Posts Tagged ‘Kerf Bending’

Class              : Technology / Computer Controlled Cutting

Software      :  Autodesk AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, LaserWork

Materials     :  Plywood of thickness 0.30 mm

Challenges  : 
  • Operating the Laser Cutting Machine
  • Aligning CAD drawing in LaserWork
  • Detailing and spacing of Kerf-Bending
  • Re-scaling of components keeping an offset for the laser cutter to burn away

Work Process:

It is really fascinating to be  able to practically fabricate our thoughts with the technology provided at our hand. I was really amazed when our Instructor Ivan Mitrofanov introduced us with various techniques for cutting plywood with the Laser Cutting machine and “Kerf-Bending” was a technique which actually amazed me. There were many initial thoughts on what I could experiment with this new knowledge but then I  decided to use the principles of “Interlocking” and “Kerf-Bending” to prototype  this Collapsible Cylinder. I have used very simple components for this project and it consists of  just “two” kinds of details which was cut  by the Laser Cutting machine. You can find these details below:

  • Interlockings:

In this picture you can see the detail (first two pieces) which is meant to interlock together (third piece) and act as movable joints. I had to Laser Cut this detail several times as I could not anticipate how much offset I should keep for the Laser to burn off.

  • Vertical Elements :

Here you can see the Vertical Elements along with the Kerf-Pattern and bolted together with the Interlocking details. I had had a similar problem with this detail too due to the laser’s burning offset which made the Kerf very  brittle and breaking it instead of bending.

This image shows how the combination of both the detail works when they are laid out on a plain surface, and the ends were later interconnected.

Final Outcome:

This combination of these techniques worked and thanks to the Kerf Pattern I was able to fold it into a compact form. Although it was very stiff in the beginning, it started loosening up at the interlockings and had to be glued.


Here you can find the link of the DWG file which I have used for making this pattern. (DWG version attached – AutoCAD 2010)

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