This weekend I trepidatiously made my way over to the mysterious and intimidating lair of architects and interior designers—the CAED digital fabrication and print center. With one of my mentees (Will, this is your shoutout) at my side, I stumbled through the process of converting Illustrator files into Rhino documents. If you asked me what Rhino was before this experience, I would've described those horned creatures I've only ever seen in zoos.
"How do these architecture students do it?" "I'm better off as a graphic designer." "I don't think I'm doing this right. Correction. I know I'm not doing this right."
All things that came out of my mouth during my first attempt at laser cutting. All I wanted to do was make a nice birthday present for one of my best friends (Emma, you get a shoutout, too) to make up for it being eight months late. Even though the lab attendant was more than willing to help, the whole ordeal was overwhelming.
But by the third coaster, I felt like a pro. I was enthralled with the intricate detail this little laser could replicate. I could've spent all day there. Thank God the attendant would've kicked us out at six. The best part wasn't even watching the laser work or gawking at the finished product—it was how affordable the process was! I was expecting to dish out the big bucks but was so surprised when the attendant said it was in the single digits.
My mind started racing. Think of all the crafting and gift-making I can accomplish here! Within minutes, I've considered completely dumping my almost degree in graphic design to live a life laser cutting crap day in and day out. I took a few deep breaths and decided against it, being a few short months away from wearing that unflattering cap and gown.
The moral of the story is cool things can be made with laser cutting and engraving capabilities, and more people should take advantage of this stellar resource no matter their areas of study. I'm sure glad I discovered my new love, and maybe you will, too. So go forth, and create!