The Cutting Edge of Cardboard Design

We have entered the most exciting phase of Design: prototyping! Your students have spent the last few weeks interviewing, researching, brainstorming, and sketching their organizational solutions and now it’s time to take those two-dimensional ideas and render them in three dimensions. We will have each student create several cardboard prototypes before they are asked to create their final product out of plywood.

So how do we do this?

After a student submits a file (usually a “scalable vector graphic” or .svg file) we align and focus the laser. Then, since we are working with prototyping, we find a piece of scrap cardboard put on the cutting surface that vaguely matches the size of what we’d like to cut. In the video below you can see me doing what’s called “framing,” where the laser head moves on the outermost border of the design so we can ensure that it will fit. Charlotte’s box is a little big so I needed to make quite a few adjustments!

Here’s another fun timelapse of a cardboard cut:

Why do we work in cardboard? Well sometimes we make mistakes! Check out this box where a student forgot to convert between inches and millimeters:


It’s good for a few coins, at least!

We will be working on these prototypes for the next week or so, assembling and gluing and showing them off:


And once we’ve tested and documented our prototypes, we have a big pile of plywood waiting for us.


Also, an announcement: The annual MYP Pumpkin Carving Contest will be on October 29th at 3:45! Please bring a hollowed-out pumpkin and your best artist’s eye! Awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!.