Laser-cut tetrominoes

Published 2016 July 20

Started 2015 January, finished 2015 February.

This project came together because my friend Jay Ewing managed to get Reed College (my alma mater) to purchase an Epilog laser cutter/engraver, and I needed an excuse to use it.

This was my first project using any kind of CAD software (Reed had SolidWorks), which I used to design and test-assemble individual parts.

I designed the parts in SolidWorks, exported them to Adobe Illustrator (all parts could be made via 2D cuts rather than 3D milling operations), and used Illustrator’s “offset path” tool to adjust for the laser’s kerf.

My first material was 1/8" acrylic (purchased a 4x8’ sheet for $67 from Applied Plastics in SE PDX w/ $30 cut fee to make 12 ~ 16" x 24" pieces):

Acrylic tetris pieces

Used Reed College’s Epilog Laser at 100% power, 2.1% speed. Best kerf adjustment came from using Adobe Illustrator’s “offset path” tool w/ 0.003".

I then used ¼" multi-ply bamboo plywood (purchased a 4x8’ for sheet $155 from Bamboo Revolution in SE PDX, also cut into 16" x 24" pieces):

Bamboo tetrominoes Bamboo tetrominoes Bamboo tetrominoes with booze

The brown cut edges are created by the laser.

100% power, 1% speed for multi-ply bamboo w/ 0.005" offset path kerf adjust.

Thanks to Akiko Noguchi for finished product photography.