Author Topic: Using a 2W laser for scoring fold lines in modular origami  (Read 476 times)

ianchia

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Using a 2W laser for scoring fold lines in modular origami
« on: March 30, 2018, 02:37:49 AM »
Hi folks,

Continuing on my experiments with origami paper, I thought maybe someone might be interested in using their laser to score fold lines in modular origami. I used my custom calibration gcode file (attached) at a feed rate of 1000 and power settings in increments of 10 from an initial 10 to 250 (and a final 255) to find the appropriate power that would cut through only half the thickness of a piece of origami paper.

Then to prototype, I used a simple design from the modular Floral Origami book by Ekaterina Lukasheva.  I hand folded a piece to work out where all the fold lines lay. I redrew the lines in an Adobe Illustrator vector file, generated a .NC file using PDF2DXF and T2Laser, then edited it by hand so that the fold lines were scored (ie. engraved) at a low power of 90, and the cut lines were at a high power of 255. I then loaded the final .NC file in T2Laser and scored/cut 30 pieces, which is *A LOT* faster than doing 7x7cm (2.75" square) pieces by hand and saved a great deal of fiddly work. (You need 30 modular origami pieces to assemble an icosahedron origami bauble, which is a polyhedron composed of 20 triangular faces, with 5 of those meeting at each vertex.) It takes under 4min to score and cut four 7x7cm pieces from a single 15cm square sheet.

Here's a little video on Instagram demoing the proof of concept.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg8Qe2egDDi/?taken-by=ianchia

I'm hoping to create a string of ceiling LED origami baubles for my wife...   ;)

Hope this inspires people to try out related ideas!

- Ian

Zax

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Re: Using a 2W laser for scoring fold lines in modular origami
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 04:02:39 AM »
That's quite a process but the results are impressive.

I think you could output a DXF directly from Illustrator with different colors for the cuts and score lines, but since you have a working process that's all that matters. Great work!

ianchia

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Re: Using a 2W laser for scoring fold lines in modular origami
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 12:32:55 AM »
Thanks for your feedback @Zax. :D

My preference would be to export directly from Illustrator with the colors for differing power output on different lines but I've run into some problems...

- Illustrator CS6 seems to export DXFs that aren't compatible with T2Laser. T2L always complains of errors in the file when I try a directly exported DXF file from Illustrator.
- My process that works is to Save as a PDF from Illustrator and then use the command line Convert2DXF utility in the T2Laser's File Menu. The problem using that approach is that colors from a PDF don't get translated across and everything comes across as black.
- Finally, even if my translated PDF translated into DXF retained colors, I understand that AutoCad et.al. use a limited palette of colors that you've mapped to your power levels. But Illustrator has bazillion color options. What are the RGB or CMYK values I should use? (-;

That's the background behind my convoluted process...

- Ian


Zax

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Re: Using a 2W laser for scoring fold lines in modular origami
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 04:34:38 AM »
I figured that was the case, Illustrator is the only program that seems to have problems with DXF files but other users have figured out "tricks" to get direct export to work, not sure about the colors but if you use the RGB values that correspond to the DXF colors it should work.

http://sub-atomic.com/~moses/acadcolors.html