Lately, we’ve had a lot of interest in laser cut cards- from birthday cards and wedding invitations to pop-ups of scenes and even people.
Working with paper, primarily card stock and heavier coated papers, is a lot of fun. Such papers come in a multitude of colors, but also textures and patterns. Faux leather, wood, and metal coatings provide many ways to express yourself with paper.
Because of the thickness of the paper, you can also etch designs and text onto the pages. See the white designs and text on the examples above.
Or, you can print something on the paper first and then create cutouts later using the laser cutter as we did with the Chicago skyline cutout.
Etsy and pinterest are full of examples of laser cut cards, especially wedding invitations. You’ll see how expensive they can be to purchase, but with a little time and effort at the makerlab you can make your own unique versions for a fraction of the cost. We’d be happy to help you get started.
Because the papers vary so much, laser cutting the paper is a bit trial and error, so bring a few pieces to experiment with.
The Valentine Keepsake Box workshop this past weekend produced some creative designs. Some experimented with inlays- cutting out hearts or roses from the top of the box and filling those cuts with deep red acrylic cutouts of the same pattern.
Don’t worry. If you’re still looking for a creative gift, our laser etch wine glass class is Saturday, February 3rd . Visit eventbrite to register.
The MakerLab was humming over the holidays as makers were creating hand-crafted gifts and decorations. Everything from LED decorations, gift boxes, smartphone accessories, and more. Personalized glassware and metal insulated mugs were especially popular. One maker had a set of glassware etched with the name of each of her holiday party guests, and they were thrilled to take them home!
Hope you were able to stop by to get one of our Holiday decorations.
if you didn’t have a chance to create handmade gifts for Christmas, remember that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Open Lab hours continue – Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30pm to 8:30 pm and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm.
We had a great workshop this past Saturday. Makers created beautiful night lights, gifts, and holiday decorations.
The item is constructed so that the clear acrylic sign is removable, so you can create additional signs and switch them out with the season, holiday, etc. Besides laser etching the image on the clear sign, we assembled the LED elements and nailed small clamps into the base to hold the LED strip.
We also found that neon dry erase markers and chalk shine when the LEDs are on, so you can have a permanent design on the sign and add messages with the markers. You can create message boards, menu boards and more with such a system.
Tired of Fidget Spinners? Want something unique? Flexagons are the next evolution of fidget spinners. Every time you fold them you get a new pattern.
The Flexagon Zoo for Makers – A Geometric Paper Artwork Design Workshop
They’ve entertained Nobel Laureates with their blend of art and mathematical secrets. Learn the history, construction, and beauty of flexagons from a world-renowned expert as you design your own.
This hands-on workshop introduces Flexagons for Makers. Participants will learn how to create Flexagons from Triangles, Squares, Trapazoids, and other geometric shapes. Flexing a Flexagon reveals numerous different faces hiding within the paper model and decorated with creative artwork of your choice. This Workshop introduces the history, geometry, and construction for hexaflexagons, square flexagons, dodecaflexagons, and many others. Participants will make flexagons from paper templates and will be able to use their own creativity to design the faces for a hexaflexagon and a square flexagon. The instructor will have numerous flexagons of all variations for participants to view.
Robin Moseley is the creator of the “Flexagon Portal” which has been the number 1 ranking flexagon website for over 10 years on Google search. Robin has been referenced in numerous flexagon publications, videos, and books for his ideas and research on flexagons.
Besides the usual holiday decals and stickers we cut with the vinyl cutter and the various cutouts and displays you can do with the laser cutter and the ghosts and goblins we 3D print, Phil found a way to etch Halloween designs into pumpkins using the rotary attachment! After etching, a coat of pottery glaze seals the deal.
One of the favorite projects at SouthWorks is creating 3D printed bugs and monsters using Sculptris software. Many people are at first intimidated when they hear about 3D design and think about the heavy duty industrial CAD/CAM programs that take years to master and cost $1,000s each year.
Sculptris is more art-oriented and intuitive. Plus, it’s free!
From elementary school students to senior citizens, everyone seems to get the hang of it within minutes. Think of a ball of clay and how you would create something with it. You’d pull, twist, compress, stretch, etc. until you molded the clay into whatever you’re designing. Sculptris works the same way. You start with a ball of material on the screen and use a handful of simple tools to pull, compress, stretch it into a shape. You can add additional balls of material to make more complex shapes, and you can then paint the shapes on the screen.
Finally, you can then send them to the 3D printer.
Below are some recent examples done by SouthWorks clients: