Before being able to laser cut my pieces- in order to make the final model, I first had to draw them all up on adobe illustrator. This is a programme that I have had 1 workshop in before, but would not have said I was familiar with it. What I found most helpful, was having previously drawn the images on Google sketch up (with the correct sizes and scale). This meant that I could use the tape measure tool to quickly capture the sizes for the respective pieces, and draw them on the illustrator page.
Another way in which I made using the programme easier for myself was setting the size of the page to be the size of the 3mm perspex/laser cut ply that I was using. By doing this, the cutting stage of the making process will be simplified as it requires less scaling up/down of drawings.
In terms of time management, I was happy with the time that I spent using illustrator, as it was considerably cut down by my already calculating the sizes and quantities of pieces. Certain aspects which I had to constantly keep in mind were: the space which myst be left between each piece, in order for the laser cutter to cut properly- and labelling/saving as each document to avoid confusion. This is something which I was wary of doing throughout my planning of the modelling process as I am aware that my models, collectively, have a lot of individual pieces with very similar dimensions.
After saving the illustrator files onto a memory stick, I opened the documents onto the computer which is connected to the laser cutter and set the cutting depth and settings (engraving, cut-through, kiss-cut). The file then had to be rotated and scaled to the machine. The technician showed me how to do this for the first piece- but for the remaining 9 pieces I was left to continue the process alone.
During the time of the pieces being cut- I ensured that each one was labelled as I had not designed by pieces with extra shapes incase of loss. This meant that I had to ensure that I stayed organised and focussed with: cutting the shapes, labelling each one and feeding the correct material into the machine.
I used the spare time, during the laser cutting- to catch up on admin work such as ensuring that I had all my documents ready in my course file and my tutorial notes were correctly filed. So far, I am finding the time management of the project quite overwhelming- as I am modelling and doing final design sheets simultaneously. This being said, I feel that I will manage to get the work done in time as I have already printed out the necessary images, ready to be mounted on boards.