Laser cutting 3D geometric sculptures.
Tom Longtin is a long-time graphic artist located in Vermont. He studied mechanical engineering and computer science, focusing on 3D geometric computer graphics programming. He has won awards and has been recognized all over the world for his work in animation for commercial television. He has produced videos, magazine and journal covers for Gear Technology Magazine and Power Transmission Design Trade Journal. Recently, he has joined an artist’s guild in Vermont.
Tom produces most of his 3D imagery using Rhino 3D software. In the beginning, he used 1/8 inch piece of foam board and an Exacto knife to cut and transform his images into real-life sculptures, but this situation became difficult. “It was tough to cut out a multitude of triangles using this method, especially with all of the intricate cuts,” explains Tom. And the decisions for materials were limited for creating other sculptures. “What I needed was to mechanize the process, so I researched on the internet looking for rapid prototype machines.”
It was through his research on the Internet he discovered Epilog's CO2 laser cutting systems. He has had his machine for 2 years now. “I was used to cutting materials all by hand. Once I bought the machine and experimented with it – it encouraged different ideas. With the convenience of using the machine and adjusting the speed and power I was able to make several shapes easily and with different materials,” said Tom. Now, Tom creates his artwork, saves it into a vector cutting file and runs it on the machine. He can now use materials like plywood, acrylic and MDF board to create his stunning models. Tom is also able to market his pieces for public purchase by creating puzzles from his models and painting them for a professional, finished look.
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