Friday, July 10, 2020

From paper design to wood laser cuts

October 2020 (Lismore)

 Click HERE to watch (2 minute) video on Vimeo 

Or on Youtube 

I have the pleasure to work with my nephew Adrian Duyn on the images for my shadow puppetry project. The paper birds, tree, wheelchair, and images of me, are fragile in their paper form. I asked Adrian to make some of them out of wood, cut with his CO2 laser engraver/cutter machine. See his description below on the process involved, and watch the 2 minute video HERE . The wooden pieces are easier for me to pick up, and are much more sturdy. We were both amazed and delighted the very fine detail of my designs were possible with this technology.

Of course this laser cutting and engraving is not just for imagery for shadow puppetry. Contact Adrian at for enquiries on what is required to submit your designs for laser cut pieces. 

Process of laser cutting/ engraving

By Adrian Duyn. Contact: 
Laser cutting in progress (still from video

Having received the various black and white contrast scans, I digitally image trace the outlined profiles, making sure to include even the smallest of details. I then transfer the new files to the editing software on the computer, which is attached to the C02 laser engraver/ cutter machine, to make final adjustments and confirm the sizes required. 
A CO2 engraver/ cutter uses a water cooled - gas filled tube and various mirrors. The mirrors focus and guide the high power laser beam onto one specific spot. From there the laser beam bounced around in different directions across the machine by angled mirrors, focusing down on the machine bed.
For Corina Duyn’s shadow images I selected a 3mm wooden sheet material for the cutting. It would be structurally sound once cut into the required shapes. Placing the material flat onto the engraver machine bed, I then focused the distance of the laser beam to achieve a pin point accurate cut.
The machine has two main functions – engraving and cutting. Engraving is the process of taking off a minimum top layer of the materials, with the machine making numerous passes to achieve this. Cutting is a constant beam of laser following shapes or lines. Many different effects can be reached by altering the two main inputs - power and speed. 
Once a test run is complete, I start the cutting. The engraver software chooses which pieces to cut and in what sequence, moving from area to area to allow the recently cut pieces to cool down as not to distort the material. 
Once complete, I simply lift and shake the sheet material and the individual pieces fall out. 
Fascinating to see these pieces coming to life in Corina’s work, with stunning result. A pleasure to be a small part of it. 

Laser cutting in process (still from video)

1 comment:

Raavi Patil said...

Nice to watch this post