Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Wow, a very easy way to make an impressive bowl!

Step 1: Create the bowl art

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Using Autodesk 123D MAKE on an iPhone, I created a profile shape that was rotated around an axis. The application "made" plans in a PDF file that I emailed to myself.

Step 2: Put all the bowl pieces into one Illustrator file

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
The PDF file was multiple 8.5" x 11" pages (hint I opened it in Acrobat Pro and saved it as Encapsulated PostScript file>SaveAs>MoreOptions>EncapusulatedPostScript - this created multiple files). I opened each file in Illustrator and copied the bowl pieces onto one large illustrator page - 24" x 18" which is the largest size the lasercutter I use can handle.

Step 3: Cut it out on Cardboard

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
ah, the smell of burning cardboard!

Step 4: Assemble cardboard bowl

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Putting the pieces together is a bit tricky, like a 3D puzzle... I put some dabs of glue (clear drying) to help keep things together. The finished bowl looks quite impressive!

Step 5: Try it in wood (with a few tweaks)

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Important! - The original bowl pieces are sized for the width of cardboard. When cutting on a different material, the material's thickness must be taken into consideration. I used wood that is 3/16" (or .1875 in). I modified a copy of my illustrator file by first drawing a red square that is 3/16" x 3/16" (.1875 in x .1875 in) and then locked it - so it would not change size with all other elements. Then I selected all of the bowl pieces and sized them until the interlocking parts were the same size as the red square (see illustration).

Step 6: Put it all together!

Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
Laser cut bowl in cardboard and wood.
A bit tricky to put together. The sizing of the parts is snug. I did not need glue to keep it together. It looks great. I've already given one as a gift and I had fun explaining how I made it at TechShop in Menlo Park!
 
 

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