My background is in woodworking,so I’ve been playing a little with a laser analog to kerfing for bending wood. With regular tools, you make a series of cuts almost through a piece of wood or plywood. The cuts weaken the wood, and the material removed by the cutting gives the inner edge of the piece room to have a shorter (partial) circumference than the outside. The cuts don’t go through, so it still looks like a solid piece.
Problem with lasers is that the kerf is so small that you’d have to space a zillion scores right next to each other to get a decent bending radius, and that way lies a mass of embers. So I had a minor inspiration: “What if we mess up the cut by putting the focus at 0, down at the bottom of the wood? Won’t the defocusing make the kerf wider at the top?” And yes it does.
3mm cheapjack ply with a cut at 100/90 every 2.5mm (extra points to someone who figures out how to do this effectively as a low-lpi engrave). Oh, and make sure your scores go across the grain, not with it
I hope someone else with actual design skills can make use of this.