Wooden Bird House Design & Production

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy

This project shows the various steps followed to design and produce wooden bird houses at the fab lab, using Laser Cutting technology.

Design was done on Fusion 360. Both houses are designed in a slip-in manner, where they can easily assemble without the help of mechanical components or glue.

Parts were then produced on a Laser Cutter using a piece of  4mm thick Plywood, assembled, and then placed in a small Beiruti garden.

SOFTWARE 

AutoCad, CorelDraw

HARDWARE 

None

MACHINES

Epilog Fusion M2 – 120 Watts

MATERIALS

Plywood – 4mm

PRODUCTION TIME

15 mins

DOWNLOAD FILES

Design is not open-source

Production Steps

This section describes the different steps followed to design and produce a simple wooded bird house using Plywood material.

Step – 1 : Designing the Bird Houses using Fusion 360

In order to Laser Cut any object, you need to have its digital design. This is to be done using any Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. In this example, the desk organizer was designed using Fusion 360. The video above shows the steps followed to design the desk organizer.

Step – 2: Save Design in DXF format and Import to AutoCad

To prepare the Laser Engraving Cutting job, you need a 2D vector file. To do that, export the Sketches from Fusion 360 (save sketch in .DXF format) and then open in AutoCad. Next, add the visuals needed for engraving onto the 2d vector file.

Step – 3: Prepare Your File For Laser Engraving & Cutting

To prepare the Laser Cutting job, you should open the digital design file in a preparation software and choose the best settings that would achieve the best final result. In this example, we used Corel Draw as a preparation software.

  • Import the digital design file into CorelDraw by selecting “File” > “Import” > Choose you file from location.
  • Choose Your Material: Typically you may have an idea about what kind of material you will use before you laser cut. This is very important to choose the best settings required for the chosen material. Preferred settings for different material can be found in the Machine’s Catalogue. Best settings are usually chosen based on experience and previous tests done. In this example we will be using 3mm Plywood.
  • Select the outline as “Hair Line”:  We select “hair line” for the lines that we want to be cut, in our case the outline circles, and we select “ none “ for the objects that we want to engrave.
  • Choose Job Type: “Vector” was selected, as we are only cutting in this example.
  • Choose Your Cutting Parameters: The next step is then deciding on the different parameters for cutting (Vector Settings). We have to choose the best settings we need to have the best result. There are different variables that affect the final product coming out of the Laser Cutter. Among those variables are the Power, Speed, and Frequency. In this example the following settings were used:
    • Vector Settings: Speed: 6%, Power: 100%, Frequency: 10
  • Forward the Job: After choosing all the variables, send the order to the laser cutter. But before pressing Play on the Laser cutter, we have to manually set it up the printer with respect to the material we intend to use.

Step – 3: Setting Up The Laser Cutter

After preparing the file and the relative settings we need, the next step is to place the material we want in the laser cutter and set it up according to the thickness of the material.
To cut and engrave on our laser cutter, the following procedure was followed:

  • Set the focus of the laser using the V shaped Gauge.
  • Set the zero position of the laser on the top left corner of the Plywood sheet.
  • Turn On the Air compressor and ventilators .

Step – 4: Performing the Engraving and Cutting Job

 

Press the play button on the laser cutter, and voila, it starts cutting.

Step – 5: Remove Your Parts

Remove the laser parts from the cutting bed after it cools down and all the fumes are sucked out of the machine.

Additional post-processing steps are performed after cutting, such as brushing off powder and cleaning burnt sides.

Step – 6: Assemble Your Parts

Once all parts are clean and ready for assembly, all pieces are assembled together to forming a nice desk organizer.

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