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Rotating 2D into 3D Answered

Playing around with making a 3D shape from layers of cardboard. This is a 2D image rotated 180 degrees and then built with 60 layers of laser-cut cardboard. Forgot to document this one so it's in the forum.



11 years ago

That would look really nice, if it was made out of layers of Plexiglass, or Lexan. I suppose you just as easily make a mold in the same way, as long as you could seal the cardboard, and then pour it with castable resin, or liquefied abs, etc..

I have a few other designs I'm going to try out before I decide on dropping the cash for any acrylic. The total cost for this project was $2, the price of a new glue stick. It would be nice to have a more regulated material. Overall, this came out about 10% taller than I expected, skewing the dimensions a bit and stretching it out.

I think what sam is saying, is that it appears as though you could make a TON of money on this by fabricating prototypes, molds, sculptures, sundries, and miscellaneous artifacts for people, depending on the ongoing availability of your laser cutter.

If you're not aware of this yet, then maybe you could at least make it seem like you were.

Either way, the world thanks you for a great idea.

Keep up the good work! ;>)

I'm glad you think so much of it for a first try, but I'm really just experimenting with a new process. While I want to learn more about rapid prototyping, I'm ultimately less interested in the means than the ends. There are plenty of rapid prototyping shops out there already anyway. As for the access to the laser cutter, I view it as purely educational. The folks at Squid Labs are generous enough to let me use it for individual projects. If I wanted to use it for profit I'd have to look into getting my own and then some space to use it. After a few more projects I'll likely post an instructable on using it.

where the hell do you people keep getting laser cutters?...if your laser cutter...were to say...accidentally fall into a box and ship itself to me...would your company pay for a replacement?

That's what I'M saying!

"Apparently sir, what we have is...someone was attempting to recreate their favorite Activision video game character, in all of its pixelated glory, and then revolve it 180 degrees out of cardboard, so that he could set it on his coffee table and use it for conversations, and subsequently shared this simple yet brilliant process with the world ("No Laser-Cutter Left Behind") when...suddenly, he stumbled on an insanely practical method for producing rapid prototypes.

Sir, we think it was unintentional, though. Should I call a Patent Ambulance, or just take down some information?"

By the way, if anyone else has ever tried this, they may as well provide proof of it now.

Good 'ole jumpman/pitfall harry . . .

I used to LOVE Jumpman. I still remember the level that starts out blacked out. So freakin' good it hurts. Your second guess is on the money, though.

Nice one!

What did you use to 'create' the slices? We want to do a simmilar thing here at work, but the geometry would be more complex. We are trying to find a way to slice an arbitrary 3D shape into slices. There is some commercial software out there, RapidPRO, but it's outside the budget, and the demo won't allow printing.

I did this with SketchUp. I'm using the full version, but I think you can do the same thing in the free version as well. You can export cross sections one by one to create the model.


11 years ago

Hey, if you can laser cut Cardboard should be a cinch to cut Roofmate or Styrofoam, and do Aluminum Sand Casting out of that!

Added a few more pics to make it clearer.


11 years ago

Neat idea! Is it feasible as a repeatable way to prototype? (assuming you have a laser cutter... ) It looks as though aligning layers precisely might have been difficult, was it?

That's what I was wondering. I suppose you could laser cut at least two indexing holes on each sheet at the same respective X's and Y's for all the sheets, with reference to a single origin for the whole model. That way you could run a couple wood dowels through the holes to align the sheets perfectly. That would be absolutely necessary on anything but a symmetrical part, if you wanted to maintain precision.

Woah! Great minds think a like.. I thought it over last night, and decided upon the exact same idea.. weird!

If this model were more complicated, I'd probably use a registration technique like what you guys mentioned. Aligning the layers here was very easy. Most of the alignment was simply a matter of putting the model down on its face and making sure both pieces were flat on the ground. A quick adjustment left or right took care of the rest. Look at it and you'll see that when the layers change there is typically one continuous line on the outside or inside.

It looks like if it were spinning it could be some sort of POV :P Any particular reason why or bigger project that it's working up to? Or just for fun? And out of curiosity -- how long did it take to cut?

Cutting time was ~1 hour. If I'd prepped the files better it would've been about half that, but it would've taken at least half an hour to prep them correctly. This might lead to something. Right now it's just for fun.

I don't quite understand what you did. Excuse my stupidity.

He made 60 induvidual (and probably all unique) layers of cardboard using a laser cutter (making the layers with a CAD suite or similar). He then stacked (glued?) them together to form his 3D sculpture.

This is pretty much a low tech material rapid prototype model (some assembly required*) :P

That's right, except that there are only 12 unique layers here. After the cutting it was a lot of time with the glue stick.

Pretty Cool. Now you can plaster it.

Heck, if you wanted, you could make an actual-size copy of the Statue of David if you had the IGES file, and cover it with plaster of paris to make it look identical to the real thing!

Just make sure you credit Michaelangelo (and whoever made the 3D computer model). ;>)