Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cynthia Howe delightfulness

I am considering buying a desktop laser cutter when I get my tax return this year, but then got to thinking, there are websites that offer small lot custom laser cutting... but which website did I see it on??? I went searching, and Cynthia Howe's website is one that I thought might've been where I saw it. I was wrong, but I did find this:

It's so sweet! I adore it! It's an online class that you can register for and the kit includes everything (other than accessories). Just adore it.

I also found this cool dollhouse for sale on Ebay a while back. I love the non-traditional dollhouse. I decided a while back that any dollhouse I build from now on has to open either at the front or side, unless it's a small (1/2 or 1/4 scale) one. Except for the tiny cottages/shops which can be moved easily.

It is based on a real-life French house. I'm thinking it forms a good base for an art nouveau house I will build 'sometime'!

And as for the laser cutter, I found which website it was (Karen Cary's) and need to carry out further investigations to figure out whether it's worth it.


  1. Nice looking dollhouse, I love that style from around the 1900.

    You must have gotten one heck of a tax return. Don't waste it on a cheap import laser with absolutely no support people backing you up. It takes a lot of wattage unless all you want to do is cut paper and engrave wood.

    A budgetary condiseration is that
    you are going to have to spend another $500.00 to $1,000 in addition to the cost of the laser to get set up and running. You will need a large air compressor and also an external blower motor that hooks to a port on the back of your machine to remove the fumes from you room and get them to the outside of the building. There will be the time and expense of cutting a hole in your wall to get the exhaust tube through it. You will absolutely need a good quality C02 fire extinguisher in case you ever have a fire inside the laser. You don't want anything but dry fire extinguishing chemicals inside the laser, no liquids or you will ruin your machine. You will also want at least one 5lb ABC commercial rated fire extinguisher should the fire get outside the laser and into your room.

    You will also need a good software program than can handle vector art such as Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. You need to learn about setting the line weight for vector cuts versus raster engraving line weights. You will need to learn about rearranging the nodes at the ends of lines so the laser follows a simple and efficient path.

    You will need a precision measuring tool such as a digital caliper so you can figure out what width of line your laser is cutting and then offset all your artwork to compensate. The laser cuts down the middle of the line you give it but leaves a kerf. The kerf size can vary with material and depth of cut. Lasers don't cut square, the cut is tapered top to bottom.

  2. Eeeek! Thanks Karin! Now I have more of an idea. I knew about the extraction, but calipers and rearranging nodes and kerf??? I think I may just get them cut by someone else!!

  3. Quedará preciosa, porque la casa en si ya lo és.

  4. Shannon, this web site of instructions for MIT students wanting to use the lab laser cutter will give you a good idea of what you would be doing if you buy a laser.
    Now and again I run parts on my workshop-mate's laser. He has an Epilog laser. I don't think I would ever recover the cost of investing in a decent one powerful enough to do what I want from it so I am glad I have one to use when I want to.

  5. Karin, thanks for the link. I took a quick look, but have bookmarked it for further research at a later date!! I found this laser cutter in Sydney:

    It's $2500AU, so not too bad. They offer servicing, but I have been meaning to visit the local businesses who have laser equipment to find out where they get their equipment serviced. See, it will cost $250 for the courier to ship it, and we can't afford $500 (return courier) if it goes awry every 6-12 months. We are in the market for a shed, and seeing as we have a multitude of computers (one of the bonuses/perils of having a tech-head fiancee!), we can set it up in the shed, when we get one. We want an air compressor anyway, and extraction thingos in the shed.

    I think I might put my money away in a safe place until the shed comes along and reconsider then. In the meantime, I might get a few things cut by someone offering the service.

    Now, to figure out that Dremel router table!!!!