(VAL) Visually Augmented Laser cutting uses spatial augmented reality technology to guide the designer through the cutting process and enables shape placement and positioning to save waste, reduce errors and support new work practices in the design studio.

This work has been accepted for publication in the proceedings of the International Symposium of Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2014) and is authored by Kristoffer Winge, Rune Haugaard, and Tim Merritt.  This research represents explorative prototypes aimed at improving digital fabrication tools for the users in the creative design industry.

The conference is September 10-12th, 2014 in Munch, Germany.   Come and hear more about our research at 11am, September 12th!

((Link to conference program and paper abstract))

Winge, K., Haugaard, R., Merritt, T., VAL: Visually Augmented Laser cutting to enhance and support creativity. In Proc. IEEE Intl. Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), 2014.

Below is a brief summary of the research:

Problems with current laser cutting systems

Laser cutting controls usually separate the operator from the work surface, which results in cutting errors and time wasted with difficult preparation before cutting.

Standard Laser cutting with computer interface


VAL: Visually Augmented Laser cutting process reduces errors while cutting by projecting the shape to be cut directly onto the material

The designer is guided by visual prompts to place the material to be cut

laser cutter interaction


information projected on the laser cutter to guide the operator

The visualization of the shape to be cut can be controlled by a mouse, AR marker as shown below, or through a mobile app

AR marker used to position shape to be cut on laser cutter bed

The shape to be cut is repositioned by the designer in direct contact with the material, enabling the designer to quickly place and cut on materials–even on scrap materials.

shape repositioned on material to be laser cut

For more information, please contact Tim Merritt at tim@ixd.net