Dutch engineer Johan Von Konowhas created a stunning gingerbread house – but instead of using traditional techniques he used a 50W laser engraver with a simple CAD program! Johan first created an “accurate, miniature 3D representation of his summer house in a CAD program” before turning the laser onto large blocks of gingerbread. Well, it beats using simple cooking utensils.

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Johan then used a laser to sculpt the gingerbread blocks and score the icing to add the finishing touches. Speaking about the project, Johan said: “This also eliminated the risk of warping the parts during baking in the oven. To get even thickness, 2mm distances were added to the edges on the baking roller. The dough was placed on sheets of PTFE (Teflon) and then rolled to large sheets of 2mm thickness. After baking the sheets become approximately 4mm.”

“It was quite easy to cut out the parts; I set the laser to 80% for the cut out lines and 20% for the decoration lines. These lines did not cut all the way thru and were used as guide for the frosting. Even for the cut out lines the laser didn’t go all the way thru, but it was easy to snap of the parts. The biggest problem with the cutting was the smell. Lasers tend to create a lot of smoke, and this one was worse than usual. It was something between burned cake and burned hair… After tasting a piece of the left over we become aware that this house is never going to be eaten!”

So there you go – despite the use of futuristic kitchen equipment, the strength of the laser rendered the entire project uneatable! Here’s hoping Johan perfects the strength of the laser and the process for the New Year.

+ Johan von Konow