Flexible Wood and clasps

Based on a number of designs on Thingiverse (here's one, another, and another) using the flexible hinge cut, I decided to make some bracelets. It appears this hinging design was created by Snij Lab in the Netherlands. Pretty ingenious and I can't wait to try some other patterns when I get a second. So I opened up illustrator and went at it. The design is nice and modular and easy to scale. Using 1/8" MDF board I cut at Power 82 Speed 30 masked with blue painters tape and the first bracelet came out perfectly. I wet it lightly and clamped it with some binder clips overnight while it dried and it now stays in form pretty well. I need to get some thinner more stretchy shock cord so it will slide on easily. I'll experiment with finishes and other woods very soon. Also need to try out some angled patterns for the cuts.

Sweet! It works. I was curious if I could come up with a more interesting clasping mechanism... so I thought I'd try and use rastering to cut half way through the wood and make a locking join. I ran a bunch of tests on the edge of the wood to see what powers would cut half way through. I settled on Power 80 Speed 20 with two passes in Raster mode. I rastered one side, then cut it, then flipped it over and rastered the other side using the sheet it was cut from as a jig which worked perfectly. I'll need to tune the tolerances as I had to do some exacto knife clean up, but it appears to work pretty well. The small pieces on the outside are too fragile as I'd expected, so I'll have to redesign it a bit. Not sure if this is viable for many uses but I'll play with it more on an actual bracelet and see.

Posted on March 22, 2013 and filed under Laser.