Laser Cutting 3D Forms: 123D Make Tutorial

Slicing Up A T-Rex For Laser Cutting That Roars

The software options available to digital makers just keeps getting better, and one of our recent favourites would have to be Autodesk’s 123D Make.

Why do we like 123D Make so much? Simply put, it just works and really is as easy as 1, 2… 3. The freely available software takes a 3D model and slices it up, then exports the data for laser cutting.

As you’ll see in the following tutorial, there are several very handy (and quite powerful) capabilities built in to 123D Make that help ensure your final result comes together just right.  

This tutorial was originally posted on Instructables, and has been put together by Penfold Merton who you may remember from that fantastic laser cut mechanical business card a few years back.

Let’s have a quick look at what is covered in the tutorial. Learn how to:

• Get set up with 123D Make (available for Mac, PC, iOS and web app)
• Download or create an .stl file you’d like to use (T-Rex available here)
• Choose a construction technique: Stacked Slices
• Set material, print dimensions and object size
• Re-orient slices to optimise construction
• Review assembly instructions
• Output an .eps file for laser cutting
• Assemble and enjoy. Raaaargh.

Some of the neat features of 123D Make covered in Penfold’s tutorial include identifying weak points and errors when setting material and defining slices, and also automatically adding labels and alignment markings to all of your slices. This means that not only are you more likely to have a final construction that has structural integrity; it will also be considerably easier to assemble.

See the full tutorial on Instructables where we also spotted this user submitted version. By slicing off the back half of the T-Rex, it now looks like it is rising up out of the table…

via: Instructables – How to slice up a T-Rex using 123D  Make.

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