Laser Type

A few days ago I saw this and got really excited:

Way earlier in the year I backed Ithaca Generator‘s IndieGogo project and have been following along with close interest ever since. My friend and former co-worker Leon was advocating for this makerspace years ago, but this my first visit.


I wasn’t sure what I wanted to laser cut when I got there (and I arrived late) but I had an old Christopher Mackenzie vector illustration that I thought would have been perfect. As luck would have it, that file was nowhere to be found. Then I wondered what one of my typefaces (selfish, I know) would cut well. I realized that Jonah’s Uncombined would be perfect for a simple type sample, at a few sizes. I did have to modify the “o” and give a little extra spacing to some characters.


Then I handed my Illustrator file over to one of the kind volunteers working open house. The vector file had to be hollow with a tiny stroke (I think .001 in) which is the path that the laser would follow. I was already having a lot of fun at this point, but when the laser started to cut the blue paper we loaded in, my mind was blown. See for yourself.


So that was less than one our of my Friday night but a highly memorable hour. It helped that I brought my computer and know/love Illustrator, but really, creating something for the laser machine was quick, simple, and fun. There were other wood cut creations that were really inspiring, and a 3D printer making something wonderful (with the most magical robotic sounds and tones). Basically at this point I’m just trying to figure out what level of membership I want, since I probably won’t be getting my own maker stuff soon (and why bother, since the community is alive and thriving)!