Laser Cut Millennium Falcon

 
 

During a two year Masters program at MIT, I worked on a number of projects outside my thesis, one of the most interesting being this Millennium Falcon made of laser cut cardboard, which later became a chandelier when combined with several hundred holiday bulbs.

I made the project as part of a class, “How to Make Almost Anything” which is a rapid prototyping class at MIT taught by the legendary Neil Gershenfeld. Neil is one of the smartest people on the planet and you need to brush up on every math class you have ever taken just to know what the hell he is talking about.

For one of the class projects I made a python script that takes a 3d model and slices it into layers. If the layers are cut and glued together, the 3d model can be recreated. A modified version of the script generated a set of instructions for building a 3d model using strips of press-fit cardboard. 

The script can be used to slice apart any 3d model, and I figured the Millennium Falcon was as good as any. The final output was roughly 5 feet long and took a while to make. If I revisited the project again, I would probably use a library for slicing solid models like sgCore. My little python script worked, but it was fragile and required a very clean source model.