I wanted to share a sample of one of my leatherwork projects that was laser cut.
I do a lot of work in the Halloween and Haunted Attraction industry, and last year I had a client that wanted a couple leather plague doctor masks.
The finished masks.
Sewing on the goggles.
Blue painter’s tape was used to protect the surface of the leather from smoke damage.
Pieces laid out after washing (to remove charred material from the edges). They were allowed to fully dry prior to staining.
And here are the final stained and sealed pieces before assembly.
The design was prototyped out in L200 foam (cross linked polyethylene) as it is inexpensive and can be formed/sewn/riveted/etc much like leather, and it’s very easy to trim down or modify.
Once I had everything to my liking I cut the prototype apart, photographed the pieces over a scale grid, applied a filter to counter lens distortion on the photographs, and then traced them in Adobe Illustrator. Once I had the digitized templates I then went through 3 or 4 optimization passes where I would laser cut the design out in foam, assemble, then make changes to get things perfect.
Laser cutting leather is a lot of fun (aside from the smell) and made producing these much easier than hand cutting them. One thing that helped a great deal was being able to use the dashed lines in Adobe Illustrator, which cut as tiny individual slits on the laser cutter. The made lining up seams and sewing everything together much less labor intensive.
It was also great to have all the rivet holes in the design as well.
If you are interested in a more detailed overview of the build process for these masks I’ve released a tutorial on instructables: http://www.instructables.com/id/Leather-Plague-Doctor-Mask/
Can’t wait to get my Glowforge and do more fun projects like this!