Preparing for Highlights, 3

Further to my last blog, Preparing for Highlights, 2.
Yesterday, my first Ponoko laser cut pieces arrived and it was worth waiting for. After peeling off the protective sheet, that still showed the impact of the laser’s heat, clean clear pieces popped out of the cut Perspex sheet. I had used the clear 2mm thick Perspex material out of Ponoko’s material catalogue.

Peeling off the protective layer

Peeling off the protective layer

The edges are clean and appear almost polished and do not show, as I had expected, some ‘burn’ marks. As Ponoko suggests in their ‘starter kit’ the dimensioning of interlocking pieces might need a bit of fine-tuning, I found that while having a good fit the slots I had designed have been a bit too wide. This will be easily fixed in Illustrator, as I have in mind to get more of the same parts cut in different colours for further variations of this lamp.

close up of the lamp's head with heatsinks for Led's

close up of the lamp

These parts form the ‘head’ of the desk-lamp for which I had already made all other parts. The assembly was straight forward as everything, the rapid prototyped and laser cut parts fitted very well together. I used sandpaper to make the surface of the parts opaque as the clear was ‘too’ transparent. Now the LED’s make the whole head light up.

Prototype put together

Prototype put together

Opaque surfaces

Opaque surfaces

I am very pleased about the straight forward way Ponoko’s system enables me to include precision cut pieces as part of my designs. Living in Australia made it a three week turn-around-time which was somewhat testing. But I already look forward to the next shipment with parts that will combine laser cutting with laser engraving. Ponoko has great instructional videos about this on their site.


8 Responses to “Preparing for Highlights, 3”

  1. 1 Amy Kerr 25/09/2008 at 10:46 AM

    Yay!! That’s fantastic news that they arrived and I’m glad that you were pleased with the result. Your lamp looks brilliant! Perhaps you might like to try the arctic ice acrylic next time—it is frosted on one side and would save you the time of rubbing down with sandpaper. The only thing is that it is 3mm, not 2mm.

    Cheers, Amy 🙂

  2. 2 virtualterritory 25/09/2008 at 11:35 AM

    Dear Amy, thanks for the kind comment. The hint of the frosted material is good only 3mm would be to ‘Chunky’ for that particular work. With the frosting being only on one side I would need to make sure that halve of the parts would be mirrored to have the ‘frost’ always facing either away or towards the center of the lamp shape. Cheers Gilbert

  3. 3 Andrew Welch 27/09/2008 at 7:53 PM

    I found this neat piece of information on the Ponoko blog.
    Its a list of material thicknesses and the kerf, or the amount of material ‘lost’ when the laser cuts the parts out.
    This might take some of the guess work out of making parts fit, although I can imagine there will always be that prototyping stage to each project.

    Go Ponoko!


  4. 4 virtualterritory 28/09/2008 at 9:44 AM

    Dear Andrew, thank you for your response, I certainly will check the link you mention.

  1. 1 Highlights Exhibitions « virtualterritory Trackback on 07/06/2009 at 1:05 PM
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