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Laser Cutter Contest Winners! Answered

It is with great pleasure that I announce the winner of the Laser Cutter Contest:
Stuart.Mcfarlan for How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)

Be sure to check out Stuart.Mcfarlan's plans for the Laser Cutter.

Congratulations to all the finalists who will receive a Laser-etched Instructables Leatherman Juice S2 and an Instructables t-shirt for their simply amazing work:

crabfu for Steam Turbine Tank
dave spencer for erupting Volcano Birthday Cake
Honus for How to make a Green Lantern ring- including a glowing version!
jabroutin for personal powerPlant
jeffkobi for Retro Hi-Fi Project
Kasey for Compubeaver --> How to case-mod a beaver - in 29 easy steps!
lkrasnow for Precision Puzzlemaking Primer -- Volume 1
mikejedw for Pringles Wind Turbine (Pleech) - Version One
mydian_nightshade forFurniture grade cocktail arcade cabinet
mzed for Low-cost Spherical Speaker Array
nemomatic for Giant Squid kinetic sculpture from found materials
orthonormal_basis_of_evil for EMP shopping cart locker
talbotron22 for DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract
turkey tek for Interactive Multitouch Display

We had planned to select 20 second place winners, but just couldn't narrow the field, so we're awarding 25 second place winners, who will receive Instructables t-shirts! They are:

$30 High-Speed PCB Drill Press by lancandy
$60 Laser Engraver / Cutter by cgosh
Breath powered USB charger by jmengel
Build a Tetris DVD (or book) shelf by odecom5
Capture the Ethereal Beauty of Everyday Objects Using Polarized Light. by Tool Using Animal
CO2 laser that cuts sheet metal by owhite
Cosmic Light With LEDs Embedded in Resin by technoplastique
Duck Cam Decoy by Roadstar
Electromagnetic Floater by J_Hodgie
Fine Silver (99.9% pure) Popcorn Pendant! by roughtyper
Han Solo in carbonite chocolate bar! by FreakCitySF
Laptop Converted to 2nd Monitor by punish3r
Make a wall avoiding Robot! a collaboration led by Brandon121233
Make Conductive Glue and Glue a Circuit by mikey77
Make rope out of dead plants -- with no tools a collaboration led by phyzome
Mod a toaster and have retro art toast for breakfast by 5Volt
Motherboard PCB Bracelet by llama13
Portable Water resistant LED Picnic Blanket with hard center serving surface! by pointcloud
Start a Guerrilla Drive-in by plusbryan
The Ice Bulb by mandrake
The Intimate Video Light/ Handheld photograpy light. by curve12
The One, The Only COTTON CANDY MACHINE! by T3h_Muffinator
Theater Effects: Gunshot Wounds by TrumpetNeel
Use a Vacuum cleaner to build your own Skateboard by gregorylavoie
Wire Scorpion by OniTora

All the winners should watch for a personal message from us for prize claiming instructions.

With so many excellent entries, and with each of them being at the top of their game in some different aspect, the judging was extremely difficult. We had help juding from a large number of users including 5Volt, african_andy187, Albetcha, BobbyMike, CameronSS, canida, daenris, drinkmorecoffee, ewilhelm, fungus amungus, herrozerro, ian, imanalchemist, J_Hodgie, jamesh, jesse.hensel, jessyratfink, jmengel, Kiteman, LasVegas, lebowski, lennyb, llama13, lothotrity, momo!, nagutron, nak, noahw, olddaddycrane, pt, Randofo, Robyntheslug, royalestel, ryzellon, Sam Noyoun, saul, Sedgewick17, sheekgeek, stasterisk, steven07, T3h_Muffinator, technick29, Tetranitrate, Tool Using Animal, trebuchet03, trialex, x9a, zieak, and Zujus. For more information on how we judged, check here.

The entries submitted to this contest exceeded all of my expectations. They are totally amazing in their quality, instructional value, uniqueness, and pure brilliance. It is my hope that everyone had a blast entering the contest and learned something useful, fun, or both.

To me, the value of posting an Instructable is when someone makes a comment saying that I taught them something new, changed the way they looked at things, or inspired them to make something themselves (even if it's something totally different than my Instructable). Looking through the Instructables submitted to the contest and comments on the finalists' forum posts, it's clear that this is happening all over, and it makes me smile every time.

Congratulations to all the winners! And, thanks to everyone that entered. Even if your Instructable didn't win a prize, I'm sure it has had a positive impact on someone's life and will continue to do so.


I have been granted a research grant of  $1500. I am to work on electro chemical spark machining. Since there is a crunch of money I cannot spend on expensive feeidng mechanisms or CNC machines. Could you guys advice me on the manufacturablity of an inexpensive automatic feed mechanism or a self made vertical CNC machine. The machine must be robust.

 Welcome to Instructables.

You might want to post your help request as a separate topic so people can respond better.  This is an older topic that might be overlooked.  You can also search on keyword CNC or milling machines in the Instructables search box.  You can also comment there or Private message the individual author if you have questions.  Good luck.

Thanks I got it...I think this is officially the first time I have ever won anything, thanks again for all the hard work.

How soon will we be getting a message about claiming the T-Shirt 2nd place prizes?

Thank you: Oh goodness I haven't won anything since grade school (and to be fair that was a "fun" math exercises book). Thank you everyone who voted and the ever so kind judges. I'm rather shocked really, off to plan laser cutter inspired Instructables. Stuart.

Remember, you only receive the laser cutter if you build me a CNC machine. Its in the fine print. Seriously, you deserve it. You made a great project and documented it extremely well, and I hope you make some ample return selling those kits you were talking about. If only there were enough laser cutters for all the great Instructables that entered, plus one for me.

Congratulations! I can't wait to see those CNC kits up for sale!

...and to see some 3D (not so Rapid Prototyping)

Congrats Stuart and everyone that competed and judged. Great choice! I had trouble deciding myself. There were a few other projects that could have won and I would have felt were a good choice as well. If I had a garage/workshop to put this monster I would definitely build one. I'm looking forward to seeing how you put your GRAND prize to work.

oh yeah. Stuart can I come over to your house to play?

CONGRATS! You deserved it! I can't wait to see what you're going to think up next! -THE MUFFIN

Congratz Stuart!!!! Well deserved win, great project :)

Congratulations!!! Your project kicked ass :) Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Great job. I loved your project and I'm blown away by all the other cool projects that came out of this contest. Plenty of goodness all around.


11 years ago

Congrats to everyone!


11 years ago

Congratulations Stuart, aaaand....I Won a t-shirt ! Thanks a lot everybody. 331 members joined the group. A great success. Congrats to the organizers as well. Ciao e a presto


11 years ago

I gets a t-shirt!!

(spending $15k was all worth it)



Congratulations to all winners! This was, by far, the largest contest that has ever been hosted by Instructables, so congratulations Instructables, too!

Everyone, keep up the AWESOME work!

The winner's project is impressive, but seems to have many more votes?

How Votes Were Handled

Forum votes were taken into consideration in addition to judge voting ;) Check out the statistics on how the judging/voting went ;) It's actually quite interesting -- and the low standard deviation shows that there's little variation in the judges (that is, they agree).

The votes are only one thing taken into consideration when determining the winner. I know this contest must have been extremely hard to judge. I couldn't have picked a clear winner- I liked so many of the projects for a lot of different reasons. There's a link above to how the judging was done.


11 years ago

Right on, that's a great project among a a bunch of excellent work. Thanks to the instructables team. And, thanks to everyone who voted for my project. ;-)

Congrats Stuart! Looks like you will know just what to do with a new toy like that. Maybe someday I will get around to making one of your CNC machines.


11 years ago

Wow, 'grati`s 'farlan

great competition, more projects for the Summer! The evaluation criteria seemed a little vague though. In fairness, was it not a straight vote count? The Pringles turbine by "mikejedw" had the popular tally.

Well, the voting was only a part of the judging. They go over the formula and the results breakdown in this page. I didn't get the win, but I did get the maximum possible boost from all the voting, for which I'm incredibly grateful.

Nice work from everyone! I'm definitely planning on making Stuart's CNC this year.

Well done, Stuart. All we're waiting for now is your first laser-cut Instructable.

and i will wear my new shirt with pride! that's a long list of people that worked on this! thanks to all. I can't wait until i have some time to submit my next instructable, whether or not it's for a contest :)

Congrats everyone! There were a lot of wonderful instructables submitted, it took me forever to rate the finalists. :P


11 years ago

Congratulations Stuart!! It was a fantastic contest for sure- I hope everyone had as much fun as I did so a here's a big thank you to the instructables team! :)

Here in Beijing we are wiondering: how do the votes count? We like these contasts, please have more!

Congrats to Stuart! I plan on starting your cnc machine quite soon now. Also props to a lot of other projects that inspired me in this contest.

Thanks to Eric and all the instructables team. That was a lot of fun