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Figure 1. Laser cutting makes elegant and complex fashion designs easy and beautiful. Source: Solarbotics/CC BY 2.0
With the ability to create intricate cutwork to enhance the décolletage of a gown, or scalloped lace edges that flatter the hemline of a sundress, laser cutters are rapidly becoming more popular in the realm of fashion design. They help designers bring their most creative work to life, thanks to their ability to effortlessly and precisely cut a pattern or engrave directly on to fabrics. Laser cutting is both extremely accurate and fast — important features for designers wanting to incorporate fine detail onto a variety of fabrics. Speed is also a plus in a fashion design classroom, where students may be simultaneously working on creating multiple projects.
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Figure 1: The Epilog Zing Starter Series offers excellent entry-level laser cutters.  Source: Epilog Laser

The start of the school year is the perfect time for anyone considering a laser cutter to learn the foundations of this exciting technology.

Just as they are in makerspaces and fab labs, laser cutters are one of the most versatile tools one can have in a  classroom. They can cut patterns or pieces for final assembly; they can cut through a range of materials with high precision; and they are easy to use. All of those qualities rolled into one piece of technology make the laser cutter a very powerful piece of equipment -- and a great investment for schools, businesses and entrepreneurs alike. When first starting out, here are a few tips to bear in mind:
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Figure 1: Laser-cut architectural model by Joris Heitkamp. Source: FabLab Den Haag/CC BY 2.0

Laser cutters offer architecture students a unique opportunity to see their ideas quickly and precisely move from paper to miniature versions of reality. Whether a student’s creation is a home, downtown development, bridge, railway or architectural flourish, laser cutters offer tremendous advantages for three-dimensional fabrication.

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Figure 1. Students assemble customized robots from laser cut components. Source: Fabrice Florin/CC BY-SA 2.0

Laser cutters offer architecture students a unique opportunity to see their ideas quickly and precisely move from paper to miniature versions of reality. Whether a student’s creation is a home, downtown development, bridge, railway or architectural flourish, laser cutters offer tremendous advantages for three-dimensional fabrication.

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Middle school teachers who are fortunate enough to have laser cutting machinery at their disposal are faced with figuring out how to incorporate the technology into meaningful lessons. Far beyond personalized engraved trinkets, laser systems can teach children skills that will benefit them in high school (and beyond), including organization and preparation. In addition, laser cutters let young adolescents use creativity while learning science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

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Using vector-based graphic design software and an Epilog Laser cutter/engraver, students will learn to design and produce their very own custom backpack/luggage tag.

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Grace Dille

Registration is open for the 2018-2019 Future City competition! This is a national competition for middle school students to imagine, research, design and build cities of the future.

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Grace Dille

The gender disparity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields has caused researchers to question why most girls and young women do not consider a degree or career in these fields. New research from Microsoft provides some answers and solutions to help close the STEM gap.

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Grace Dille

Wondering if that chicken in the fridge is still good? Sensors in packaging could soon alert you of dangerous bacteria in various types of food products.

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Grace Dille

Kids can lose up to two to three months of their reading and math skills over the summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association. These losses come at an even greater cost for kids in low-income families, who can fall two-and-a-half to three years behind their peers due to summer learning loss.

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