Lasering Your Colon


So one of my colleagues who I do most of my research with is a color-rectal surgeon. He collects “unique” colon gifts, so figured since I hadn’t lasered anything for him, it was a good morning project.

First off I have a very nice 3D model of the colon that you guys have seen in my molding thread but figured it was time to laser that…

So I took it into Slicer for Fusion, now to do that I took the OBJ file into MeshLab and first decimated the model from 1m polygons, to 15000 (since this will be plywood - and slicer couldn’t process this) using edge detection decimation. Then using “smart triangle” method converted the triangles to quads (important for proper slicing).

Opened the model in slicer, set it for laser, defined the size of the material and thickness (as it turned out I redid it all in millimeters since regular doesn’t import so well - thanks @Jules) and set about creating a file:

Then played around with the interlocking slices settings to get the look i wanted

It had some errors due to needing to fully slice some pieces, but I figured we can just glue those up

Then I made a video of the assembly steps (why is there no export as a video???) Had to use video screen capture!

Exported the cut file. Didn’t work great as a DXF when exported in mm, so switched to PDF and worked great in AI. I removed the little tiny unconnected slices, and moved pieces around to use the least plywood (why is that stuff tailed way out to the right?? So moved those into the crook of the large pieces)

The only bummer was you would think Autodesk who is making a tool for either CNC milling or Laser cutting would make the key-letters closed shapes, since the GFUI at least tries to close them, but they are gobbledygook in some cases. I didn’t notice this until they were already in progress and I wasn’t going to just eat another sheet of plywood… This took 53 minutes on GF Maple Plywood, 100/27 cut and medium engrave. A lot of weeding…

I bet if we cleaned up the model a smidge and fixed the text, we could sell these at national colorectal surgery meetings!

Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending April 29th, 2017

Nice, niche, but nice.:slight_smile:


Super clear workflow which I know I’ll appreciate when I get my laser! Bookmarked :slight_smile: Thanks!


Awesome! I’m thrilled that it finally worked!
(Yeah, that was a much more complex file than the usual boxes.) :grin:


It’s gorgeous! But I think I’ll stick to dinosaurs.:wink:


Why not dinosaur colons?


Uses too much Proofgrade!


Increasingly I feel like the kid making macaroni statues while everyone else paints impressionist portraits.


Mmm, coprolites.


You and me both! (Although my folks got a real chuckle this morning when I told them I was trying to figure out how to correctly slice a colon last night with Doc Henry.) :smile:

I didn’t think anyone else used that word. :wink:
(It’s one of my favorites when I let loose on someone.)


Pew Pew the PU for the Poo Poo!

You demonstrate 3D design allows you to make stuff that otherwise is very difficult in the 2D world.


Great work. I’m going to pass ok the title though, I think I’ll keep my colon and my laser from ever being aquatinted


Bwahahahaha! Spew!


Impressive. Can we see it assembled??


Saw the title as I was working through my first cup of coffee and thought “WHY? Why would you do that?!?!”

Then reason kicked in, and I realized Oh, it’s @henryhbk

Impressive - if quirky - work there. Thanks for sharing it, I think :wink:


Because he can. :door: (that’s the closest I could find to the poop emoji here)


Just remember, the rest of us have our faces pressed against the window just wishing we could play with the macaroni at least. :wink:

Keep them macaroni statues coming, and PLEASE show them off. We really do want to see what everyone is making.


You don’t have this one? :poop:


Haha the expression on that one’s face is actually more appropriate for @henryhbk’s projects. :slight_smile:


aaaaaand now I finally realize that you can page through the emojis. (you can tell how much I dig around in there - or don’t…)