This week we had the opportunity to sign up for ceramics, laser cutting or a 3D workshop of some description which could help with the project at hand or just be a new skill for future reference. I chose to go to the laser cutting induction because I felt that I could pair this up with letterpress for my Anthology response.
First of all we were shown what the laser cutter could actually do with a range of samples that had been produced in the uni. With this we were given a lot of information to take in! For example, in the university we have a C02 Laser which can cut paper, card, fabric, acrylic and cork however, metal cannot be used as the reflection of the material would damage the laser. Also laser plywood needs to be used instead of normal plywood as the heat can cause the wood to catch alight (definitely important information for future reference!).
The most important part of the process of setting up an Illustrator file ready for laser printing is working out the colours; I won’t lie I’m still not sure I got my head around it all! Basically the laser only reads RGB and not CMYK so the first thing was to ensure that the file and colour palette was set up for that. Once it’s set up correctly it’s a case of sorting out which sections need to be cut in order and how the cut will be carried out. For example, the green is the final cut that is made, whereas if black is put on the Illustrator file then that area will be etched rather than cut out completely.
Red=225, G=0 and B=0 | Green=225, B=0 and R=0 | Blue=225, R=0 and G=0
Cyan is R=0, G=0 and B=0
After going through the motion of setting up our own file and watching the demonstration of how the laser cutter actually works, the whole idea of using it kind of worries me now! However, when it comes to trying out my own laser cut design I think it will help me to gain a real understanding of the process as I would be doing each step on my own. Originally I didn’t want to work with type for this project but when we went through the steps of setting up a file I think that for the time being I only really understand how to set type up with the laser file! So taking this forward I’m thinking that I will take ‘it’s done,’ from The Doll and simply cut that so I can then print this in the letterpress room in a couple of weeks. With the two words I can then repeatedly print these over and over to reflect the themes of repetition in the text. Therefore, at the moment I see the laser cutting as a way of advancing the work I can do in the letterpress room rather than using it to directly create a finished piece of work.