Category Archives: Laser

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

This is a slightly different version of a post I wrote on my own site,, modified for the Kwartzlab crowd.

It’s that time of year! Christmas! I have put together a tutorial on how to make some quick snowflake decorations.

You will need:

First off, go to Warning: this site is addictive, you may spend waaay too much time here.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Every line and corner between Noon and 2 o’clock has a tiny circle that allows to you bend and stretch the snowflake. Changing any of these dots and it is repeated six times overall. Play with them a while until you’ve made a snowflake you are happy with. For this activity, the only caveat you need to consider is cutting a slot to make it a 3D snowflake, and that requires a little extra material down the snowflake’s centre.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Click on “Save as SVG” to download the snowflake’s file to your computer.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Open up the downloaded snowflake file in Inkscape. It is all black. We need to change that to be just an outline to make it laser friendly.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Click on the snowflake and set the “Fill” to white. You are now left with just the snowflake’s outline.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Go to File>Document Properties. Set the default units to millimetres and add some grids and make them snappable. Millimetre units play better with laser cutters and snapping to grid makes it easy to move stuff around accurately.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

On the bottom toolbar, click the lock to preserve the scaling, and type in the height you want it to be in mm. Height is important to the next step, use a value divisible by two to make things easier.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Next, draw a rectangle. It should have a black stroke and white infill (if it isn’t already the default). Click on the rectangle, and go back to the bottom toolbar. You don’t want the lock locked this time, now make the snowflake as wide as the acrylic you are cutting by typing in the thickness value into the width, in my case it was 3mm wide, and set the height to half of the snowflake’s height. This rectangle becomes the interlocking part to make the snowflake 3D.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Click and drag the rectangle up to the top of the snowflake and centre the top of the rectangle on the top point of the snowflake. I just eyeballed mine, since due to the size I was working with minor variations are going to be unnoticeable. If you want, you can play with the grids and snap settings (under File>Document Properties) to centre it exactly.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Now, select both the rectangle and the snowflake. Then, click Path>Difference.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

And voila! You have the interlocking cut-out built right into the snowflake file!

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Hit File>Save As and save your file. Make sure to save it as a .dxf file for use in the laser cutter.

Quickie laser cut snowflakes

Take the DXF file over to your laser cutter and cut them out!

Now you can optionally colour the snowflakes (if you want) with the permanent markers. Or you can leave them plain if you wish.

Finally, assemble the snowflakes. Match up the two interlocking rectangles, add a dab of hot glue to the middle of one to hold them together, and slide one onto the other. You’re done! Here’s one of the snowflakes made by my kids:

You can add some ribbon, and if you really want to plan ahead you could even laser cut a hole for the ribbon earlier on by adding it in Inkscape, before saving the DXF file.

DXF files work well with the Silhouette cutter. You can use the Silhouette to cut out the snowflake to make cards, add paper decorations to your tree, and many other options.

Have fun!

Science Hack Day Badges

We love rockets around here, so when it came to creating this years Science Hack Day badge, we decided a new design was in order. We created a new rocket shape design for science champions to wear . A video of the process is below. If you would like badges created for a community event do get in touch with us

Tickets are still available for the upcoming Science Hack Day Dublin on the 14th / 15th of November.

Lighthouses at Coder Girl Hack Day

On Saturday 10th of October, DCU Innovation campus was over run with girls who wanted to code. Coder Girl Hack Day was an event run by Coding Grace, Girls Hack Ireland, Coder Dojo Girls and TOG. There was over a hundred girls all learning different coding skills. Here in TOG we looked after the imaginative engineering track.

We the help and support of Intel Ireland, we decided to run a track to showcase making is not just about electronics. As its the International Year of Light, we felt making lighthouses would be very appropriate.

The base model of the lighthouse was designed by Alex Titone and is available on thingiverse. You can check our video below of us laser cutting the models on our Lasersaur.  Check out our gallery to see all the lighthouses the kids made and if you would like to make your own, a parts list is below.


Lighthouses at Coder Girl Hack Day


Check out some of the press we got about the event. 

Galileo powered Lighthouses at Coder Girl Hack Day

Coder girls get creative at Girls Hack Ireland Event

Increasing opportunities for girls to pursue STEM

Intel Photo Set

Parts / Tool List 

  • Piezo buzzer
  • LED
  • Wire
  • Arduino Galileo
  • 3mm Birch Plywood Lighthouse Model
  • Torch
  • Coin Cell Battery / holder
  • SpringRC SM-S4303R Continuous Rotation 360 Degree Plastic Servo
  • Paint & Glitter
  • Hammer
  • Hot Glue Gun



Ducks back in stock

So after being down for last few months the Lasersaur Laser 14.03 are back in action and seems after first few cuts much better accuracy.

[See image gallery at]

We will be cutting out lots of things on Friday 18th if you can make it to our Culture Night to check out the space.

See you at culture night.

Our New Laser Cutter!

The new laser cutter station in our classroom.

We are very happy to share that Hive76 is now home to a 45W H-Series laser cutter from Full Spectrum Laser! Members now have the capability to cut complex 2D shapes in wood and plastic in thicknesses up to 0.25 inch. If you can draw it on a computer, the laser can cut it. It’s great for engraving too:

Our New Laser Cutter!

Hive76 rocks!

We’ve just begun making test cuts and machine break in. Our next step is to develop a class for members to become laser cutter certified. I can’t wait to see what kind of cool projects our members will use this tool for. In the mean time, stop by our open house Wednesday nights 7-10pm to see it in action and find out how to become a member!




Our New Laser Cutter!

Laser guts.



Lasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…

In recent weeks, a few of our board game fanLasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…aLasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…tics have met on Friday evenings in Tog. We have played some games, we laughed & decided to utilize laser cutter to make extra sturdy Acrylic tokens for a game called Androind: Netrunner. A good bit of graphical artwork was already online (thx for a great design) and after some manipulation it was ready to be cut. Other designs had to be done from scratch. So far we have designed & prototype cut all the regular size tokens. There is a plan to cut large size Credits Sets as well.

Android: Netrunner is an asymmetrical Living Card Game for two players. Set in the cyberpunk future of Android and Infiltration, the game pits a megacorporation and its massive resources against the subversive talents of lone runners.Lasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…

Corporations seek to score agendas by advancing them. Doing so takes time and credits. To buy the time and earn the credits they need, they must secure their servers and data forts with “ice”. These security programs come in different varieties, from simple barriers, to code gates and aggressive sentries. They serve as the corporation’s virtual eyes, ears, and machine guns on the sprawling information superhighways of the network.

In turn, runLasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…ners need to spend their time and credits acquiring a sufficient wealth of resources, purchasing the necessary hardware, and developing suitably powerful ice-breaker programs to hack past corpoLasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…rate security measures. Their jobs are always a little desperate, driven by tight timelines, and shrouded in mystery. When a runner jacks-in and starts a run at a corporate server, he risks having his best programs trashed or being caught by a trace program and left vulnerable to corporate countermeasures. It’s not uncommon for an unprepared runner to fail to bypass a nasty sentry and suffer massive brain damage as a result. Even if a runner gets through a data fort’s defenses, there’s no telling what it holds. Sometimes, the runner finds something of value. Sometimes, the best he can do is work to trash whatever the corporation was developing.Lasersaur, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…

The first player to seven points wins the game, but likely not before he suffers some brain damage or bad publicity!

More about the game:, Android Netrunner & laser cut tokens…rd-game/

Would you like to try to laser cut your own designs? Come along to our ongoing (every second Monday) CAD workshop in Tog. Looking forward to see you here – 6th of July 2015.

New CAD group starting this Monday & running every two weeks (7pm till 9pm).

Starting this New CAD group starting this Monday & running every two weeks (7pm till 9pm).Monday & running every second Monday (alongside Electronics and Micro Controller Group night) is the CAD group. Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing.

 Come alongNew CAD group starting this Monday & running every two weeks (7pm till 9pm). if you have experience with or are interested in vector design, photography & photo manipulation, 3D design, print design & preparation, digital design, web design & CSS front end web manipulation, or anything else related!

This isn’t a class or instruction. It will be a relaxed informal atmosphere with other like-minded people. So the idea is to bring your Laptop, maybe some CAD software installed on, some tutorials, web links, instructions…. Or just come along with the project in your head – anything you like. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced designer….just work on whatever you want to, and hopefully get some “bounce” off other people doing similar things. Several TOG members will be around too.

During CAD meetings we will try to utilize many of Tog CAD hardware & equipment, such as:New CAD group starting this Monday & running every two weeks (7pm till 9pm).

  • Laser cutter,
  • 3D printer,
  • Plotter,
  • large scale printer,
  • screen printing developing box,
  • photo lab.

There is no need to sign in for the class, just come along with your laptop. here is no charge for attending, although you will be asked to pay for any usage of hardware & materials, just to cover the cost of replacement parts & materials. Always make sure to be prepared to pay for your own usage, we can help you to estimate the cost fo you beforehand.