My upcycling project is a sculpture of Kirby, laser-cut from cardboard boxes taken from my workplace’s recycling. After further consideration of how this sculpture will come together, I realize I will likely want to find scrap acrylic and wood from the cutters’ location as well, to give certain features a bit more flair.
Here is a brief overview of the construction process:
- Create the SolidWorks 3D model via sketches and lofted features. This was a bit more difficult than anticipated, but I learned a lot and thankfully Kirby has some relatively simple geometries. I decided to keep a sort of boxy look to his limbs, as the stacking of the cross-sections will give a bit of a jagged look to the sculpture anyhow.
- Next, I will need to split the model into bodies that will match the thickness of the cardboard, and transfer those profiles into drawings for the laser cutter.
- Once all drawings are prepared, I can cut them from the cardboard, then do a “dry stack” of them, to ensure the geometries turned out like I am envisioning.
- If satisfied, I will re-stack them with adhesive between layers, and it will then be complete.
Currently, I am working on the finishing touches of the model, and hope to begin work on the laser cutter drawings tonight (2/5/20). This will likely be the most time consuming aspect of this project, since a 6” diameter should give me at least 24 cuts to make, assuming my cardboard is ~1/4” thick. I think another challenge I may encounter is the fact I am using upcycled cardboard from varying suppliers, meaning slightly different thicknesses could cause some cuts to work, and others not. To overcome that, I plan to use slightly higher parameters for the cutter than typically used for cardboard, in order to ensure I have clean cuts through all the types.
I look forward to seeing this start to physically come together – I’ve spent quite a bit of time thus far digitally constructing, so it will be satisfying to start work off the computer. If there happens to be any pros with laser cutters reading this, I will likely be struggling in the ITLL lab throughout the evenings of this week. Please @ me in the #worktrade channel if you are able/willing to help! Thanks for reading.
*Roughly the pose I will have Kirby striking. Taken from artist Shigeru Miyamoto: https://www.polygon.com/nintendo/2019/10/5/20900178/kirby-character-name-nintendo-lawyer-john-kirby-obituary
Hi Thomas! From looking at your CAD file, I think you have made a really good job with your 3D model, and it looks pretty complicated, from a CAD point of view, so well done! I like how you thought about how to layer the object and how you considered the cardboard thickness. If you have not started laser cutting yet, I would suggest adding a point or a very small circle in the middle to reference your alignment and have everything centered. Are you planning on hanging the project or do you think it will support itself on a flat surface?