Project: Laser Cut Airplane
The Task:
Choose a three dimensional object and build it in Rhino3D. Export the model and cut it into slices using the Autodesk Make software. The generated parts will then be cut out of cardboard with a lasercuttingmachine. Subsequently assemble the model and present it in class.
Step 1: Choose an Object:
Since the technique of slicing a model and subsequently cutting the parts allows to build relatively large scaled objects in a reasonable amount of time I was trying to think of a mostly convex body that would emphasis the few restriction in regard to dimension. I came up with the idea of an airplane. It appears to me that the plane is an interesting object not only for its technical aspects but also in its shape and ratios. The body and turbines are massive and convex, what is good for the designated procedure. The wings will also account for a lot of volume while they also give the object a touch of complexity and fragility. The wide spread slightly curved wings even provide an impression of elegance and dignity.
Step 2: Building a Modell in Rhino3D
When creating this model I was just about to take the first steps in Rhino3D. So it took me a while to figure out the needed tools. On the other hand, the decent complexity of the object seemed to just fit right for my level of understanding the program. I ran into some trouble with joining the single parts together (an uncertainty that a still haven’t overcome completely).
Step 3: Slicing the Model via Autodesk Make
The software provides a very nice and userfriendly interface to turn the model into various outputs that subsequently can be brought to reality. Due to the dimension of the plane with its relatively high ratio of x and y length over diameter I found the stacking technique to be the most appropriate one. With the given size of cardboard and a wingspan of 42 cm the software calculated 56 pieces.
Step 4: Cutting out the Slices by using a LaserCutter
Step 5: Assembly of the Model
I mounted one layer on the next by using a glue stick. The assembly was very much simplified by the fact that a number was engraved on each piece indicating the correct order. Beside additional orientation marks each slice contained four little holes. Those help a lot to get them in the right position. Two of these holes match perfectly with two corresponding ones on the piece beneath. The other two fit with corresponding holes in the part above. So for each slice you can use two pins to find the right position. The assembly in total took me around two hours. All together I am quite satisfied with the result.
