Wood types for laser cutting

‘Laser Engraving hardwoods like boxwood, beech, basswood (lindenwood or lime), walnut, mahogany, alder and maple can produce successful pyrography effects. Softwoods such as pine can be engraved but, due to the hard and soft bands of the grain structure, they tend to vaporize at less-consistent depths.
Birch plywood engraves and cuts very well and other plywoods can be used for jigs, tooling and even clock gears.

Fine detail model kit production

MDF is also a very suited material for laser work, producing interesting engraved results and having good properties for use where accurate and intricate cutting is required.
Given a suitable graphic, 3D laser carving can produce superb results on maple, cherry, birch, butternut, alder and MDF. The process works by burning away material at different intensities over 256 shades of grey  to produce a carved, three dimensional image.
Some papers, along with card and fibreboard, are well suited to laser cutting which can create intricate and delicate patterns.

Leather engraving with a laser

Leather can be cut and is very well suited to laser engraving, producing a result which is akin to branding. 
Certain latex rubber compounds can be laser engraved to produce rubber hand stamps.’

Cube Style

My final outcome will be a series of jigsaw like cubes. My next step to decide upon a style of cube. One is laser cubes, which would introduce multi-sensory interaction. Furthermore they have an authentic look and a similar appeal to chess and dominos, which elderly people will be familiar with. The only issue is that there isn’t much colour to visually stimulate the user.

Secondly another option is to make vinyl stickers of my illustrations and place each sticker on the different sides of the cube. The user could determine the colours of each illustration making it easier to form the jigsaw and create more visually stimulated stories from the illustrations.

2901405920_8fe536f424_b(Laser cut blocks)     http://www.xylocopa.com/content/mad-science-blocks


35f8037b8e883b939e3532ddb8ae5a5b_original(vinyl stickers on each side of the cube)         https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/778615972/mixmates-colorful-mix-and-match-wooden-blocks

More potential ideas



Inspiration for the jigsaw idea of the activity. The idea is that each person gets a tray consisting of nine cubes. Each tray has 6 possible illustration outcomes. Once everyone has formed an image from the cubes they have to tell a story from all of the images that everyone has formed.


Illustration Styles

So I’ve decided that regardless of the outcome of my project it will definitely contain illustrations, whether it is cubes or cards.

Therefore i have decided to look into illustration styles of the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s when the now elderly were youthful in order for myself to develop a style that would connect to the users (dementia suffers). I feel that if i interpret a style that would have been familiar to a dementia sufferer years ago they are more likely to reminisce and connect to the illustration, as commonly dementia sufferers believe that they are still in a period of time in the past.











TimeSlip – Imagination and Dementia


TimeSlips opens storytelling to everyone by replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.

The open, poetic language of improvisational storytelling invites people with memory loss to express themselves and connect with others.  TimeSlips brings meaning to long term care.’

Timeslip is a company that offers training that teaches the meaning and value of creative engagement, its an introduction to dementia and person-centered care and the TimeSlips storytelling process in detail.

Currently Timeslip use printed images to start conversations and storytelling. Everyone gathers in a circle and the disscuss the first image, someone (care giver) records what the dementia sufferers says and later the story is recalled to them in order to keep their attention. See more from the video below

So basically the research is done but the execution is lacking. The research shows that this idea works but i believe that i could create a series of scenario illustrations in a form that would enable storytelling. This storytelling aid could take the form of cards or cubes but ultimately it would prompt the users to make stories using their imagination or in some cases recall from past events. Communication and interaction is key in this concept. This design would be specific for people in the middle to late stage of dementia.