Last week, my Juniors and Seniors created cellphone stands with laser cut parts. It started with a discussion about how to get a cellphone in good viewing position, and how the sound is often traveling away from the viewer. You may have noticed that when you cup your hand behind a phone in speaker mode, the sound bounces off your palm towards your ears.
For many, this was a first project with the laser cutter. Others have been working with it for several weeks on the Locker Organizer project, so were able to start at a higher level. Students are doing their design work in Open Office Draw, and driving the laser with Roland CutStudio, which bundled with the vinyl cutter. They are saving their work on the school’s network drive, and can open the files on any computer they’re logged on to without needing flash drives or emailing files to themselves.
Most notable was the work of TJ, who made a fairly sophisticated press fit structure in his first ever design for the laser, which is pictured above. He’s since reworked the design, which now seems like a relative to the trebuchet. Several other students started with the LaserBox, which gives a decent introduction to the process of designing for the laser while they create a small box.
We used 1/8″ cardboard as our first material because of its’ forgiving nature, low cost and ease of cutting. Many files can be cut in just a few minutes, where they would take two or three times longer in more dense and costly materials. We’ve got a bit of acrylic, and are considering MDF and birch plywood for future projects.