Have you ever come up with an idea and wondered what it would look like in reality? The ability to create something original from just your imagination was previously unheard of. However, the development of technology is changing that.
Laser cutting involves using light from electromagnetic radiation to cut materials — the laser cutter directs a laser of high power output onto the material through optics. Laser cutting projects can be of industrial status and have also been introduced into school systems, mini-factories and art hobbyists. These include the traditional CO2 laser, which is designed for non-metal materials such as birch wood and acrylic plastic, as well as a fiber laser, which is designed for metals such as stainless steel. CO2 lasers typically have smoother finishes and higher speeds.
The possibilities of what you can construct with a laser cutter are endless. Here are some ideas.
Laser Cutter Project Ideas
A wide range of products can be designed using laser cutters, from jewelry and art to coasters and clocks. Here are some concepts you can try out.
Laser-Cut Business Cards
Business cards are no new concept, but laser cutting elevates them to the next level. Rather than laminated paper, businesses can use laser-cut wood to give their business cards a premium look. For many companies, a business card is a way to introduce a new customer to what your business is about, and making a good first impression that differentiates you in the market is essential. The benefits of laser cutting and woodworking are combined — you can achieve branding through engraving the company’s name or logo on the cards.
One of the advantages of technology like 3D printers and laser cutters is that it lets you enhance ordinary objects through your own creativity. For instance, take a look at this original Kanagawa wave clock featured on Etsy. The artist, Katsushika Hokusai, designed the clock by engraving the wave pictures on a plate using laser engraving.
Another unique project is this NIUS Dodecagon clock featured on Etsy; it’s a laser-cut product with trapezoid and triangle shapes carved together to create a unique look. Not only do these projects make unique wall art that you simply can’t find in stores, but they’re also great practice for technical workers and pro architecture students.
Key chains are more useful than many people realize; not only do they make our keys stand out, but they also make them easier to find. However, for most of us, key chains are cheap plastic items that we got for free or as a souvenir. But what if you could cut out your own key chain, creating the design of your dreams?
Using a cutting laser, you can forge themed key chains, such as a Christmas tree for the holidays, or a special key chain that’s unique to you and will serve as a keepsake for years to come.
While enjoying a sweet cup of tea or a refreshing glass of juice, why not set that drink down on a unique coaster that can’t be found in any other household? Thanks to the innovation provided by laser cutting, you can imprint any template you want on your coaster. Some ideas you can try include:
- Zodiac signs
- Favorite foods
You can even experiment with designs from your favorite movies — just check out these Star Wars coasters available on Etsy.
You’ve probably heard of custom-designed jewelry before and have maybe even purchased some online or at a local store. You can play around with wood or plastic to create necklaces, bracelets, rings and more. Not only has laser cutting and engraving made it possible to create these items for personal use, but some people have even used laser-cut jewelry to create their own business.
Combine nature with typography using illustration and design to make a beautiful gift of your choice. Monique van Uden Typography Art inspires different designs of typography arts — browse through the laser-cut creations to see the types of typography projects you can devise.
Illuminated Shadow Box Art
Shadow boxes are unique, 3D frames that can be used to house photos or objects. They can even be illuminated through battery-powered lights and engraved with laser beams, letting you experiment with designs or personalize the box with a name.
Wooden lamps light up the home and offer a unique natural look you simply don’t get from regular, store-bought lamps. Laser-cut wooden lamps have achieved success at the Stanford production realization lab. Here, one of the students at the teaching lab created a curved wooden lamp using a unique pattern that involved making a slit on the wooden part outside, enabling the wood to bend. You can use established ideas or try out a different design at your workshop or in your school.
At VectorCloud Wing Earrings, wing earrings are made from laser cutting and engraving, reaching a perfect cut and leaving you with a beautiful piece of jewelry. Take a look through the store to see how the final product came out!
Laser-Cut Bamboo Bookmarks
Many bookmarks are made of nonrecyclable materials such as plastics that end up inflicting damage on the environment. What’s more, these bookmarks are typically flimsy, are easily lost and fail to properly hold your page in place. Bamboo bookmarks provide an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing solution.
Bamboo is different from wood; however, it has the feel and look of wood when pressed together. Laser-cut personalized bookmarks made of bamboo can be found at the Little Card Boutique on Etsy, testifying to their popularity. These beautiful bookmarks can also be uniquely customized for individuals or a brand by carving names, logos or unique designs.
Embroidered Wooden Bookmarks
Environmentally friendly bookmarks don’t necessarily have to be made out of wood. Jane Blease makes handmade embroidered wooden bookmarks using three wood veneers: ash, oak and walnut. She then forms these into heart, hexagon and spiral shapes that can be made in beautiful colors. These bookmarks come out pretty, with soft felt covers on top. If you’re a fan of hand embroidery, you should definitely consider using laser-cut bookmarks.
Not only are bookmarks a great personal item, but they also make a fantastic gift. You can personalize them to meet the interests of your family, friends, coworkers or whoever you’re giving the bookmark to. Ideas include:
- Zoo animals for kids
- Recreating someone’s pet
- Educational bookmarks (quotes, math equations, facts)
The possibilities are endless thanks to the innovation offered by laser cutters.
Printer and Phone Cases
A good way to protect your 3D printer, or any printer, is with a case. Laser cutters and engravers let you form your own DIY cases — you could even redesign an already existing case.
You can also play around with phone cases. With a unique phone case that nobody else owns, you’ll be sure to receive your fair share of compliments.
Laser-Cut Wooden Logo Signs
Instead of engraving your brand’s logo on a souvenir or item, why not have it carved onto an original sign? Wooden logo signs can be placed at the door, in front of the building or even inside offices. Tigermouse Design specializes in wooden logo signs that uniquely show off your brand. The precision level needed to perfectly engrave this design can only be perfected using a laser beam.
Another cool idea is wooden bathroom signs. Bathroom decor is a surprisingly large industry, and a wooden sign is a quick way to make yours stand out. These signs can also be used for regular home decor.
Garden-Themed Wedding Invitation
Do you want a uniquely stylish wedding invitation for your memorable occasion? Laser cutting can make it spectacular. Butterflies, birds, roses, hibiscus or any of your favorites can be engraved on the invite — you can even browse the Internet for some inspiration, combine a few ideas and create your own.
The creativity offered by laser cutting can be applied to the envelopes as well. Your invitees will be greeted with an appealing design that reflects the grace and elegance you want your wedding to exude.
Wedding Book Cover
Keeping up with the wedding trend, you can create a custom cover for your wedding book. Your photo album or souvenirs for your guests can be customized with either your photos or any image or designs that appeal to you. Floral designs, nature images and even beautiful illustrations of your choice can be engraved to make your event evergreen in the minds of your guests.
Yes, a wooden tie may sound strange. However, believe it or not, they’ve been around for a while and are actually widely used. Creative Use of Tech has stepped up the laser project industry by designing a 3.2mm birch plywood-made tie. Not only is it a fun project to play around with, but it demonstrates the versatility of laser cutting. There’s almost no industry that can’t be advanced somewhat by the creativity of laser cutting and engraving, including the fashion industry.
Stately Stag Art
If you’re an animal lover, consider using laser cutting to form re-creations of some of your favorite animals. For example, take a look at KreativDesignCo Stag Art — it offers laser-cut products of stately stags. These woodland creatures are made from a combination of shapes, coming together to form the lovely animal.
The material used to create these models are open-ended; you can make use of acrylic or even wood, depending on your preference of material.
USA Mirror Art
Design with Az specializes in USA Mirror Map Art, which is a wall mirror in a U.S. continental shape. These mirror maps showcase how even the simplest laser cutting projects can be elegant and high-quality. The mirrors use silver acrylic resin to design the carve. There’s also no need to worry about the mirror fogging up and blocking your view; this mirror meets the mark in both aesthetics and function.
Now that you have all of these great concepts to try out, you need to figure out a way to ship your home-crafted items out! Whether you want to share laser-cut objects with friends or sell them to consumers, you need a good way to package them.
Packaging products, gifts and presents makes them more appealing and presentable. Some companies are based on designing different packages for different uses; for example, Nygaard Designs on Etsy offers beer packaging cases carved using laser cutters. The case is made of birch veneer at a thickness of 5.2mm. Laser engraving also lets you engrave the company’s logo or a name tag for the person to whom the package will be delivered.
Thunder Laser USA
Laser-cutting projects have been made possible over the years with the use of laser-cutting machines. These first came to light in the mid-20th century when they were used to drill diamonds. Over time, different types of laser cutting machines have evolved, such as the CO2 laser and the fiber laser, which can be used to cut metals.
In recent times, laser cutting machines have been digitized through CNC routers. They can now determine the calibration of laser intensity and the depth and thickness of cuts and marks. This helps you personalize your designs and program them beforehand, optimizing efficiency, consistency and speed.
When choosing your laser cutter, it’s important that you choose a high-quality brand you can rely on to deliver high-quality products. Thunder Laser USA offers a wide range of laser machines with different sizes and power levels, all covered with two-year warranties and accompanied by amenities designed to increase efficiency and safety. These include:
- Water chiller
- Air assist
- Exhaust and alarm lamp for safety
- Cleaning kit
- Honeycomb/knife bed
- Pass-through doors for large-sized projects
- Red dot pointer and auto focus
Thunder Laser USA also utilizes overseas production, which means it can offer exemplary products at a more reasonable cost than brands like Glowforge and Epilog lasers. Producing overseas does not translate to a drop in quality, and Thunder Laser USA employs a U.S.-based support team to work with consumers, including troubleshooting guides and video tutorials.
Whether you’re a sole hobbyist or a business owner, laser cutting lets you create the designs of your dreams, quickly elevating and differentiating your work from anybody else’s. Contact Thunder Laser USA for quality laser cutting and engraving machines.