CNC clay

I used a pattern developed for another project, as a test file for CNC routing in clay, as a proof of concept.

Future improvements would be quickly attained by getting a sharper bit, and fine tuning the Mill speed.



More to come.

July 7, 2011
Featured, general, Research, Work In Progress
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Can you laser cut Ceramics

I love laser cutters. I love parametric and algorithmic design. I love working with clay. Can I combine all three?

Ceramic craft is an ancient art form that is still practiced in parts of the world as it was several thousand years ago. It also has been adopted in the industrial era for even greater quantities of consumer goods. It is versatile, durable, and cheap. It is for these reasons that I decided to try to laser cut the material.

Would the aggregate in the clay redirect the laser, keeping it from cutting?  would moisture content affect performance?

I ran several tests as I attempted to find the ideal path for completing this project.



It failed.  greater moisture content seems to allow to the laser to cut deeper into the clay, but ultimately clay density is the main issue. After trying several attempts, each test was only able to cut about 1/16″ down, regardless of changes.

I want this medium to join me in the information age.My next step is to mount our CNC mill with an ‘ancient’ tool- a needle tool.  While the laser I have access to cannot cut deep enough into the clay to be useful, the needle tool will.

Can I get the needle tool sharp enough to resist picking up the clay?
will I be able to ‘unload’ the clay from a canvas sheet (which will protect the thermwood’s mdf)?


June 29, 2011
Featured, general, Research, Theory, Work In Progress
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