This section describes the different steps followed to produce a Laser Cut Mandala Wall Art at the Fab Lab using waste carboard boxes.
Step – 1 : Download the Design
In order to Laser Engrave and 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 design was shared for free on 3axis.com, a website contains many open-source designs that can be downloaded and produced directly. You can find the design file on the following Link
Step – 2: Prepare Your File For Laser 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 waste carboard pieces.
- 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, the “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 and Speed. In this example the following settings were used: Speed: 50%, Power: 70%, 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 Carboard sheet.
- Turn On the Air compressor and ventilators .
Step-4: Perform The Cut
This is when the magic happens!
Press the play button on the laser cutter, and voila, it starts cutting.
Step-5: Remove Your Parts and then Assemble them
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.
Once all parts are clean, assemble your project by gluing the pieces on top of each other. Finally hand the mandala in your favorite location.