Laser Cut Sculpture -Secondary

Artist: Helen Snell

Participants: Secondary age students from Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Stoke Demerel Community College

Aims of activity: For the children to design and create an individual laser cut sculpture of sculptural element

Activity: The young people designed a piece of sculpture that was laser cut out of ply or card. The students used Photoshop to edit their designs, and then vectorised them using Adobe Illustrator. Their designs were then cut using either a school laser cutter or the facilities of FabLab Plymouth College of Art

Creative processes used:  drawing, design including understanding of transformation of 2D to 3D, digital editing and vectorising


  • The young people experienced the process of transforming a 2D design into a 3D sculpture
  • The young people were able to create complex and intricate designs because of the laser cutting technology


  • The processes of laser cutting, digital editing and vectorising were new to the young people
  • The process of creating ‘prototype’ designs which can then be easily modified before being re-cut was innovative for the young people, and opened up possibilities for design development


Without the generosity of FabLab, Plymouth College of Art, in supporting the workshop day the cost of using the facilities could have been difficult for settings to meet

  • The process is intricate and time consuming, and ideally would take place over several sessions, not in a 1 day workshop
  • Young people need to be familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator in advance of the workshop
  • Technical support from staff familiar with the laser cutter software is essential to troubleshoot throughout the workshop.