On this episode of The Atlanta Maker we talk about prototyping designs using Cardboard and your Glowforge.
Link to Cardboard on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EjE4O2
Don’t pay full price for a Glowforge! Save up to $500 when you purchase a Glowforge using this link: https://glowforge.us/f/UZWOILDL
Cardboard Settings Cut – 180 Speed / 60 Power Engrave – 1000 speed / 47 Power / 225 LPI
Quite often when I’m working on an item, I will cut out several versions as I iterate through the design process. That can get quite costly if you are cutting it out of Acrylic, plywood, or even draftboard.
In order to save a bit of money, I’ve started using cardboard for the first cuts of a project until I’m confident that the design is worthy of more costly materials.
I’ve seen other laser owners cut down their amazon boxes to make cardboard for their Glowforge, but I’ve found that to be quite time consuming and hard on my knees as generally I would cut them down on the cement basement floor.
While looking through Amazon for things to feed my laser, I came across Glowforge sized cardboard that was really inexpensive, so it was no longer worth my time and effort to cut down shipping boxes. This cardboard ships for free with amazon prime and it fits the Glowforge perfectly!
The 50 sheets end up costing about 37 cents each vs $4 for draftboard or even $2.50 for non-proofgrade MDF. That’s over a 90% savings vs using draftboard for prototyping.
I’ve included some starting Glowforge settings above for cutting and engraving this cardboard.
Now a couple caveats for using cardboard. This works really well for testing out dimensions and fit and feel, but the cardboard may not be the same thickness as what you ultimately use as a material. The cardboard is slightly thicker than 1/8” for comparison purposes. Also, it doesn’t work very well for very skinny details such as this LCD screen enclosure, but it still easily let me verify my size was correct for the LCD panel.
Here are a couple other things I’ve prototyped with cardboard that helped during the design process.
This first one is a player gameboard I’m helping a friend create. I was able to spend about 75 cents in materials to verify everything fits.
I’ve been working on a bottle opener design and wanted to get a feel for how the size felt, so I cut out a few sample sizes and taped them together adjusting until it looked/felt right.
For less than $20 you can get yourself 50 sheets of cardboard to have on hand. I think it’s well worth the small investment and it can save you money in the long run.
See you next time!