The Endless Possibilities of Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving, and Inkscape

Okay, so I was wrong! I thought last week was going to be my all-time favorite Digital Making Seminar class of the semester, but this was even more incredible.  With the wonderful teaching for Alexis and Clinton, I was able to construct my very own wooden box all to be engraved and cut by lasers! We spent the first couple minutes of class learning the basics of InkScape (the software program that would ultimately allow us to perform our engravings and cuts). I’m not going to lie the beginning definitely, was not as exciting as I was anticipating but this quickly changed. About 1 hour into class the tables turned. Clinton and Alexis gave us the opportunity to get creative with our own hands and design our own cuts and engravings on each sides of the box. This was an excellent opportunity for me to fully express myself and I chose the following faces and here is a picture of my final product:


Face 1: Logo of IBM Global Business Services: I will be working as a Technology Consultant for IBM post graduation and none of this could be possible without my wonderful experiences and memories I have made here at the University of Illinois.

Face 2: Imprint of New Jersey: I grew up in New Jersey and it is home. I love New Jersey not only because of my childhood memories but also because it has the most wonderful beach in the world: Jersey Shore. No matter where I end up in life Jersey will ALWAYS be home.

Face 3: Skyline of New York: Growing up on the east coast, New York will always be the greatest and most beautiful city in the world in my eyes. I will be working full-time there!

Face 4: Skyline of Chicago: Spending two summers in Chicago and making countless memories in the loop, North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park, Wrigley, and River North, Chicago will always hold special home in my heart.

Face 5: Skyline of Milan, Italy. I studied abroad in Milan, Italy and it was honestly some of the greatest 4 months of my life exploring all of Europe and trying different foods I had never experienced before.

Face 6: Skyline of Minneapolis: My girlfriend currently lives and works full-time in Minneapolis. As my girlfriend is very important to me, Minneapolis has become an integral city in my life!

And here are some videos of Laser Engraving!

And Laser Cutting…

The Fab Lab has taught me this week that the whole Digital Making movement is not only just about creating the most cutting-edge technology or making the most ground-breaking impact, but it’s also a way to uniquely express yourself and differentiate yourself from others!

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About Ben Chin

Hi! My name is Ben Chin and I am currently a senior studying Information Systems and Marketing at the University of Illinois. I have a huge passion for business analytics, business intelligence, AI, and will be doing technology consulting (like Veronika) full-time after graduation. Outside of that, I love sports especially basketball and I love working out and staying fit!

4 thoughts on “The Endless Possibilities of Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving, and Inkscape

  1. Hey Ben!

    Now that I have gone through all three workshops, I would say that putting it together was the hardest! I wish we would’ve known the dimension of the box before soldering everything together. If that information was given early on, I would have tried to cut the cables to have just enough room. The cables we were given aren’t very flexible so it was difficult to fit it in the box. For a lot of people, the circuit stopped working because either cables were touching each other or something got disconnected. In addition, I also put a couple of skylines in my design! All of your faces look amazing, great work!

  2. Hi Ben!

    Wow. am I reading your personal story or the blog for the Digital Making? You did such a amazing work that makes the object not only physically appealing but also meaningful. Yeah, I also have the feeling that watching the Inkscape printer is quite self-satisfactory. By the way, I think you will be wrong again. The activity that we code d the program and integrated what we have done in the past three weeks today might be more interesting to you(If not, at least it is to me).


  3. Hi Ben!
    I agree with Brian, I really enjoyed the laser cutting section, although I did not participate in the same session as you. I too included skylines of the places I have lived (Chicago and Paris), along with other symbols I felt were important in my life. When doing the laser cutting session, did you see any practical applications for our groups project? I tried to think of some; most of the alterations I thought of were cosmetic. While soldering was my favorite skill we have learned thus far, as it was very hands on, I loved the visual design aspect of this project.

  4. Hi Ben! I also had a great time in the laser section last week. I was not expecting it to be as fun as it was, but getting to find our own designs for the sides of the box was really cool. I love the skylines you incorporated, did it take a long time to make sure they were correctly made with the tracing? I also studied abroad, so I put symbols of Madrid on my box. After going through the three sessions now, what would you say has been your favorite? I think the soldering was my favorite part of the project.

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