Transcending the Medium: Beyond Planes, Edges, and Plywood

As I’ve gotten obsessed with all things laser, I’ve been seeing a lot of laser-made creations that look fundamentally similar–geometric objects made up of obvious planes with hard, sharp edges, usually of solid-color flat stock or plywood. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them (I’m planning to make a lot of that kind of thing for specific purposes when my GF comes in). However, I get a real thrill when I see work that goes so far beyond that aesthetic that the object either doesn’t intuitively appear laser made, or it’s so complex and fascinating that it transcends the process/medium. I’d love to see anything that strikes you the same way.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Ara Peterson’s “Tube” sculpture

HenningMade’s “Regina” cabinet

Elvira 't Hart’s clothing

Wim Delvoy’s Gothic-industrial sculptures (this one is “Concrete Mixer”)

What gets you excited?


A few more:

Resa Blatman’s installation pieces

Detail of the same piece

Ensek Hur’s modular felt work

Detail of the same piece

Pretty much anything by Tyler Bohm


This is actually what I am most interested in experimenting with once I get my laser. I think that all of the “normal” things you can create with a laser are great (and I plan on making my fair share) but as a designer and artist I’m really excited to use it as a tool to make interesting installations and sculptural pieces.

Thanks for these bits of inspiration, very cool.


And finally, the two laser artists whose work first got me really excited…

Martin Tomsky

Eric Standley


Great thread, thanks for those images!
It is kind of like the current state of affairs in FDM 3D printers as well. There is lots of interesting experimentation, but little that transcends the easy plastic layer aesthetic.

I am specifically interested in jewelry and so far my favorite is: the site does not allow easy linking to images but here is an example


Funny you say this…

I made this a while back and now think I can redo it on the GF


Thanks for those examples, @jkopel. My partner is now saving up for an FDM, and it’s great to see some examples to get inspired by as I figure out how I’ll share it. I really like those pieces.

@spike, that’s utterly lovely. Can’t wait to see how you translate it with your Forge.

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Just to be clear, he is experimenting with all kinds of technology. The older piece I linked to is laser etched enamel, but he is also doing some cool stuff with various 3d printing technologies (FDM, resin lithography, etc.)

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@morganstanfield Thank you for your kind words. I know, I can’t wait to try it out on some blackwood.

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@spike very nice work! That looks like it is turned on something like a rose engine? How would you see doing that with a GF?

@spike, @jkopel beat me to asking you about the rose engine lathe…I’m going to be jealous two ways if you say that was done with a rose engine lathe or by vapor smoothing a FDM part! Either way I’d be impressed!

100% correct. I kind of built my own version of a rose engine a few years back… (It did not work out so well).
But instead of the head stock rocking, I built a table that would slide along x axis. Then attached a small router to that for cutting.

Making the rosettes was the part I could not get right, so I kind of gave up.

But now that the GF is on the way, cutting the rosettes will be easy, so building a rose engine should be a pretty easy process. But in the case of this box, maybe just do some stacking? I don’t know, maybe the burnt edges would not be cool


Check out these absolutely amazing columns:



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I know, right?!?!? I can’t even imagine the amount of work that went into creating and constructing all of them.

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Those are astonishing. The amount of labor and materials alone…

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Wow and double wow. Looks like they laser cut their prototype and then milled the final ones out of plastic. Which is even crazier really…

“Columns for the Gwangju Design Biennale are made of 2700 sheets of 1mm CNC-milled ABS plastic. They have a dual iron and wood core. Fabrication coordination kindly provided by Hua Hao.”

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Im inspired!

Bravo! Spike. This is one that I have in my own queue of projects. I figured with the GF I’d finally be able to make the parts for a rose engine, and come up with discs that aren’t available elsewhere.

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