This Instructable shows you how to build a simple LED light fixture, with a laser cutter. It uses multiple layers of material glued together to achieve complex shapes easily.
I manufactured and constructed this item at TechShop
Step 1: The first thing you should do is consider the final look you want
The first thing you should do is consider the final look you want.
In my case I wanted a long thin modern LED fixture, about 1" thick and
8" long or so. It is used to widely illuminate the space behind my
monitors, but it needed to look nice. Many other uses could be had for
this sort of box, including direct illumination of crafts, bookshelves,
or other personal items. It's super-low-power so it's very safe.
the general shape is known, you determine the materials that build up
to create your item, when using this process. This box has a mixed
profile (where different widths exist and sections which might be hard
to carve or cut out of one piece of material), so a good way to do this
it to 'slice' your design and cut out the different slices, then glue
them together. In my case I had a bottom section and walls which were
different, and I also chose this method because thinner material is a
lot less expensive than thicker material to do the same thing. Finally,
carving deep sections in wood is not as easy with the laser cutter --
it's much better at cutting straight through, so again I chose the slice
Also, choose the material for the box layers - I chose a nice 1/4" birch plywood
which was inexpensive and at a thickness very easy to cut. More on this
later. You could choose anything the laser can cut including wood, wood
products like MDF, acrylics of all colors and even glass; but, the
construction technique I used was glue, so wood makes the most sense. I
won't cover constructing plastic or glass items here, but there's more
data on this online.