Introduction: Simple Laser Cut Tree Building System.

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This is yet another project in my Laser Cut Advent Calendar series. It is also one of the smaller projects I did when I was Artist in Residence at Instructables/Pier 9 in July 2013 and that was long due to be documented. The fact that I’m going back for another month made me finally finish it.

It is a very simple project consisting of a set of elements that allows you to build tree-like structures.

As usual in this series I made the design not critical to the exact thickness of the sheet. In this case the solution was simple: gravity. The slits are intentionally made rather wide and the parts are kept together by gravity alone. Actually this means you need to put some care in assembling your tree, but it isn’t that hard.

You do need to take into account that you need to build upwards only, but that corresponds to the growth pattern of many real trees. Each tree can be different and you can easily remove al parts and rebuild.

Step 1: Materials and Tools:

The design is made for 3 mm sheet material, but you can scale the design to fit the sheet thickness. I used transparent amber acrylic sheet as in the rest of the Laser Cut Advent Calendar series

Obviously you will need access to a laser cutter or an online laser cutting service. I used a 120W Epilog laser cutter in the workshop at Pier 9, were the Instructables HQ is.

The design was made in Inkscape. You can find it in pdf and svg format in the zip-file.


Step 2: Cutting and Building

I tried to limit the cutting time by positioning the many parts together and eliminating double lines.

Obviously, he machine settings will depend on the laser cutting machine used. On the 120W Epilog, the speed was set to 50% and the power to 70%.

Assembly starts by sliding the two trunk parts one into the other. From this you add the branch and leave elements according to your own choice.