Laser-able Antikythera Mechanism



One of the projects I’ve always wanted to do was to build a replica of the Antikythera Mechanism. I just came across this one which looks like it should be easy to do on the Glowforge:

Looks to be all wood with the exception of the shafts.

Another almost infinite time sink

Yes. I am curious as to who will be the first to use a Glowforge for this. Here’s the topic in another thread, which gives lots of rabbit holes to follow.


Thanks! This is the one thing my partner, who teaches Ancient Philosophy, asked me to make for him using the GF. I told him not to hold his breath. With this, however, it’s a definite maybe. Thanks so much for the link!


Can someone explain the author’s assertion that the pitch of some gears is too fine to be cut by laser? Seems like a laser would be more “precise” than any scroll saw… What am I missing?


My best guess is that because he used 6mm wood, the hourglass shape of the beam would slope the edges to the point that they wouldn’t mesh right. Might be able to mitigate that by doing each gear twice on 3mm stock, and gluing them back to back though.
Any other ideas from anyone else?


Right… I keep forgetting about that. Most of my laser experience has been engraving, not cutting and I have this (erroneous) mental image of the beam being totally parallel/straight. No doubt I’ll re-learn this the hard way later this year. :sunglasses:


This site: suggests alternating the sides of your gears so the taper on the kerf cancels out. I think with a little experimentation it should be possible to get gears that mesh well enough to be useful.

Here’s another site with good info that I found:


Slightly OT, but here’s a fully functional AM made of 3,700 legos:

There’s also a youtube video at:


I read somewhere a long time ago that defocusing of the laser can make the cut edge more vertical. It would probably require much more cutting time and power.