Computer Controlled Cutting

In this third assignment, we are introduced to computer-controlled cutting. I had previously used the laser cutting machine in university. The list of operations was familiar but I did not know at all the software to control the laser machine. As for the vinyl machine, it was the first time I used it.

Laser Cut

In the delivery of last week I had designed a perfume bottle and for this delivery I wanted to start to see how it could be a packaging based on the press-fit concept. The design is a first idea to see how the concept of protecting by internal cuts in the cardboard piece works.

Volume generated by the fitting of the designed parts.

Screenshot of Fusion 360 parametric program.

Screenshot of Rhino. From this program it has been sent the file to the laser machine software. In this screenshot 4 options of fit can be observed to assess the tolerance of the material once it is cut by laser and this subtracts a part of the material cut. The kerf is the margin that must be taken into account around 0.25mm.

Screenshot of the Trotec Job Control, the software to control the laser cut. From this program the color of each line has been configured with a specific function and the file has been sent to the laser cutting machine.

Screenshot of line configuration The black layer is set to Cut but with Raster values to go faster when recording the material (Power 60, Speed 100, Hz 1000). The red layer is configured with the internal cuts of the piece to avoid the displacement of the piece (Power 35, Speed 1, Hz 1000). The blue layer is associated with the external cuts of the piece and has the same configuration as the red layer (Power 35, Speed 1, Hz 1000).

As reference values to cut the 3mm cardboard I have used the parameters described in the FabLab Bcn table. When doing the test with the material I have seen that the cardboard did not cut well with Power 30 and I have increased 5 points. The rest of the values have kept them the same.

Detail of the laser cutting parameters for 3mm cardboard.

Process and result of laser cutting.

Result of the pieces embedded together to form an abstract volume.

Adel's son playing with the press-fit pieces.

Here you can find the files:

Vynil Cut

For this delivery I want to cut words and logos related to the MDEF project, for example: Design for Regeneration (DxR), Compostable Production System and the logo of Creative Commons because I’m thinking about an Open-Source Platform for Compostable Packaging Customization.

Screenshot of Illustrator. The transformation of the design can be observed to adapt it to vinyl cutting machine.

Screenshot Rhino. To ensure that lines were vectorized, the file has been sent to Rhino and the “Make2D” command has been applied to have all the lines in the same layer.

Screenshot of CutStudio. From this program the dimension of the vinyl to be cut is detected and the file is sent to the Roland machine.

Roland CAMM-1 Servo GX-24. The machine already has the black vinyl placed to be cut. Before placing the vinyl, a test must be done to check if the head blade cuts well on the material. But you have to set the height of the blade manually until the cut in the vinyl is adequate.

In the first test the cut went wrong because the design dimension was not scaled correctly and the geometry to be cut was too small.

In the second test the cut of most geometries went well except the letters of the beginning that had an inadequate thickness and height.

Vinyl applied to my class notebook.

Vinyl applied to my laptop.

Here you can find the files:


Future Learning Unit Team




Fab Academy