Laser cutters are useful for rapid prototyping because they are fast. However, they only produce planar 2D geometry. One approach to creating non-planar objects is to cut the object in horizontal slices and to stack and glue them. This approach, however, requires manual effort for the assembly and time for the glue to set, defeating the purpose of using a fast fabrication tool.
We propose eliminating the assembly step with our system LaserStacker. The key idea is to use the laser cutter to not only cut but also to weld. Users place not one acrylic sheet, but a stack of acrylic sheets into their cutter. In a single process, LaserStacker cuts each individual layer to shape (through all layers above it), welds layers by melting material at their interface, and heals undesired cuts in higher layers. When users take out the object from the laser cutter, it is already assembled.