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(Sorry, that was the only pop culture reference to lasers in existence.)

I’m trying laser cutting for this year’s Undersized Urbanite, and my goal by the end of September was to have the design sent off for cutting, which I barely met (well, sort of). It was a change for me, since last time I made up a lot of the house as I went, whereas this time it’s processed all at once. I’m keeping the build small for cost, time (we’ve only got about five months for the contest), storage purposes (7″ square), and because I plan to cut more as kits for my miniatures club or other miniaturists.

Several days of measuring, researching, and sketching led to this:

Obligatory pencil and ruler to indicate I was being industrious.

Obligatory pencil and ruler to indicate industriousness.

This old handbook of Hawaiian architecture was a superb reference, and I never realized they had planned Lahaina (one of the major towns on Maui) so thoroughly. Plotting the funky angled roof just about did me in, but Pythagoras helped me out.

Several evenings with Illustrator and it turned into this:


Well, this is actually version 2.0, but you get the idea.

A couple of weeks later, it turned into this:

Those sharks at Ponoko have good aim.

Those sharks at Ponoko have good aim.

Unable to stand the suspense, I enthusiastically peeled off the protective masking tape like a kid at Christmas (it keeps the laser from burning the wood as much, and you can see the difference it makes in the photo). The bungalow fit together like a dream, but some blue tape helped:

Fuzzy “top secret” photo.

Here’s what she’ll look like, minus the door, window frames, etc., which will be part of the final kit. The walls are 1/8” birch plywood and the finer parts are 1/16”. Since the plantation bungalow has a basic style, my hope is people can take the kit and without too much work, turn it into a beach house, a Japanese tea house, etc.

I did meet my original deadline, but decided to make some improvements on the design (steeper roof pitch, more interlocking pieces, moved windows, etc.) and I just put in the new order today. So instead of building the house first, I’m working on the furniture for the time being.

Aloha and Mahalo!