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Laser Cutter Finalists- Master List Answered

Due to the incredible number of fantastic projects entered in the contest, we've decided to name 15 finalists! Yes, you'll all get the same finalist prize (or a laser cutter)- congratulations for making it so hard to judge!

We've still got 20 prizes to give away to the runners-up- they'll be posted when the final winner is announced!

Now, the rest of you get to VOTE to help us decide the ultimate winner of the Laser Cutter Contest! Each finalist, listed alphabetically below by username, has an individual Forum post with links to his/her projects in the Laser Cutter Contest Finalists Group. You'll have noticed the Forum posts are now ratable- follow the links below, then click the + button to vote for your favorites! Voting ends Thursday July 12, 2007.

Leave nice, constructive comments- this is a great opportunity to ask more questions to help you cast your votes.

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
Stuart.Mcfarlan for How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)
talbotron22 for DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract
turkey tek for Interactive Multitouch Display

Note that this is only a part of the judging, so if you're a finalist don't stress too much over it. It's a chance for our entire community to have their voices heard.


Wow pringles can 59 followed by 3 axis cnc 41 somebody has a lot of friends.

Or a lot of classmates. He plans to donate it to his school if he wins.

Bit of both! When I saw I was nominated, I sent an email to some of my friends from school. The Communication Design and Technology Department at Parsons is a very DIY-oriented kind of program, and a lot of my classmates post their school work up here, too, like the Wax Tag, the moss bomb, LED Bike Helmet, and many others--one of our graduates co-developed LED Throwies. After my email went out, it went viral among my "maker" friends, and their maker friends, and their maker friends...

Naturally, I was as stoked as anyone about the prospect of a laser cutter, but my fellow students and faculty are also an incredibly supportive group of people. We visit each other's shows, concerts, installations, you name it. If the prize was a hot fudge sundae and a pat on the back, they'd still vote en masse.

Props to every one of 'em! I didn't win, but I definitely felt the love.

Loved your project and it's good to hear that you're a part of such a supportive community. That's worth more than any one item, that's for sure.

three axis machine 26 in the lead followed by personal power plant 24 Doesn't the personal power plant team have access to eyebeam labs, which has a laser cutter? Can't "3 axis" attach a laser instead of a dremel? What I mean to say he's talented enough to make his own laser cutter lol Ikea speakers is still 0 common guys a few extra sympathy votes? This forum is rated higher currently than Ikea. Might be easier to send everyone an email and they can cast 1 vote.

>Ikea speakers is still 0 >common guys a few extra sympathy votes? :-) pleez?

I think it would be worthwhile to point out the following quote from above. "Note that this is only a part of the judging, so if you're a finalist don't stress too much over it. It's a chance for our entire community to have their voices heard." So, like it says, don't stress out about it. The signal to noise on these scores is so small (having a boyfriend increases your score by 5% compared to those without boyfriends, for instance). No reasonable statistician could possibly take the scores seriously as reliable indicators of a project's quality. If you really feel strongly about a project, a (constructive, not bashing) comment will probably be far more influential to the projects chances of winning than a vote. Of course, I've been saddened by some of the more mean spirited comments posted in this contest, so I'd personally ask that they actually "be nice", but I'm a nutcase libertarian, so do whatever you will.

its getting to be about that time! :) good luck to all the finalists, and godspeed! (unless i missed it and am looking in the wrong place for it? thanks for the great instructables guys! I have bookmarked 7 of them to try for myself :)

my promise to you, if i win a laser cutter my first application will be DIY Laser Eye Surgery. why pay outrageous prices for a so-called "doctor" to perform certified LASIK, when you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost!

because remember, when it comes to lasers you only get two chances


Ha! That's hilarious :p That should be laser engraved on very dark sunglasses -- on the lenses of course :P

I'm reminded of Steve Wozniaks story SW: Of course. I used to use laser pointers all the time and people would come up to me and say “What are you doing with that laser pointer!” So I made up a fake ID that said I was a laser pointer security man. " The picture on the fake id was a picture of himself with a eye patch!

Maybe this would make a good laser cutter entry but without having a laser cutter there is no way I can know for sure. Emergency Face Shield

CNC 33 leading with Personal Power plant 26 falling behind. Volcano cake 0 Ikea speakers 0 So us voting here is like the american vote. It's the electoral college that will have final say.

So what's the consensus on voting? Is voting + or - allowed? I voted a few + and - but I don't remember which.

When I vote for a Instructable in the laser contest on a voting page and I rate it "+" it subtracts one from the total, but says I voted "+" anyway. Then when I close the window and open a new one it says I haven't voted at all? I don't know what is happening.

It's a cache problem. Your votes count, but the page updating is screwy. Try a hard refresh (shift+pagereload)- that should take care of things.

I tried it, but when I hard refresh, it just goes back to the previous score and says I haven't voted at all.

EPM shopping cart lock--BWAHAHAHAHA! It's a guilty pleasure . . .

So I have asked a few of my friends to go online and rate my project. I know a few of them all too well so I told them not to go and "-" anyone else's projects. But I have noticed that my rating has been dropping today. This means that someone is "-"ing my project. My friends and I could go around and minus every one else's project and the winner of the popular vote could be the one with the highest negative score but that seams pretty weak. Maybe I'm not thick skinned enough but I would prefer not to know if you think my project sucks, I just want to hear from the ones who like it - thanks to all of you. I get that the ratings are not the final say but it would be nice to get rid of the negative rating for this.

We've been handling this pretty well in the speed contests by only looking at the positive ratings (and only real positive ratings via IP address). If when we go through the data, we find evidence of unsportsmanlike behavior, we'll act accordingly. I know these ratings are the only things you can watch right now, but let me stress that they are only a fraction of the decision.

I noticed yesterday that some project ratings had dropped as well, which really surprised me. I too had posted links to the contest on two other web boards I visit (not that they had many views last time I checked, which is kind of a bummer) as well as posted a link on our family blog and encouraged people to join and vote- but to be fair, I directed them to the finalists master list so they can go through all the projects and rate whatever they like. At any rate, the voting is only part of the decision making process -but like you, I too feel disheartened when I see ratings suddenly drop. Heck, I gave good ratings to several of the finalists on their original instructable pages in the first place.......

I think that the negative ratings should be eliminated for voting. It just allows people to add some meanness to the proceedings. We should be promoting the good and not trying to tear others down without explanation. In the future it would be cool to see a more robust voting system. In San Francisco we sometimes have a tiered voting system. You can vote for three people where your 1st vote counts for more "points" than the 2nd and the 2nd counts for more than the 3rd. With a requirement that people vote for their top three it would force people to check out more projects. The results could also be hidden until the end.


11 years ago

During the last few weeks I did not have much time to spend with Instructables. I just took the time to answer to kind comments and requests on my instructables and added some 'pluses' to the new ones I liked most. Anyways, congratulations to the finalists and those who organized the contest. A few things I'd like to add: the deadline looked too close and it proved so. The initial rules looked good to me though. I liked the initial (decisive) requirement (dropped?) that required the finalist to make a statement about what they'd make with the LASER cutter if the won it : it was embarassing to myself! This would have made the LASER go to someone who really has a project. Sure the finalists are good instructables but I do not know (and would like to know) what their designer's projects are with the LASER cutter, should they win it. One more thing: industry sponsored contests would help make Instructables a great opportunity for enthusiasts whom could make their hobby the job of their lives. P.S. Cotton Candy did not make it ? It was REAAAALLY inspiring (and it involves metal also...) !

Thanks, 5volt! I know, I was surprised too, but in retrospect, the Instructable itself wasn't put together well. If I made then instructable when I finished the project, and not 1 hr before the deadline, I think it would have come out MUCH nicer. -J

I would check out Jabroutin's topic...most of the posters seem to be new members, with one comment (on his topic) and no instructables. Check some IPs?

There is an ERROR on the compubeaver subpage. When I browse to it I am not logged in. And when I try to vote, it request's a log in and then dumps me back to the main page with out casting the vote. As far as I can tell this is the only page that does this. Thank you Lance

How about a link to the instructable from the list as well????

Perhaps a list of the project titles instead of the author names?

The project name links to the actual project instead of the voting page, that might get confusing.

How about both in the same link. I remember the projects better than the usernames, most of the time. Eric, when does the voting close? I can't find anything in this topic. Do I need to hunt it down somewhere else? The pages take so bloody long to download......zzzzz

Thank you. And thanks for letting me play along at home. Overall the contest is a huge success. Perfect? Not much is. I hope to have something to enter next year. And you get a vacation between now and then.


11 years ago

hmm. while vote-rigging for visitor-count on the project itself would be tough, vote-rigging 20 +'s on one of these posts would be easy for anyone to do manually.

Not even a finalist? How to make your own chocolate bar? almost a 100k views?

Hey, it's alright. I made the first documentation on how to make a cotton candy machine....... EVER..... You win some, you lose some Cheers, -J

Yeah - try to find information on embedding LEDs in resin - I've only found one other reference, and there weren't instructions with it. I also included a completely new method of building up a form with a void in it without a 2-part mold. I'm not too happy either....

I embedded LEDs in resin (OK - just one LED) in my instructable. Doesn't that count? I was pretty specific with how to do it too... I feel VERY fortunate to have been picked as a finalist- there were so many excellent entries that I was seriously doubting my chances. Now if I'm lucky enough to actually win I do have a really great plan for the laser cutter.......

It was originally posted here along with some other ideas: https://www.instructables.com/forum/T11TSQRF1U9XTHW/

This the proposal I came up with according to the original rules- it should not affect your judging as it is simply what I would do with it. If you feel my instructable is worthy of merit then by all means vote for it - may the best insructable win!

It is important to me as it has to do with how I feel as a community we can have a really positive impact in the world not just by offering our instructables but by directly helping those in need and at the same time promoting ourselves and this site. I think it's a neat idea and while I'm sure there would need to be some tweaks here and there I believe the overall idea itself is sound.

My idea would be to start a laser service- with a twist.

Let's say someone posts an instructable in the laser group that requires the use of the laser for their project. I would provide that at a given cost based on the complexity of the job- let's just say $40. From that $40, 20% would go into a Paypal/bank account to be held seperately for a charity.

Now let's say that person wants duplicates for themselves to sell on eBay or wherever. I would do this at a reduced cost, say $30. This is because the setup work has already been done. Now 25% of the money goes into the charity account.

Now let's say that someone reads the original instructable and wants to create the item for themselves. It would cost them $40 but now $5 goes back to the creator of the instructable and still 20% goes into the charity account.

When the charity account reaches $500 everyone that has posted an instructable in the laser group votes on where the money goes- it can be a school, Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, needy family, scholarship fund, etc. but it will have to be limited to a few choices during every voting session. The money is then donated in the name of Instructables.com -everyone that creates something here gets to see their projects create a direct impact on the world around them in the form of this charity donation.

The original creator of the instructable also gets $5 every time their instructable is used to create a product that they designed!

Well that's my idea- I know the rules concerning the contest have changed but I'm still going to do this anyway if I'm lucky enough to win. That's been my plan all along and I think it's something that benefits everyone and I'm sticking to it! :P

I actually really like that Idea, except shipping large pieces would be a huge hassle. Anywho, I'd like to say that you're awesome, Honus. You've been around longer than I have, and definitely deserve to win this prize.

I'm not saying seniority should have anything to do with judging, but you have already proved your devotion to this website. For all of us who have posted more than 2 or 3 Instructables, we know how much work and dedication it takes to make another, good quality, instructable.

You rock, man. You just dont rock lobster!

Thanks a lot for the kind words- it really means a lot to me! I have thought about the shipping issue. Ideally after a while I would hope I'd be able to get a basic stock supply of materials on hand to support the more popular instructables and thus save a bit on lead times and shipping costs. The other idea would be for people to get together and do group buys to save on materials, shipping and production costs. For instance, say you came up with an idea for an acrylic instructables key fob that had the logo etched into one side as well as an embedded LED to light it. And it would also need a beer opener -even though I don't drink beer I understand the importance of that. :) You, as the designer, would organize a group buy for said key fob. I (as the hopeful laser cutter guy) would supply the cut/etched acrylic parts. Then the parts would go to someone that had built a really cool homemade CNC mill to mill the recesses for the battery and LED. I'm picturing it as a two piece snap together kind of thing so the battery could easily be changed.... You could even bring in other collaberators to imbed a cool circuit in there of some kind. All of this would allow for reduced shipping cost/hassle and lower production cost. I've taken part in group buys as a manufacturer on other forums and they can work really well if the organization is solid. You generally create a production sample first and then start a sign up thread. Whan I told my wife I was a finalist she thought it would be really neat to start our own little shop in our garage, since we have the advantage that she works part time from home. That would be so cool.......

That doesn't sound half bad, man! Although, I'm only 16, so I don't drink beer.... I'm glad my words are well-appreciated. -J

16 and you're making your own cotton candy machine? When I was 16 all I did was build plastic models and ride my bike (mostly because I kept crashing cars- which explains why I later became a bicycle designer.)

I'm 16 too, and I build robots age doesn't really matter