibility of using laser cutter please _I had a few hours on it last year but don’t feel confident to use it solo, certainly not initially.


Yes, @sallyjbarker, I’m sure we can come to an arrangement. You could either rejoin temporarily & pay a membership fee, which will allow a few hours use a month, or for commercial work, we’d charge an hourly rate, which would be more expensive. Anyway, we can discuss.

What timescales are you working to? I can help refamiliarise you with the process/ machine.


Just managed to create my first 3D head prototype, by slotting together interlocked slices. This is 20cm tall piece in 3mm MDF. I plan to experiment with designs before scaling up (hopefully) to garden sculptures in painted plywood and coloured acrylic sheet.


I started from an example 3D head model in ‘Slicer for Fusion 360’ after downloading just Slicer (free add-in), rather than the full Fusion 360 software. The number & direction of slices may be varied, and moved around. I couldn’t scroll down the menu fully on my little laptop until I connected a wired mouse & used the scroll wheel. The software generates all the numbered slices & saves in DXF/ EPS/ PDF format. Due to problems loading DXF from there into Inkscape (yet to investigate properly), I saved as a multi-page PDF & loaded into Inkscape 1 page at a time, where I removed the rectangular page outline & re-saved.

On the laser-cutter, rather than cutting a full sheet of MDF at once, I cut only about 1/2 to 2/3 across the width in 1 go because @RichardC pointed out the mirrors are misaligned & it’s not cutting properly on the right side of the material bed.


That looks really good, Guy.