Author: Dylan

In college, I used my final spring break to go visit factories.

Some of the things I've worked on:
* Protective gear for swordfighting (HEMA)
* Computer cases, related equipment
* Boardgames. RPGs with mechanical calculators
* Lots of brewery equipment
* DIY electronic instruments
* Lasertag
* Prototype biodiesel city vehicle
* Modular construction methods
* Various art projects

Easy way to start a conversation with me: ask me about how you might scale up a production run of whatever project you're thinking about.

If you want to hire an extra gun for contract project work, I'm interested.

Laser-cut deity toast

Deity Toast

Last open house, we made deity toast for Experimental Science Time. People were invited to bring a slice of bread and an image to burn into it, with our 80-watt CO2 laser cutter. It’s our light of creation.

There were hopes that we might get some classic deity-on-toast imagery. But instead of a pantheon, one entity stole the show. The AMT Kraken.

The Bread

  • Assorted white bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Cinnamon raisin bread (bonus challenge stage)

The Backing

  • Plywood, for easy clean up


  • Etching
  • Cutting
  • Cutting, multiple passes
Sourdough bread laser etching in progress.
Sourdough etch in progress.

What we found


Bread is inconsistently thick. It’s foamy texture means some areas are like tall cell walls, whereas other areas have little to stop the laser from shooting through.

We played it safe at first, with fairly low power. But perhaps due to the water content in the bread, the laser wasn’t leaving much visible markings. We bumped up the power, and got the solid-filled etched piece of toast in the middle.

Toast close up
Clockwise from the bottom middle: First etch on white bread. White bread with single and double vector cuts. Sourdough etch. Cinnamon raisin vector cut.

Time to try a vector cut!

We cut the bottom left slice. Too much power, or perhaps too little speed, yielded the smokey image on the bottom left. The bread was over-toasted, and the wood backing was hit hard enough to smoke up the bread from below. Doesn’t look good, and probably tastes like death.

We moved the laser over to the right side of the slice, dropped the power, and went for two vector cutting passes. It came out much cleaner. More passes with less power would probably be even better.

White bread behaved nicely, as did the big sourdough slice. Cinnamon raisin bread was an interesting mix of materials. We didn’t have a brave volunteer to taste test, to tell us which was more burnt, the bread or the raisins. Visually, both came through on our cut, so I’m sure the kraken was pleased.

Deity toast