Bring on the laser (cutter)
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Bring on the laser (cutter)

April 21, 2016

Every year I promise myself I’m going to stop buying people Christmas presents and start making them then I remember about two weeks before Christmas and realise I have not the time, the requisite skills, the time to learn the requisite skills or the inspiration to actually do this. This year I sort of managed to edge towards this ideal, although massively misjudged by needing to order some stuff in which took far longer than expected.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting some stuff laser cut for a while, I’ve got a big bunch of sketches and ideas for a variety of homewares and entertaining tat and I’d been talking to Paul about some ideas we may at some point work on together so thought I would give making some Christmas decorations for friends a go.

I had two made up (see pics below) for my friends Tim and Caitlin who are keen on (hopefully) Christmas tat and animals. I was hoping the process would be simple enough that I could start selling decorations on my Etsy store but unfortunately the production cost has slightly killed that for now. The material costs were incredibly low but the cutting cost was really high (for the size of decoration), excluding shipping it worked out at just under £20 for both decorations, which is great for a one off gift for a friend but not viable for retailing.

As it happens the cost is driven up by the number of curves in the designs. Straight lines are quick and easy to cut, curves expend far more energy. All of my current designs are quite curvy and I don’t have the energy to come up with new designs right now. We did investigate buying our own laser cutter but that’s currently way outside our financial reach for a couple of ideas which may never generate any cash, also it looks like the power consumption may be the real killer.

You can see in the photos where I skated underneath the minimum width for parts of the design and ended up with some very fine cuts, they look quite cool but are fairly fragile.

The two here were cut by RazorLab out of 3mm MDF. I was going to paint them but the burn marks made by the cutter give them quite a nice handmade look anyway.

I would still like to have a crack at making some bits to sell but will need to find out if I can get the production cost down a bit first.

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Category: Craft, Design
Tags: christmas, gifts, laser cut

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