Show and Tell: Laser Cutting Norm’s Wedding Favors

For this week’s Show and Tell, Norm shares the homemade wedding favors that Frank helped make for Norm’s recent wedding ceremony using his Universal Laser Systems cutter. The project was straightforward and simple to execute, and Norm couldn’t be happier with the results!

Comments (21)

21 thoughts on “Show and Tell: Laser Cutting Norm’s Wedding Favors

  1. CO2 lasers are a fantastic tool. I particularly enjoy designing balsa airplane kits with them. I have a giant Chinese laser that I have found is a little overkill for the kind of hobbyist work I do (I should sell it and get a smaller, bench-top laser).

  2. i just build a cheap 2.5 watt laser last week, and it’s kick ass. Could you maybe upload that file? it looks like a fun thing to do since i haven’t used it yet to both engrave and cut the same part.

  3. Are these engraved front and back? If so, did you do, say, an engraving pass on one side, then engrave-and-cut on the other (with super-meticulous registration to make sure everything aligned properly)? Or cut out separate fronts and backs to glue together?

  4. just engraved on the front, since i wasn’t confident I could do the registration properly on my own. but definitely doable with either method you list! i would prefer to cut separate fronts/backs and glue, to avoid potential misalignment.

  5. My preferred method when engraving something on both sides is to have a registration sheet that never moves during engraving.

    First you cut all the blanks to be engraved, and when you cut the final sheet you leave the surrounding sheet material in place. Pick out all the loose pieces, and then use the registration sheet to position the blanks to be engraved just right. Engrave one side, flip them, run the engraving pass again. They should register properly. Only works for symmetrical pieces.

  6. fantastic idea for wedding favours Norm, they look great and I’m sure the guests appreciate the diy aspect,

    When do we get to see the video of Sean 3D printing the little Bride & Groom for the top of the cake ??

  7. I’ve been tempted to get something like one of those chinese laser cutters but the DIY aspect always seems way over my head especially for what feel like a fairly precise machine. I’m always afraid i’ll drop a couple grand on a machine i’ll never get working well.

  8. asymmetrical pieces are easy enough so long as the original object isn’t too big. basically you cut out two holes in the shape of the object you want with one of the holes being a flipped version of the other. then you just have files that have the front and back images off-set to where their corresponding holes are.

  9. It’s a valid concern. If I didn’t feel comfortable with all the technical aspects of upgrading, I certainly wouldn’t try it myself. Having worked extensively with a US-made commercial laser unit (, I understand what’s needed to have a productive workflow on a laser. Search YouTube for “Russ Sadler Sarbar” to see my inspiration… he doesn’t claim to know everything, but his work over the past 18 months has been very informative.

  10. Good call! Even with a jig, front to back alignment is tough. The Glowforge can cut registration marks completely through the work piece that can then be flipped over and aligned in software later, but with a 12″ x 16″ bed (and slower speed), this would have taken a LOT longer to make all of those than the Universal did.

    And we need to do a build project of a custom laser cutter/engraver for, guys! That would be fun!

  11. Congrats on your nuptials Norm (and Danica), best wishes for a great life together. As an occasional 2nd-shooter wedding photographer I see all kinds of weddings favors, but only rarely are they something truly unique. These are awesome!! I love the physical and emotional symbolism these have, what a great gift to give your guests. I wish I was a guest at your wedding.

    (got any leftovers I can buy?)

  12. Custom wedding favours always make a good impression. The 60 guests at my nephew’s wedding each received a handled mason style drinking jar on which I had used my Universal Laser Systems machine to engrave a copy of the graphic design and text from the wedding invitation. The bride’s aunt decorated the jars and filled them with cookies before they were set out for the guests.

    Once a jig was made that would hold 4 mason jars side by side, the engraving process was relatively painless, if a bit time consuming. 72 jars were engraved and shipped from Nova Scotia to California, and 60 arrived intact (one carton appeared to have been kicked while in transit) … but 60 was all that was needed.

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