Laser cut folded cardboard houses
Susan Smith came to me a few weeks ago with a problem. She had an idea for a sculpture and wanted to make fifty or so identical cardboard houses. They would be small, just a few inches tall, but there had to be an easier way than to meticulously cut them all out by hand. We discussed using the laser to ease the workload and settled on a plan. We used Adobe Illustrator to design a simple pattern. Not only would the laser cut the general shape from the stock cardboard, but it would score the fold lines making each house both more accurate and easier to fold into shape. A few days later we met at the lab and within minutes Susan was gluing the first roofs on her perfect little houses. The ease of use and simplicity of the material and design meant that in just hours she had not fifty houses, but several hundred. Having such a powerful tool at her disposal has opened doors for projects that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible in the limited scope of a semester long class.