Extruding and Laser Cutting

After experimenting with a manual extruder to extrude hollow hexagonal tubes and folding them, I realised that I was restricted by the available dies in the department so thought I would explore using a laser cutter to cut an acrylic die. I had not used a laser cutter before and therefore was keen to learn as its application in tooling and making is diverse and quicker than hand-cutting. I did a little research on creating dies and had read that acrylic is too brittle a material, nonetheless I tried it myself only to be disappointed by my as the die snapped on my first attempt at extruding. This in turn led me to think about laser cutting a shape as a template to create a relief profile of curves by sledging a rolled slab. This was quite successful with the results below including a picture of my fractured die. One advantage of this method is that I would not be restricted by the width of the extruder or die but the width of the laser cutting bed which is almost a meter wide.

UncategorizedDean Coates