Laser Cut Leather

Laser Cut Leather

For this project, I wanted to use the laser cutter to create a mesh-like texture onto a piece of leather. I wanted to experiment with using this new technology to incorporate more traditional textures/patterns into different materials used for fashion and to transform an existing material into something with different properties.


STEP 1 : Prepare illustrator file

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The first step was to prepare an illustrator file with the pattern that I desired. I wanted to create a geometric mesh texture with hexagonal cutouts, that would leave an angular mesh in the leather. I created a series of repeating hexagons, then converted the outline to 0.001 in RED, because I wanted the shapes to be cut out from the leather.

STEP 2 : Transfer file to laser cutter

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After inserting the USB with the .ai file into the computer, I measured the thickness of the leather and then input the correct selections into the laser software. However, when it was finished cutting, the leather had not been cut through all the way, so the result was more of an engraving rather than a full cut.


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Because the engraving was quite deep however, it created an interesting texture that moved when the leather was bend or shaped in different ways.
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As you can see, the hexagons create a tactile raised surface. Although this was not the initial goal of my project, I think it created an interesting result that could be potentially used in a garment or accessory using leather as a material.

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