Laser Castle

Introduction: Laser Castle

About: I have a creative nature, whether through my work as a software developer or at home, working on one of my "projects". With three kids and a house under renovation, there's always something going on around her…

Using a desktop laser cutting machine, I made this wooden castle from 3mm plywood.

The machines used for this was a LS3020 Desktop Laser Engraver. The shapes and designs were created using Autocad (and exported as DXF files for importing into the laser software). The material was standard 3mm plywood, bought in a 8x4 sheet from B&Q for about £15

Step 1: Design & Building

I started out with a simple proof of concept, cut from cardboard, making pieces which slot together and make a simple cube shape. This was extended to make a slightly more complex structure until I was sure that it would be possible to make a full castle.

I made a number of small pieces to check and measure that the pieces of plywood would slot together in such a fashion to minimise the need for any glue.

When I was happy that I had these measurements and that I had the correct settings for the laser cutter, I then proceeded to cut the more complex shapes and start building. The build started with the portcullis section with some pieces being cut a second time, with additional slots added for the connecting walls ... the same was then done for the corner turrets until a complete castle was built.

With the castle in competed form, adding the decorative elements produced a finished and very pleasing looking castle.

By using the technique of 'slotting' parts together proved advantageous, as these could easily be swapped out and improvements made to the overall design with relative ease.

The 3mm sheets of plywood being inexpensive, was a great material choice and certainly forms the basis on which future and more complicated projects will be made.

Step 2: Design & Files

Have attached some of the images which I produced with Google SketchUp and the main DXF file which I used for cutting ~ due to the size of my laser cutter, these were cut in parts, on panels of the plywood, which I had sized down to approximately 30cm x 30cm

Plywood Contest

Participated in the
Plywood Contest

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Plywood Challenge

      Plywood Challenge
    • Plastic Contest

      Plastic Contest
    • Battery Powered Contest

      Battery Powered Contest

    21 Discussions

    0
    ProjectsInMetal.com
    ProjectsInMetal.com

    8 months ago

    First, awesome design! Second, two questions. How did you fill in the corners at the top and bottom of the walls and towers. It's most visible in the picture where you've zoomed in on the red gate. Second, what did you use for the speckled paint look? Was it multiple kinds of paint splattered with a toothbrush? Or is there some sort of paint that you can buy that looks speckled like that? Similar to the garage floor paint where you spread the colored pieces of plastic over the epoxy paint? Thx!

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 8 months ago

    Oh wow, this was almost 4 years ago and I was experimenting with alsorts ... I think that this one was indeed a "splattering" of paint. The fill on the corners was done by gluing in simple pieces of square stock that were cut/sanded to shape.

    0
    NatalieB43
    NatalieB43

    Question 2 years ago

    I don´t know how to build the door

    0
    RémiD16
    RémiD16

    Answer 1 year ago

    in fact you need to slide the door between two parts. the two parts are maintain and spaced by two identical other parts (spacer on the picture). You have to passe the pacer by the front front door an use the spacer to made a gap between the piece A en B. the gap is manage by the "teeth" of the spacer.

    Capture du 2018-12-26 10-50-42.png
    0
    RémiD16
    RémiD16

    1 year ago

    I did it with funky colours for my nephew.
    You may need to optimize the settings of the laser cut machine. (If not the laser may travel a lot)
    Is need a bit a skill to assemble the path over the bugs wall between towers.
    But by the way , a big thank for the share, for your work. Thanks you !

    IMG_20181224_161043_HHT.jpg
    0
    HavelockVetinari
    HavelockVetinari

    3 years ago

    Very nice looking castle. I love the simplicity of the interlocking design. How long did it take to cut out all the pieces?

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 3 years ago

    Would be difficult to give an exact answer as I did this across a period of time (a few hours here and there, across a couple of weeks) and probably spent more time making prototype pieces. I guess you could (if you're efficient with your time) cut the whole lot in a couple of hours.

    0
    CharlesH140
    CharlesH140

    3 years ago

    Very nice design. Very curious, though: is the uploaded file actually for 1/8" material? Many of the interlock pieces aren't actually 1/8." Is the file supposed to be re-scaled?

    Thanks again for providing a great piece of fun for kids.

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 3 years ago

    I was using 3mm plywood and adjusted the slots to suit the material. The files "should" scale to other materials, but fine adjustments will be needed as plywood stock thicknesses are never that accurate.

    As I recall, the upload files were from Autocad, which I was also learning, as part of this project, so there could be flaws in that. I would suggest making a few small piece to test the slot sizes and building from there; one you have the basic dimensions, you quickly get into a flow of making the bigger pieces. Run tests with cardboard to save wasting materials and to try different designs.

    Hope that helps a little.

    0
    CharlesH140
    CharlesH140

    Reply 3 years ago

    After taking a closer look, I see that scaling up by 243% makes everything 3mm-ready. Thanks for your reply.

    0
    Hamyza
    Hamyza

    4 years ago

    and how many cuts do you need to make

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 4 years ago

    Apologies; the comments from sanderson67 are actually from me; didn't realise that I had logged in with the wrong account.

    0
    sanderson67
    sanderson67

    Reply 4 years ago

    Not quite sure what you mean?

    Having cut the plywood down to A4 size pieces, I tried to cut as much as I could from one piece.

    Each component was cut in a single, slow pass from the laser at a fairly high setting; they were then sanded to remove any burn marks and I had a few sharp knives on hand to cut through material where the laser hadn't quite cut all the way through.

    0
    Hamyza
    Hamyza

    4 years ago

    How many 3mm sheets do you need

    0
    sanderson67
    sanderson67

    Reply 4 years ago

    I bought a 1200x600mm sheet, which I cut down to smaller pieces (approx A4 size) that would fit my laser machine. After a prototype test with corrugated card, I would cut as much as a I could from each piece, using any offcut/waste material for smaller parts. I did waste quite a bit and wasn't really as conservative with the sheet as I could have been, so would say that the sheet I bought (for about £12) was more than enough for the project.

    0
    dukedolphin
    dukedolphin

    4 years ago

    Did one Tower and the Door till now,

    but my son (5) allready love it.Thanks a lot Sean.

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 4 years ago

    Excellent!

    Would love to see some photos when you're done

    0
    wold630
    wold630

    4 years ago

    I would love to see some more detailed instructions and step-by-step photos!! The castle is cool!

    0
    Sean_Anderson
    Sean_Anderson

    Reply 4 years ago

    Sorry, but unfortunately, I was working on this project before I became aware of the Instructables site, so only have those images, which I have already shared, but if you have the means to view the DXF file (just uploaded) then you would soon figure out how it goes together.

    0
    dalegribble
    dalegribble

    4 years ago

    Awesome!! I'll vote for you if you will post the files