Laser cut geodesic dome

I cut this geodesic dome from some corrugated cardboard. I got the idea from this Instructable, and also used this calculator.

The laser cuts really stink. I’ve been able to get rid of the smell on past projects by putting cut pieces in a vacuum chamber, but I don’t have one big enough for these. If I were going to make another one of these I’d try to use the CNC + drag knife to avoid the smell.

The cardboard screws are made by Makedo, but it looks like Elmer’s makes some too.


Awesome! Thanks for sharing those links

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The char comes off wood really beautifully with the Fast Orange pumice hand cleaner…but…tragically not so useful on the cardboard. I also find the smell of laser-ed stuff fairly unpleasant.

Really lovely looking work though!

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The zoot (origin of burnt smell) is usually water soluble which means you can use a damp rag and remove some of it. You will see the brown stains on rag or papertowel. I compare it to cigarette nicotine stains. Once you clean up the edges you could encase most of the odor with a clear coat of varnish, enamel, or laquer. Cardboard is cumbersome as the fumes travel through the inner channels and the odor gets imbeded as it travels. If you dont want to contaminate the card board with a clear finish, an ozone generator might work but read the intructions carefully. I know it works great for elimination of cigarette smell in a room or burnt smell in a place that went on fire but have never use it for this specific purpose as the above solution has always worked for me.

That’s a good idea. I did wipe the edges with a scotch brite pad to remove some of it, but I think I’ll try wiping with a rag and IPA.

What kind of clear finishes have you used on cardboard? Maybe a spray polyurethane?

This answer is biased as I hate polyurethane my go to answer is Deft lacquer but is a bit pricey. On this case it doesn’t matter as the card board would look pretty much the same so I would go with whatever is easier on your wallet or the one with the less VOC’s so you don’t have to air it too long to get rid of the smell of chemicals. Yeap if is not one thing is another with fumes!