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[BKARTS] Universal Laser Systems x-660

The laser cutter that I have access to is the Universal Laser Systems x-660 cutter owned by the art department at the University of Illinois. There is another unit like it in the architecture school which is widely used by the students to make their models these days. As a faculty member, I am encouraged to use this technology for my research and teaching at no charge. Our students are charged by the minute (about $8 I believe.). Files are made in Illustrator following precise guidelines. These machines can cut through binders board, plexiglas, cardboard. We have used it for stacks of paper when a slightly burned look is not objectionable or if the color of the paper is dark to begin with. Lasers can also "etch", which I find useful when a project need indents for labels. If the lines for these are marked with an etched line, it is easy to manually peel out the areas later. The Guardians project that I did needed numerous labels and since I made three of these books, it saved me a huge amount of manual cutting. There is a entry on my blog which shows this book with links to a video. http://www.beanettles.com/?p=394

I taught a box workshop yesterday. All eight sections of the box were cut on the laser. I had fourteen students. This saved a huge amount of my time. I used 8-ply museum board which made the boxes very easy to assemble with absolute accuracy.

Recently, we had Audrey Niffenegger as a guest artist in my printmaking class. The portfolio that we made for her print was cut on the laser. I will photograph it and put it on my blog soon.

I am by no means an expert with the laser, but find it very exciting. My printmaking students have used it to etch plexiglas for intaglio prints and to cut masks for screen printing. My book arts students have used it for making shaped books out of plexiglas and wood. I know that some colleagues of mine have used these machines for pop-ups.

I hope this is helpful, Bea

You can now watch a short video interview in which I discuss the beginnings of the Mountain Dream Tarot project. I play and sing the vocals in the background.


COMING SOON, The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008 at
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This page last changed: April 13, 2008