Before you begin, make sure you have Processing and Inkscape installed on your computer. Processing is available at www.processing.org, and Inkscape is available at www.inkscape.org.
Step 1: Create the Program
Copy-and-paste or download the code from the following link as "algorithmic_snowflakes.pde".
Step 2: Generate Snowflakes
Run the sketch using Processing. A window will pop up displaying a randomized snowflake. Clicking on the image will save that image to the sketch folder and generate a new snowflake. Click as many times as you want to continue generating more snowflakes.
Note the parameters SIZE, DEPTH, and THICKNESS, in case you want to change these. SIZE affects how big the snowflake is. DEPTH determines how many times the fractal-like algorithm iterates, which affects how intricate the snowflakes are. THICKNESS affects the thickness of the branches.
Step 3: Embed the Images in Inkscape
Step 4: Convert the Images to Vectors
Repeat this process for all the snowflakes you wish to laser cut.
Step 5: Save Your Work and Laser Cut the Snowflakes
The specifics of how to use a particular laser cutter will vary, so make sure you either know what you're doing or ask someone for help. Make sure you choose the laser cutter settings carefully, because acrylic snowflakes are tend to be fragile - note the cracked branch in the photo!