Upcycling Aesthetic: Layered Laser Cuts

For my upcycle project, I’m going to make a dice tower out of stacked, laser cut cardboard. For those of you who don’t play D&D, a dice tower is a structure, usually shaped like something, where you drop a die in the top and it comes out the bottom rolled. It’s no better than rolling by hand, it’s just for style.

For reference, this is one that Dimension 20, an actual play show, uses. It’s called the Box of Doom:

Credit: Rick Perry & Dimension 20

Die are dropped in the top, and they go through the internals and are spit out into the plate below.

I plan to make my dice tower by stacking laser cut pieces to create a 3d shape. By layering flat cuts and gluing them together, you can create an effect similar to a contour map. Below is a mandala made of stacked wood, and then a bear.

Dragonhawk666 on Etsy, jkmoule on Instructables

As you can see, when properly positioned and glued together, you can make complex shapes with nothing more than flat planes. I’m not sure yet if I want to have 3d geometry as complex as any of the examples above, but I do want to use the laser cutters to add precision detail.

I want to do this project this way because I want to explore the capabilities of laser cutting, as every time I’ve used a laser cutter before it’s been for simple, short tasks. Also, my parents at home have had a set of bowls made in the same way, and I’ve always admired the effect.

Right now, I have two plans for the design. I am going to make a skull, similar to the example above (but shorter, for less overall cuts). It fits with the theme of D&D, and will require a 3d model. I have found software that will cut up a 3d model into planes, so, it should just be a simple task of converting CAD to .stl files. I hope. But we’ll see how the end product comes out.

As for the aesthetic, I’m going for a bit of a geometric Halloween Aesthetic. It should be a bit macabre, to “strike fear” in the most ironic sense of those words possible. But it should evoke images of death, to give the rolls I’m planning to use if for weight, to give it a sense of not being ignored. The geometric aspect is just because it’s harder to assemble higher-detail objects, and it also evokes the polyhedral dice that D&D is run with.

Image Credits:

  1. Cover Image: https://cz.pinterest.com/pin/pin-auf-art–502432902171095446/ Scott Stephenson on Pinterest
  2. Box of Doom: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/fantasy-high/images/0/05/Box_of_Doom.JPG/revision/latest?cb=20190801013835
  3. Mandala: https://www.etsy.com/listing/536404559/decorative-wooden-mandala-layered-in-3d DragonHawk666 on Etsy
  4. Bear: https://www.instructables.com/Laser-Cut-Bear-From-Stacked-Slices/ jkmoule on Instructables
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