180-Degree-Open Pop Up Snowflakes

180-Degree Snowflakes Pop Up Card (2020)

I played with several variations of this snowflake design back around 2002. There were a couple 180-degree-open card variants that I liked. They were both designed to be cut as four panels that folded together to produce a card with an integrated backing. I had some limited access to a laser cutter for a couple hours to produce the cards. I ended up going with the simpler of the two designs for the production run. That one was less sensitive to smoke deposition and, less fragile.

I always wanted to play with the other design a little more and, in 2020, I finally did a run of those on my own laser.

Smoke deposition was still a challenge, especially on a stock with a pearlescent finish and a little tooth. There is almost always some trade-off with that sort of thing and expedient production. I chose not to apply all of the full repertoire of techniques for these, opting to reduce wear and tear on expensive work-holding mats and, to make production faster.

I made a short production video featuring the jig-in-place technique, dry transfer adhesive and removing stray glue.

Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card

Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Laura Kampf Edition)
Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Laura Kampf Edition)
Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Laura Kampf Edition)

Someone made a paper craft version of the “Let Glue Dry” block Laura Kampf uses in her shop awhile back. I immediately thought of making a pop up card version that could be stored flat. I did one with a simple block font but, later, made another version where I reproduced the hand lettering from a photo of Laura’s block.

I sent one of these to Laura back in March. I am going to assume that it’s okay to share these unless I hear otherwise.

Although I cut my cards on the laser, you could do this entirely by hand with a craft knife. You can even skip the white stickers. The letters could be cut from white paper and glued on. The letters could be colored in with an opaque white marker or paint.

There are two version of each design. The regular one has everything aligned in one image. That is, the score lines for the back show aligned where they should be on the front like a standard OA pattern. The jig-in-place version has the score lines for the reverse flipped for production on a sign or laser cutter.

I made my cards using the jig-in-place technique. In brief, I:

  1. Stuck the black stock down to an adhesive mat in the Glowforge.
  2. Disabled all operations except the score lines for the reverse side and the card outline.
  3. Ran those two operations.
  4. Flipped the card over in place, aligning it with the hole from which it was cut.
  5. Placed a strip of white polyester sticker over the face of the card where the white letter would be.
  6. Disabled the reverse scores and outline cut. Enabled the other operations
  7. Ran the operations.
  8. Removed the card and weeded the white polyester stickers.
  9. Folded the finished card!

I started to make a video of the jig-in-place technique but, it is not super clear on the black stock. I will likely do a video showing how this is done when I have another design on a lighter-colored stock to run.

Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Block Font)
Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Block Font)

Files to Make Your Own

These files are for personal, non-commercial use only.  Note that, by referencing these, you are agreeing to release any variations you create under identical terms.

Attribution-Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlikeLK Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Standard version)

LK Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Jig-in-Place version)

Block Font Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Standard version)

Block Font Let Glue Dry Pop Up Card (Jig-in-Place version)

Laser-Scoring Both Sides of a Card

Laser-scoring both sides of a card

I have had several people ask me about this.  So, I made a video showing how to score both sides of a piece of paper or card stock with precision alignment using the laser.

After cutting and scoring the front of the card, I cut an outline of the reversed card and, set up a simple right-angle jig to make it easy to put the cut cards in the same spot in the machine.  I discuss several methods for work hold-down and, how to adjust for minor errors in the setup.

I am consistently able to get hair-line alignment using this approach.

While I am using a Glowforge here, this technique is essentially the same in other laser cutters.

Resources

2019 XOXO card

Glowforge Boot (for reducing tray movement)

Acrylic Square / Fiducial Alignment Ruler

(While this incorporates fiducial markings for a beta alignment feature you may not have (Snapmarks), we are NOT using that here. We just need a right angle piece that will stay put and, let us consistently put our cards in the same spot in the machine.)

Spray Adhesive

Seklema work hold-down mat

Amazon referral links for some parts and incidentals defray IT and hosting costs for a local arts organization (Arizona Aikido).

XOXO 2019 Origamic Architecture / Kirigami Pop Up Card

XOXO 2019 Origamic Architecture / Kirigami Pop Up Card
XOXO 2019 Origamic Architecture / Kirigami Pop Up Card

I designed this in honor of the 2019 XOXO Fest! Turning a simple sheet of paper into a pop up card is fun and, I encourage you to try it.

If you have a laser cutter or a CNC cutting machine (or “craft cutter”), you can load the SVG file below into your software and, use that to cut out the card.  If you can adjust the power or depth and pressure of your cuts to only cut halfway through, you can also cut the mountain fold lines with your machine.

You can also do it entirely by hand!  Download and print the pattern on a piece of card stock.  If you want to keep the front of your card pretty, reverse the pattern and, you’ll be cutting from the back side.  Just remember to score your fold lines on the correct side.

You can also tape a printed pattern to a piece of card stock and, use a straight pin to poke a small hole at each junction of lines.  You can then remove the pattern and, use a ruler to score and cut your piece.  You can also use this approach with the pin to help make your valley fold score lines on the reverse.

The paper will tend to fold away from a score line.  By scoring mountain folds on the front and valley folds on the back, you will make the card easier to fold.

Here is a video walkthrough of cutting a card by hand:

Glowforge Settings

Score: speed 500 / power 9

Cut: speed 250 / power 36

Fast Cut (card outline): speed 500 / power 69

Pattern Files

These files are for personal, non-commercial use only. If you want to produce these to sell or for other business use, please contact me to arrange for licensing terms.

Attribution-Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Right-click and “Save Link As”:

XOXO 2019 Pop Up Card Pattern SVG

XOXO 2019 Pop Up Card PDF (original zine page with pattern)