Siteless Part 5

Machetes, laser cutting and assembly

Fire extinguisher hook

Before I decided how exactly I was going to adapt one of my Adobe Illustrator drawings, I wanted to play around with some plasticine to get a rough idea on how it would look in 3D.

I chose my two favourite drawings to do my little models on, the first one was based on the fire extinguisher hook and the other was the section of wooden frame.

Above are photos of making the abstracted fire extinguisher hook. I bought some cheap multicoloured plasticine strips and decided to keep to black and white. I took a blob of black and made it into a flat black shape and turned one of the edges up slightly to mimic the drawing. Once i had done this I got some white plasticine and then rolled it out and flattened it slightly and attached it to the black piece. I like the overall effect of it and I think it was something, if the project was longer, I would have enjoyed developing further.

The second piece that I made was simply this white shape. It was made just by flattening some white plasticine and cutting out the shape with a knife. It would have looked much better on a black background but I didn’t have anything to hand but i think the overall effect I was going for worked.

Section of wooden frame


For this machete I took the photo of my shape and broke it up according the different planar elements. I then got a little more black and white plasticine and made these blocks. I thought that it could be interesting if they appeared to be one piece rather than three when they are viewed from a particular angle.

Cardboard Machete

I decided from my two plasticine models that I would go for my three blocks. I wanted to make it out of acrylic because of how solid the colour is and I wanted the blocks to be very solid.

However before I make my acrylic piece I need to make a cardboard version so that I can figure out the measurements and make sure it fits together.

Above are photos of the making process for the cardboard model. Now that I had done this I could copy the nets into Adobe Illustrator ready to laser cut.

Adobe Illustrator

I used Adobe Illustrator to make my nets because that is the software that the laser cutters use to print. It was very easy to use it especially when most of it was was just rectangles.

Laser Cutting

A week prior to me attempting to laser cut, I had an induction so that I would be able to use it. Unfortunately when it came to actually using the laser cutter a week later, I had forgotten a lot of things so I found the process a little stressful. However I eventually managed to get it cut although not very well and I didn’t manage to set the starting point so I think this was more by luck than design.

The next thing to do was sort out my shapes into piles according to how they fitted together. Once I’d done that I sanded the edges so that I could glue the pieces together using something called Serious Glue. I had originally thought fusing super glue but I decided not to use that because I wasn’t sure how well it would work.


I did have a couple of issues when gluing because sometimes the pieces slipped and then it was difficult to get them to dry in the right place so it’s not terribly neat in places. The other problem I had was that I didn’t take into consideration the thickness of the acrylic so they didn’t fit together as well as they might have done.



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