Laser Cutting

Clearly Mask

For some in our communities wearing a mask means giving up the ability to communicate and understand what others are saying to us.  This mask pattern ensures people can still read your lips while ensuring you maintain the added safety of wearing a face mask.

Thank you the TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) group for making this great pattern available for everyone.

Signature Guide (Laser-Cut)

This Signature Guide is a redesign for the laser cutter of a 3D Printed Assistive Writing Aid that helps people with dyslexia or other disabilities to write on a specific spot for purposes such as writing a name, signature, or initials. This design is the size of a standard ID card so it will fit in a wallet and has 5 different boxes of different sizes.

The original 3D printed version is available here:

Teknet Wireless Keyboard Key-Guard

Keyguard for people with coordination issues. The guard helps the user with dexterity and striking the correct key.

Keyguard for Teknet Wireless keyboard

An acrylic laser cut keyguard that prevents the user from striking the wrong keys. This keyguard build is specific to the Teknet wireless keyboard. This is a quality, wireless, inexpensive ($15 US) that can be purchased online (.
My original design was intended to have a ring or two that acts as a gasket, or spacer around the perimeter of the keys intended to set the height of the keyguard. The face of the keyguard has small holes that allow the user to rest a hand on top without activating any keys. keystrikes occur when the user rotates the hand a the wrist allowing his finger to drop in the hole and make the selection.

Jim Krebbs from HackerLabs Rocklin redesigned and improved my original design as you will see in the photos and the attached dxf file. instead of a spacer ring to lift the tol keyguard to the desired height, his spacers fit in between and around each key. This keeps the guard from smashing down when your hand rests on the guard in the middle. I love the green acrylic. We think it would be helpful for someone with vision needs, helping to visually separate the individual keys.

In another build, Jim laser cut a piece of birch instead of acrylic. It gives it a nice organic appearance. The wood could be decorated with rastering or stained to give it an even nicer appearance.

Laser Cut Eye Gaze Board

An Eye Gaze Communication Board, Gaze Communication Board, or Eye Communication Frame is a simple device to help someone communicate by interpreting eye movements. The eye gaze board is essentially a clear plastic sheet with a hole in the middle. Different locations on the border of the gaze board may have letters, symbols, words, or objects (e.g., food, bathroom, yes, no). The interpreter holds the gaze board between the user and the him/herself and interprets where the user is looking.

This project may be useful for someone with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, or other conditions that impair speech.

This design is a plain frame that is intended to be laser cut using a clear material such as acrylic. Letters, words, or objects can then be attached to customize the board. The board is approximately 454 mm (18 inches) tall and  607 mm (18 inches) wide.

Acrylic case for use with iPad Air2 with or without Proloquo2Go

Proloquo2Go is a communication aid made for the iPad for users who are unable to speak. It uses expressive icons to help its user create messages which are converted into audio messages through a voice synthesizer. Proloquo2Go displays these icons in a matrix form in the middle of the screen with navigation tools along the bottom of the screen. The user builds or creates a message by specifying a sequence of icons which is then read by a voice synthesizer.

The iPad uses a capacitive-touch screen for input. In using Proloquo2Go, the user needs to tap a sequence of icons to build the message. However, for users with limited hand control, it may be difficult to lift the hand/finger after the intended icon is tapped/touched (without sliding onto the adjacent icon). The cut-outs on the top layer of the case exposes only areas in the middle of (the matrix of) icons. The edges of the cut-outs lifts the user’s finger allowing for the icon to be recognized by the software.

A second example is of an open case where the entire usable screen is available for input. Other matrix sizes (3×4, 3×5, etc.) are available but not included here.

The examples shown uses clear 3mm thick acrylic that has been cut using a laser cutter. A total of four layers are used for the case (Layers 0 to 3, with layer 0 being the top layer. NOTE that layer 0 is cut upside-down. Engravings in acrylic are “protected” from environmental elements in this manner.) Layers may be melted or welded together with acrylic solvent cement. Tips: NOTE that it is not recommended to weld the top layer (layer 0) to the other layers. Holes for four screws and locknuts (size 2-56) allows interchangeability of this top layer. ALSO NOTE that layer 2 (next to bottom) contains small pieces that allows access to the power button as well as the “up” and “down” keys for volume control. The feel of the exposed sides of these pieces are intended to be different — for easy tactile differentiation. If layers 1, 2 and 3 are melted together, be sure to include these small piece as it is impossible to insert these in afterwards (without breaking them). These pieces should fit loosely into the slots provided — DO NOT PUT SOLVENT NEAR THESE PARTS! The most difficult part to place is a short piece in layer 2 — between the on/off button and the 3.5mm headphone jack. Use the headphone jack opening in layer 1 to gauge the correct placement of this short piece. Use a clamp or vice to line up the layers for melting. Use the solvent cement sparingly — just a dot at each intersection of surfaces (while clamped) is enough to hold, as the solvent uses capillary action to move between the layers.

Archive of pictures as well as the .dxf files used for cutting parts/layers of the iPad Air2 enclosure (see also Downloadables below):

Lasercut phone document scanner stand

This is a laser-cut wooden box. The user places their phone on top and the document inside the box, then uses their preferred app to read aloud the page to them.
Plastic bumpers are placed on top to guide the user to placing the phone in the correct spot (so the camera is above the hole).

The box is cut out with a CNC laser and made from 6 mm birch plywood.

Laser Cut Keyguards

A keyguard is a thin plate that sits over top of a keyboard or an Alternate and Augmentative Communication (AAC) device. A keyguard may help a user use the keyboard or AAC device more easily and more effectively by helping them press buttons more accurately and helping support their hand or finger to reduce fatigue. Keyguards can also be used with a stylus.

Keyguards may assist individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person’s ability to use natural speech.

A variety of designs are currently available via the Github link below. The designs are for a specific combination of device, case, app, and app configuration. We will continue to add designs and welcome help from other as well. We are working on a system that makes it easier to submit a request for a custom keyguard, and for skilled makers to complete the design for a custom request.


Memory Loss Music Player


This is a simple to build, simple to maintain, and simple to operate music player intended for those experiencing memory loss or those who may have difficulty operating a standard stereo or other music player. It has a simple interface with one knob to control volume and another knob to change song, reminiscent of an old-style radio.

This low cost, electronics project was inspired by the documentary Alive Inside, which shows the profound joy that music can bring to people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory loss related disabilities. The goals of this project are to bring the joy of music to those who have Dementia, Alzheimer and memory loss disabilities and to bring the joy of meaningful giving to makers.


Connect the Dementia Friendly Music player to a power source. Load music on the USB memory stick (works with MP3, iTunes, and Flac) and plug that into the player. Turn the Volume knob to turn on the power and adjust the volume. Turn the Song Knob to go to the next song or a previous song.

Build Instructions

There are several models of the Memory Loss Music Box device, including a model with a 3D printed enclosure and a model with a wood enclosure made with a laser cutter. You can find detailed instruction on how to build one here:

Standard model – bamboo

Standard model of DQ music box made from laser cut bamboo.This is probably the model you want – easy to make, versatile
Use with headphones plugged in the front
Or use with external powered speakers plugged in the front
Vintage cathedral style
Parts: ~$135, or [email protected]$70 in quantity 10+
Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos

Standard model – 3D printed

Picture of standard DQ music box with 3d printed enclosureSame as above, but 3D printed
3D print it yourself or with a friend
Parts: ~$80, or ~$48 in quantity 10+
Thanks to Trey Bagley for designing this case
Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos

Plus model – bamboo

Picture of plus model made of laser cut bamboo. It has one knob for adjusting volume and another knob for change song.Built-in speakers
Looks like a tabletop radio from the 1950s
Not intended for headphones.
Parts: ~$190, or [email protected]$100 in quantity 10+
Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos

Deluxe model – cherry

Picture of the Deluxe model DQ music box made from laser cut cherry. Has built in speakers and a headphone jack. There are two knobs - one for controlling volume and the other for changing song.
Built-in speakers that auto mute with headphones
Parts: ~$250, or [email protected]$135 in quantity 10+
Step by Step Build Instructions with Photos