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When I make corsets I often have to very carefully cut out 40+ pieces of fabric by hand.  It's time consuming and tedious, plus even tiny cutting mistakes can add up to big errors in the finished corset.  Since I have access to lasers at TechShop, I've decided to laser cut everything.  It will be fast and super accurate, and I'll have lots of extra time that I can devote to adding lovely details like flossing the corset. 

But in order to do this, I'll need to convert my hand-drawn paper pattern into something that the laser will understand.  If you want to do the same, you'll need the following:
  • Paper pattern
  • Scanner
  • CorelDRAW

Step 1: Scan Your Pattern Into CorelDRAW

First you'll have to scan your pattern.  I'm working with one pattern piece at a time for simplicity's sake.  Put your pattern piece face down on the scanner bed and  close the lid.  Open CorelDRAW and start a new blank document with a width of 24" and a height of 18" (that's the size of the laser bed).  In the File menu, choose Acquire Image, then choose Acquire from the pop out menu.  Scan your pattern as a black and white photo and accept the scan.
Which materials are good to use a laser on? I would think cotton leaves a singed edge and you probably need a lot of prep to keep the fabric taut somehow in the laser cutter.
So far I've used cotton, silk and leather successfully. I do several test cuts at various settings until it cuts through cleanly without any smoke damage or char. <br /> <br />Any natural fiber fabric is OK to cut on the laser. Many synthetics work too, but you need to verify if it's laserable first. (Issues with some synthetics include catching on fire and emitting poisonous gases when burned) <br /> <br />Prep is easy. I iron my fabric and cut it to 24&quot; x 18&quot;. I've got a board cut to the same measurements. I've secured the fabric in two ways so far; both were successful. For the first go 'round I simply taped the fabric to the board at the edges so that it lay flat. The second time I lightly sprayed the board with spray baste (not too much!) and smoothed the fabric down over it. The spray baste held the fabric just enough for the laser to cut everything. <br /> <br />You can see a video of the laser cutting the taped down fabric here- http://thelacedangel.blogspot.com/2012/06/lazy-with-access-to-lasers.html
Thanks. It seems you've got material for a few more ibles.

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Bio: A maker with a penchant for sewing, laser cutting, cooking and more!
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