Recently in Projects - Student Category

Shadow Projections by Sam Berg


Samantha Berg, a student here at the department, used the laser cutter to create a wonderful shadow projected image by etching clear acrylic and shining a light on the image (as seen in the photo below).


The image below shows what the acrylic looks like after it is etched (the clear acrylic was photographed behind a black background to show up in the photo better).


When etching acrylic for shadow projecting purposes it is important to make sure your original image has high contrast with relatively few midtones from there the image should be halftoned with relatively few dots or circles per inch; this creates more clarity in the projected image because when the dots are too tight they etch more surface blocking light from passing through the acrylic.

Voyage by Fred Larson

| No Comments


In this project Fred wanted to etch onto a brick for his assignment. He wanted the word to wrap around the brick. To do this we cut the letter forms up and etched two separate files (one for the front of the brick and one for the side). By aligning the edge of the image with the previously etched side of the brick he was able to create the illusion of a continuously etched surface.


Many different materials react differently when etched. For instance some synthetic fabrics will change different colors when etched. In this case the brick turned a dark grey color.

3-D Model, Positive For Ceramic Mold Making by Anthony Kling

| No Comments

The laser cutter can be used in a variety of different ways other than creating two dimensional work, it can also be used to create three dimensional works via the layering of slices of material.



In this example the layering material that was chosen was acrylic (for its smooth edges and surfaces when cut), this material works well for creating plaster molds off of. The acrylic discs were cut with holes in them so that they could be threaded through a rod and repositioned so that one set of discs could make an infinite amount of variations.

Other materials could be held together the same way (with a threaded rod) or glued or screwed together.


Here is an image of the first casting from the plaster mold. There were some technical issues with the first cast, additional images will be posted as the piece comes along.

Project created by Anthony R. Kling.

Wax Resist Test by Anthony Kling

| No Comments

This project was a test to see if the laser cutter could be used in the application of the wax resist technique on ceramic bone dry ware. In this test ceramic bone dry ware was coated, with a brush, in a layer of wax with a low melting temperature commonly used for traditional wax resist applications. Two sets of images were etched into the wax just deep enough to burn away the wax allowing for a ceramic wash to stick to the ceramic surface and for the wash to resist the adjacent wax. Both sets of images were black or white with no grey tones. The arrows were solid black shapes and the image of a person was halftoned.

photo wax resist.JPG


The above image shows (from left to right) a bone dry piece with wax resist on it, a bisque piece with the wash fired and a fired piece with a semi clear cone 10 glaze over the wash.

The test reviled a couple of notable results. First application of the wax needs to be extremely even so that variations in its thickness do not prevent the laser cutter from etching all the way through the wax. To achieve a more consistent coat a spray gun could be used to apply the wax. The second useful piece of information discerned was that there is a limitation to the amount of detail that can be etched into the wax. Because the wax has a low melting point, when a lot of etching takes place in a small area, heat builds up and destroys the detail in the etching of the wax. Despite this heat sensitivity a fair amount of detail can be achieved (as seen in the picture).

Project created by Anthony R. Kling.

J-Shots by Anthony Kling

| No Comments

The J-Shots project illustrates how the laser cutter can be used for ceramics applications and creating packaging.


The laser cutter was used to cut contact paper to create stencils that could be applied to ceramic bisque ware. This photo illustrates how the laser cutter can save a tremendous amount of time by cutting multiples.


Contact paper works well on flat bisque ware surfaces and creates crisp lines when glaze is applied and the stencil is removed.



This photo illustrates how the laser cutter can be used to create professional looking packaging. The packaging was created by first printing the image along with registration marks onto the paper substrate. A corresponding vector file was created (to cut the packaging out) with registration marks that aligned with the printed image. The printed piece of paper was manually aligned with the vector file in the laser cutter print control panel before it cut the packaging out. The registration technique can be very precise but to minimize the appearance of registration errors it would be more effective add a little bit of a bleed in the printed image around where the laser cutter cuts the package.

Project created by Anthony R. Kling.

Midwest Maps by Alix Nichols

| No Comments

Alix utilized BoxMaker in conjunction with Adobe Illustrator to fabricate this box.



Alix used etching and the vector line cutting technique to create the imagery on the box. The laser cutter can create hairline continuous line work by using the vector cutting settings on the machine and turning the power settings down (this allows for a line to be made without cutting through the material, providing a different line quality than the those created through the etching settings).

Custom Guitar Pickup by Frank Haehnel

| No Comments

Frank utilized the laser cutter to fabricate a custom guitar pickup with an image of Earl Scruggs and his signature etched into it. This examples how the laser cutter can be used to fabricate parts in addition to creating art.


Ceramic Bottles by Colleen Krick

| No Comments

Colleen etched toothpaste logos onto leather hard slip cast porcelain bottles.


When aggressively etching on high settings the laser cutter will actually fire a thin layer of clay that can stick on the surface of the clay.


If you etch on lower settings the the clay turns into powder and does not stick to the surface.

Tim Rooney

| No Comments

Tim created one large image of a forest from hundreds of images digitally stitched together. He then etched them on a large slice of wood.

Thumbnail image for IMG_0933.JPG


In addition to etching wood Tim experimented with replicating the image in different mediums, he created a photographic print, pressed clay slabs into the wood to create a ceramic relief and also created textured paper using the slice of wood.


Topographical Map by David Reimann

| No Comments

David created a three-dimensional model from an existing map of an Indian burial ground.