The purpose of this project was to test the possibilities of a laser cutter and create an experimental light shade. I have created a uniform pattern to design a mesh to screen the light while searching for more lighting effects happening around this interaction.
After receiving the proper instructions for using the laser cutter and finalizing the PDF file for the cut I have headed to the Tech shop in San Francisco to create the first part of the project.
It is quite fascinating to watch the beam cutting through the 1/4" thick acrylic just like butter. While doing that I realized quite quickly that I could also push the boundaries of the material and techniques I am using and move from the 2 dimensional object towards a 3 dimensional surface without much more technologies than a heating source such as a conventional oven. If you are familiar with vacuum forming you might know that it is possible to form the acrylic sheet after the cutting process. I have experimented with this material by heating it in conventional oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The acrylic becomes then very soft and malleable, therefore its possible to bend it or push it within hollow container or against a convexe form. With this process it is possible to obtain a quite large surface without 3D printing or CNC milling a large volume. Also the laser cutting of the acrylic sheet being very fast this process is overall very quick compared to other approaches. The next step of this project would be to finalise an interesting morphology for the lighting and determines the number of panels to complete a volume. Also as part of a next project I am heading to create a vacuum table that would enable me to vacuum form the meshes I create with a laser cutter.