Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch

LaserStacker: Fabricating 3D Objects by Laser Cutting and Welding

Udayan Umapathi, Hsiang-Ting Chen, Stefanie MuellerLudwig Wall, Anna Seufert, Patrick Baudisch

LaserStacker allows users to fabricate 3D objects with the an ordinary laser cutter through a cut-weld-heal-release process. The key idea is to use the laser cutter to not only cut but also to weld. Users place not one acrylic sheet, but a stack of acrylic sheets into their cutter. In a single process, LaserStacker cuts each individual layer to shape (through all layers above it), welds layers by melting material at their interface, and heals undesired cuts in higher layers. When users take out the object from the laser cutter, it is already assembled.

The figure below illustrates how to make the pair of scissors with LaserStacker. (a) The user starts by modeling the scissors in our LaserStacker editor, which we implemented as an extension to the popular 3D editor SketchUp [21] (see section “LaserStacker editor”). (b) After the user finished modeling, the user hits the export button, which causes LaserStacker to slice the 3D model into layers and to encode the information for each layer into a 2D vector format (.svg). In addition, LaserStacker exports a file with corresponding power settings for the laser (.las). (c) To fabricate the scissors, the user places a stack with the appropriate number of acrylic sheets (here three) into the laser cutter, loads both files into the laser cutter control panel, and executes the job. (d) The laser cutter produces the scissors in a single integrated process consisting of cutting all layers, welding the layers that should be connected, and healing the undesired cuts. When the user arrives at the cutter, the pair of scissors is already assembled. After removing the surplus material, the scissors are ready to be used to actually cut paper (Figure 1c).

LaserStacker: Fabricating 3D Objects by Laser Cutting and Welding
In Proc. UIST'15. Full Paper.