For the crafter who enjoys computer-assisted design, the laser cutter opens up a world of DIY possibilities. For any kind of project that requires cutting, a laser cutter is a tool that makes a perfect cut every time since it has no blade to wear out. The following are some of the most interesting and unusual projects people have made with their laser cutters.


Wood seems to be the most popular material for cutting or etching with a laser cutter, and it’s easy to find examples of things like engraved coasters, cutting boards, garden labels, and signs for businesses. More ambitious artisans have used their laser cutters to make beautifully designed maps, puzzles, and games with interlocking pieces, like Settlers of Catan. Furniture designers have used laser cutters to carve wood lampshades with intricate designs that create a unique light display. One of the most interesting wooden projects is a laser-cut ukulele.


Laser cutters can cut through thin metal very cleanly. Many artisans use laser cutters to design intricate pieces of jewelry, like earrings and pendants, out of metal. Some artists are working with metal on a grander scale, building replicas of cathedrals and castles out of thin sheet metal. Designers are also laser-cutting metals to create architectural ornaments like garden walls.


Some amazing paper art has been created with laser cutters. Because they can cut an extremely narrow width, laser cutters can create intricate, complex designs even when using the thinnest paper. These projects are made simply as art or as greeting cards and invitations. Sturdy paper, like cardstock, can be transformed into decorative lamps with LED (low-heat) light.


One of the most surprising uses people have found for laser cutters is cutting shapes or etching designs into food. A pastry chef, for example, has used a laser to cut pastry dough into perfectly identical petals to top a pie, and a sushi chef has etched tiny designs into the seaweed that wraps a sushi roll. Someone has also used a laser cutter to create a sugar doily that sits on top of a cup of coffee until it dissolves.

These are just a few of the myriad applications of a laser cutter. To learn more about how the machines work, check out the videos at