Upcycle Progress: Rollercoaster

While I have the Solidworks model of what I’d like to initially test, I hope to test new ways to make curved cardboard rails. Here I have the start of the rollercoaster where I plan to have a loop and two turns.


I utilized the Integrated Teaching & Learning laser cutters. I did edit the converted Solidworks (to a .dxf). This allows me to raster (engrave) and vector (cut) into the cardboard appropriately. I use the raster to cut partially into the material. This allows me to bend the cardboard consistently.

There are problems with this, especially when the pieces are very thin. The larger parts of the cardboard are perfect allowing the cardboard to be flexible.

I hope to continue using the laser cutter to explore how I can make better rails for the roller coaster. I plan to have a basic set of rails to test the “double-cone” from my previous post.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • This is a very cool project, I’m excited to see how it turns out! I’ve never seen cardboard cut on the laser cutter before, I wonder if there are specific settings that can be changed to help you cut the thinner portions the way you want.

    • I mainly am using Solidworks, so I’ll have to change the spline’s I’m using. I can also reinforce the thinner portions with more cardboard. I’m just uncertain if there are other options. The other problem I am facing is how long it takes to engrave the cardboard so I can bend it.

  • I can see how using cardboard can be harder when it gets thin. I am using cardboard as well and realized I had to layer the cardboard that way it was durable enough to function how I need it to. Id consider this though I know that will only take more time working with a laser cutter. Good luck and I cant wait to see how this turns out it looks really interesting

    • The lovely aspect of using a laser engraver is cutting out the material nicely and quickly. I will consider layering the cardboard so it’s stronger. Thank you!


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