A Visit to the Laser Cutter Cafe
For awhile now I’ve been contemplating the idea of translating my paper cut work into other materials through laser cutting. I wasn’t really sure how to go about this, or even where to do it, that is until I heard about the Laser Cutter Cafe.
The cafe is located in the Chinatown Experiment pop-up space on Columbia Street in Chinatown. It’s there temporarily until the beginning of August, and the purpose is to expose people to the mind-blowing experience of using a laser cutter. I dropped by on Wednesday afternoon for a one-on-one Basic Usage Tutorial (at a cost of $25), which is a thorough run-through on safety, and how to use the hardware and software of the machine.
The laser cutter can do anything from engraving a material to cutting out complicated shapes. As part of the tutorial I was allow to create a quick design and then watch as the laser cutter rendered this onto a scrap piece of mat board.
Here you can see the design on screen, and in the video below you can watch as the cutter embosses it into the material. It was fascinating.
A close up of the two different versions of the same design. The cutter can work with a wide range of materials such as paper, acrylic, wood veneer, felt, cork, etc, as long as it is a 1/4″ thick or less. The maximum size that can fit into the cutter is 20″ x 12″ because that is the size of the bed.
Now that I’ve tried out a laser cutter I have a good idea of what I can do with it, and how it can enhance my current body of work. I’ll definitely be back at the Laser Cutter Cafe soon.