LaserOrigami: laser-cutting 3D objects
Stefanie Mueller, Bastian Kruck, Patrick Baudisch
We present LaserOrigami, a rapid prototyping system that produces 3D objects using a laser cutter. LaserOrigami is substantially faster than traditional 3D fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and unlike traditional laser cutting the resulting 3D objects require no manual assembly. The key idea behind LaserOrigami is that it achieves three-dimensionality by folding and stretching the workpiece, rather than by placing joints, thereby eliminating the need for manual assembly. LaserOrigami achieves this by heating up selected regions of the workpiece until they become compliant and bend down under the force of gravity. LaserOrigami administers the heat by defocusing the laser, which distributes the laser’s power across a larger surface. LaserOrigami implements cutting and bending in a single integrated process by automatically moving the cutting table up and down-when users take out the workpiece, it is already fully assembled. We present the three main design elements of LaserOrigami: the bend, the suspender, and the stretch, and demonstrate how to use them to fabricate a range of physical objects. Finally, we demonstrate an interactive fabrication version of LaserOrigami, a process in which user interaction and fabrication alternate step-by-step.