Of all quick-prototyping methods, my favorite is the laser cutter. I love the challenge of turning flat material into something 3D with clever slots and locks. Below are several objects, some useful and some decorative, made with flat plywood, CAD programs like Solidworks and Corel Draw, and our laser cutter.
A tea rack I designed for my dorm room. It fits my mugs and standard boxes of tea perfectly, and hangs from the top by two command hooks.
A study in kerf bending, a method which makes flat plywood bendable by cutting closely spaced, alternating slits.
This study extends kerf bending to circular items. I went through a few iterations to make sure the wood cut all the way through, didn’t burn, and the final product could bend like a spring into a lightweight basket.
This paper organizer can be cut from one 1×2 foot piece of plywood, as the dividers are all cut in concentric rectangles from the same piece of wood. I monogrammed it for my dad’s Christmas gift with a raster engraving.
A laser engraved plaque for the Yale TV production organization. The letters are V-cut raster engraved and were made by varying the power in the logo. They now use this plaque in the intro sequence and segments filmed with the anchors.