Laser-cut Wood Marquetry




About: Artist, Woodworker, Laser Marquetarian

This video shows a wood marquetry project using Rhino CAD to set up files for laser cutting wood veneer from a photograph.  The inspiration came from photographs I took at an e-waste recycling facility.

-I used Rhino to trace the photograph, then rotated, copied, and nested each individual part within my material work area.

-There are 145 pieces in each section, the first section was mirrored, then the pair of sections rotated 9 times create a total of 18 pie-shaped sections. There are 2,610 shapes in the entire piece. The smallest shape is 1/16” square

-The individual files were laser-cut on a 100 watt laser from 1/16" thick wood veneer.

-The wood parts were assembled using low-tack painters tape on the back, then taped with veneer tape on the front and glued in a vacuum bag using epoxy.

-The framing mat surrounding the artwork is also laser-cut.

The video compresses only 40 minutes of the assembly which actually took around 40 hours; I spent another 40 hours setting up the files for laser cutting and the entire project took about 120 hours.

This instructable is entered in a contest to win a Shopbot CNC router, and votes are most appreciated!  
Click "vote" on the upper right of this page.

If I win the Shopbot, I would use the machine to cut and prototype my folding furniture which can be seen on my website



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    13 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is wonderful work. How did you handle kerf of the laser? Did you have to expand each piece in CAD to get a snug fit?

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic work, Christy. I met your aunt (I believe it was) a while back at one of the many Army medical processing events, she passed along your name after I spoke about being an artist myself (designer/sculptor). I'd looked up your website at the time, this must have been while you were studying for your master's. I was impressed then, and I'm doubly impressed now, your work is really evolving, and this latest piece is purely amazing.

    If you get a moment, feel free to drop by my site and poke around.



    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oops, sorry I never replied Matt, I haven't been on this site lately. That was probably my Aunt Heidi.Glad you enjoy my work! I visited your website, very cool! Do you use instructables much? I've racked up some "pro Memberships" and would like to share them. If you want one, email me and I'll forward the link for the 3-month pro membership. I've already got over two years worth.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    wow.....this is sooooo awesome! You definitely have my vote :-)
    Your site is wonderful...i have never seen such designs before.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    You have a very nice laser cutter.

    I think you need to ease off the Diet Coke some. I had to turn the sound off on my PC in order to watch the video too. When you went to the e-trash site did they let you grab as much as you wanted? I'd have backed my pickup truck up and left doing a wheelie! Seeing all of that scrap electronics was quite exciting.

    I've been working on building a CNC router for quite some time now off and on. It won't be a ShopBot when I'm done but that's OK. I put articles on this site about some of the electronics I built for it. Most of it is obsolete now because you can buy it pre-assembled so cheaply anymore.