Nonlaser things that I think GFers will find interesting

My public library :heart_eyes: has two copies; I’ve placed one on hold for myself.

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More engineering and art:

followed by a guy who makes “pop up” books:


Very creative! Tagging @evermorian .

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If I am remembering correctly, Matthew Reinhart (in that video) and Robert Sabuda (another well-known pop up book artist) were at an event I attended in NY some years ago. I remember talking to Robert Sabuda for a bit. That sort of paper engineering is interesting. I know there are some process videos around. “Paper Paul” posts some stuff about the mechanisms he develops on Instagram ( ), for example. It’s a pretty different way of thinking from the origamic architecture / kirigami stuff.


Midjourney released a new version of their image generation algorithm. It’s more specific now, it allows you to ask for more particular images.

“a wooden carved figurine of a dog on a desk, ultra realistic, cinematic, --ar 16:9”

Ok not specific enough. Lets tell it we want it to be a black doberman:

OK more specific, how about at night with a fireplace:

All of which is fine, but it’s worth mentioning that these were all my first prompts. None of these are cherry-picked.

So lets see what we can get for the glowforge:

a vector illustration of a man with a cowboy hat, smoking a pipe, plaid shirt, black and white, high contrast --ar 16:9

Top was cropped, typical AI stuff there, so I ditched the 16:9 aspect ratio:

Interestingly, he had a cig both times, not a pipe. This is the first one that missed any details.

I ran it twice more and got this, which is sort of a pipe.

Then I tried a star chart, just to see:

an antique star chart, black and white, high contrast, detailed, circular

As with all of these AI things, the possibilities are endless.

a pencil sketch of a childrens book illustration of a little girl holding a balloon, walking an alligator on a leash, forest path, circular, cute

Children’s book illustration: check
Little girl holding a balloon: check
Walking an alligator on a leash: check
Forest path, circular: check
Cute: debatable

Glowforge will have to update their system to keep up, magic canvas looks pretty primitive already.


it’s interesting that he’s smoking a cigarette, but his right HAND looks like it’s holding a pipe bowl.


That “vector illustration” phrase is amazing at making stuff I can trace in inkscape and vectorize.


I wonder what astrolabe would bring up… I don’t care for all the hubbub around this AI nonsense (and I’ve been in the tech industry since the 80’s) but the star chart made me wonder.

I’ve been steadily working on my own design - based on traditional Hellenistic influences - for a number of years. Guess I should put it back on my to-do list before my GF finally bites the dirt.

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Astrolabe with no details at all. I just told it to “/imagine an astrolabe”:

For kicks I asked for a realistic detailed orrery in a library, bokeh:

(Midjourney runs 4 images at a time, you can then choose which ones to iterate on or blow up)

As a vector illustration:

As a notebook sketch in the style of davinci:

One blown up:


These are all fantastic. Thanks for sharing prompts

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The alligator is cute at least!

V5 looks amazing. There is SO much improvement in so short a time I’m truly astounded.

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For contrast here’s the same prompt about a dog figurine in version 3, pulled 9 months ago:

And now:


It’s night and day.