Fabricating with Two Materials

Fabricating with Two Materials

Two Materials
Last week’s assignment was to work with two materials, and specifically not use acrylic or plywood. I hadn’t used either material yet, and still wanted to work with two materials I haven’t yet worked with. I’m quite dawn to natural and ideally, sustainable materials.
I’ve wanted to work with rubber and read quite a bit online about laser cutting it, which mostly read as it needs to be a specific type and of course, thickness for the laser cutter to handle vector cuts. I couldn’t find the material at Blick so I started to look around for another interesting material. I found cork, which is also something I’ve always been fond of, from my bulletin board growing up, to my Dad’s coasters, to a pencil holder I used to love.
Here’s the cork I got:
For my other material, I chose paper because I’ve been wanting to try vector cuts on paper. Suddenly I realized how the two went together, as a gift for my niece: a custom bulletin board with leave cutouts for special notes.
I didn’t see laser cutter vector settings for the cork, so I started with the engraving settings and worked my way from there. I ended up running the laser nearly 30 times, and finally gave up, declaring the cork the winner.
Here’s the laser at work, about 15 passes in:
Eventually I gave up, another student needed to use the laser cutter and I didn’t see any further progress occurring. To finish the cut, I used my handy utility knife. As you can see after 30 passes, the cork was getting quite scorched, which I didn’t love the look of for cork:
The paper cut seamlessly, and was actually so much fun to cut. The result is absolutely perfect and one pass is all you need. I used two shades of recycled green colored paper.
Here’s the final result:
 
I’m happy enough with it considering the amount of time I had during the week. Next time, I would just engrave the cork, I think it would look great, although it does get darkened quite quickly.

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