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Step-by-step tutorial for making laser-craved pumpkins

Oct. 28, 2020

This is inspired by The DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library of Nevada university, where is equipped with many essential resources for people to check out and use. Several years ago, a student came in wanting to see if he could use a laser cutting machine on a pumpkin. And now he comes back every year with his kids to use the laser cutter to design pumpkins. This started a trend of people wanting to use the laser cutter to make designs on pumpkins. And they hold this event every year.


Step-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkins


Step 1: Prepare materials:


Pumpkins: right size for your design and better with a flat surface, easy to be fixed on the working table and can be engraved evenly.

A sharp knife

Tape or something can fix the pumpkin on the working table

A wiping cloth

A spoon: A big spoon or an ice-cream scoop would be better. Hollowing out a pumpkin should be counted as an aerobic exercise.

LED lights or candles

A laser cutting machine


Step 2: Hollow out your pumpkins


Cut out a circular hole at the top of your pumpkin. Use the spoon to scoop out the seed and strings inside.

If you want to cut through the pumpkin, you can scrape away some of the pulp to make the shell thinner. But please be careful to make it evenly and not to break the casing.

You can keep the pumpkin pulp and used it to make a creamy pumpkin soup.


Step-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkins


Step 3: Place your pumpkin and do some tests


Place your pumpkin under the laser beam. You can use tape or cardboard to make sure it won’t roll around. Before you start to laser cut your design, you need to know if the setting is suitable, as each power of the laser is different.

From my own experience, I found that low speed together with high power worked best.


Step-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkins


Step 4: Choose an image and start up the laser


Choose an image or you can draw yours by hand.

As the surface of the pumpkin is round, you need to adjust the laser manually. Also please make sure the size of your design can fit the size of the flat surface of your pumpkin. Think about the light and dark areas of your design — you may want to reverse your image to get the right look. Once you have modified it to your satisfaction, you can let the laser cutter to do the rest work for you!


Step-by-step tutorial for making laser-craved pumpkins


Step 5: Clean the surface of your pumpkin (optional)


On pumpkins, there are some black “kisses” left by the laser cutting machine. You can gently wipe it off with a wet cloth or just leave it there. 

Some people think it adds more scary Halloween flavor to their pumpkins. So it’s up to you. 

For tiny soot, you can clean it with water and a toothbrush.


Step-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkins


Step 6: Light it up!


Finally, put a candle or LED light inside your pumpkin. I personally recommend electric candles. The heights and brightness can meet my requirement of light to show through the flesh of the design. And the flickering glow is the same from real candles.

Replace the lid. Enjoy!


Step-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkinsStep-by-step guide for making laser-craved pumpkins













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