Laser Cut Sun Catcher




About: I'm a senior in high school. I take engineering classes and love to design and make products and learn new things!

I got this idea from linrodann's instructable: 

It was a really fun project and i was very happy with the output!
All of the materials for this project fits in an altoids can, so it can be given as a gift to someone who loves arts and crafts.

Step 1: Materials

What you will need:

-laser cutter (to cut out the two pieces of the suncatcher using the DXF files i provided)
-assorted colors of tissue paper
-tracing paper (for an alternate method)
-glue (i used a glue stick and it worked well)
-scissors or a sharp craft knife
-colored pencils (for an alternate method)
-fishing line (or small string)

Step 2: Files and Laser Printing

The Drawing files are attached under the Altoids Can Project file folder. Convert the drawing files to DXF by saving it as a DXF file format.

I imported them into Correll Draw and made the yellow lines cut through the wood with a power of 100% and a speed of 2. The red lines just burn at a power of 100% and speed of 30. I used a universal systems CO2 laser. Other types of lasers may have different levels of speed and power so make sure you adjust accordingly. Make sure you print 2 identical pieces so they can be sandwiched together.

you can make your own design by copying and pasting a picture into AutoCAD and tracing over that picture. Once it is all traced, you can delete the picture and you have the drawing! There is a lot of thinking involved in which parts are to be cut through and which parts are just burned so be careful!

Here are some examples of pictures you can copy and paste into AutoCAD for your own design for your sun catcher.

Step 3: Applying the Tissue Paper

Put your two printed pieces side by side and decide which colors you want in each opening.

You can apply the tissue paper on the front of the back piece or the back of the front piece...either way works since they are being sandwiched together.

Cut the tissue paper bigger than the size of the hole and glue the border. Carefully place the tissue paper on top and press around the border to make sure it is glued. It wont take too long to dry.

You can layer colors to make different shades. The more colors the better!

Repeat in all the holes until you're happy with it!

Mine is very sloppy...i ripped the tissue paper and placed it on the wood. You can be more exact by cutting it or using the craft knife to clean up the edges.

(You can also use tracing paper to put in between the two pieces and color the openings with colored pencils.)

Step 4: Put It Together

After the tissue paper fills all of the holes, glue the two pieces together by glueing the wood that doesnt have the tissue paper on it.

Line up the sides and press the two pieces together for about a minute.

String fishing line through the holes in the design and tie it.

Step 5: Hang It Up!

hang your sun catcher where the light can shine through and enjoy!



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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago

    We have a universal laser systems CO2 laser!


    5 years ago

    The laser that I used was one at my school. We're on break now but I can let you know on Monday!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! This is a great project. Can you please make note of the laser brand/model/power? The laser i use is a 90w laser and the speed and power settings you reference would cause the wood to scorch really badly. A quick edit to remind everyone to use laser speed/power appropriate to the equipment they are able to use. Thanks!


    5 years ago

    That's a great idea! I'll try it for a Christmas ornament!


    5 years ago

    Awesome! :) thanks!