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College of Design

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Beauty of Mistakes

@UMNDesign:
After giving some time to let the emotional wounds
of a failed laser cutting attempt heal, this mistake
turned out looking pretty cool!
Hi again!

It has been a week since finishing my last project and with it, I had quite the experience! Somehow I had yet to laser cut in my career as an interior design student and for this group project, it was on me to laser cut to make our 3D model because I know how to use CAD. Well, it turns out that laser cutting has a few quirks that you should be aware of that I was not.

Mainly, you need to make sure right when it starts that it is actually cutting through your material... it seems obvious, but you can set it to the right settings like I did and sometimes it just doesn't cut through and needs to be set to a thicker material. I also made the mistake of wanting to cut a really intricate pattern. I wasn't aware that it would take so long to cut since whenever I've seen it, it has gone really fast for people! When you're paying by the minute to use the machine, lets just say such an intricate pattern isn't a great idea.

Luckily, there were some greatstaff working in the Rapson Laser Lab who were able to help me out ! In the end, I had to cut everything twice, which left me with some leftover pieces that I couldn't even look at after all the frustration. As I said, it has been a week now, and if you saw my Instagram (pictured above), you saw that I've given some time to let the emotional wounds heal and was able to actually appreciate my mistake!

Photo of the final 3D model
Overall, I'd say this situation is just a good example of how after a little time, you can really appreciate the beauty and value of your mistakes. I'm still not ready to say I'd love to try laser cutting again, but I definitely learned a lot from the experience and I think I produced a pretty great model in the end (pictured right). With laser cutting, you can really do some cool things and it's really a great resource, but if you're a first-timer like me I strongly recommend assistance from the start! If you do mess up, give it a week and maybe you'll be able to turn it into a happy mistake like I did!

Until next time,
Megan
Interior Design