In Spring Semester 2014, I taught a workshop at Yale’s Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design about the methods of making 3D objects from flat materials, including CNC machining, laser cutting, and simple prototyping with foam core board and exacto knives. We started by brainstorming existing technologies which use these and other methods (even origami!) to get the creative juices flowing, and then watched the CNC cut out the final piece for a model chair which fits together only through slots. Putting this together, the students started to realize how fun and powerful this way of making can be, and were eager to continue by foam core protyping their own designs.
Then, students learned how to cut out their profile from a picture we had taken earlier into a vector shape and sent the file to be laser cut in wood. I pre-cut bodies and necks (which sprang by using the kerf bending method) for a 2D to 3D bobblehead made entirely of wood. I am planning on repeating this workshop in the coming year to give more people the chance to work with these ideas and learn how to prototype better and faster!
Thanks to Genevieve Fowler for taking photos during the workshop!