A laser cutter and a few lines of Javascript turned flat plywood into these two lamp shades.

I used Javascript to generate the vectors because I was already familiar with d3.js, and jsfiddle.net proved as a nice simple interactive IDE for the project. Before I knew it, I had vectors to "print".

Check out the interactive source code here: http://jsfiddle.net/mistercrunch/9pHBW/20/

Over my time working at the Facebook campus I was able to access the laser cutter from the wood shop and came up with a few designs. You can download the files from my Thingiverse page.

I've been playing with this laser cutter at work and as I'm only etching the surface of what this tool can do, I'm getting really happy with some of the results I get.

I've found a workflow that works pretty nitely while working on this project.

  •  Google image search for an image of interest (tree), activate "Search Tools" and filter on size:large and color:black&white.
  • Import the image on in Pixlr (Photosh or any other image editing tool will do just as good)
  • Crank up the contrast until you have only pure blacks and whites
  • Bring into Illustrator
  • Trace image (vectorize)
  • Make correction
  • Check for path duplicates (somehow Illustrator seems to generates dups when image tracing), delete dups manually, or use the layer pane to identify and bulk delete
  • Load up your laser cutting machine, make it do what it does
  • Sand, varnish, hang.