Cut out boxes and other stuff with a laser cutter

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An (Online) Box Generator for laser cutters.

  • Boxespy is an online box generator
  • Boxespy is an Inkscape plug-in
  • Boxespy is library to write your own
  • Boxespy is free software licensed under GPL v3+
  • Boxespy is written in Python 3

    Boxespy comes with a growing set of ready-to-use, fully parametrized generators. See for the full list.


    Of course the library and the generators allow selecting the "thickness"
    of the material used and automatically adjusts lengths and width of
    joining fingers and other elements.

    The "burn" parameter compensates for the material removed by the laser. This
    allows fine tuning the gaps between joins up to the point where plywood
    can be press fitted even without any glue.

    Finger Joints are the work horse of the library. They allow edges
    and T connections. Their size is scaled up with the material
    "thickness" to maintain the same appearance. The library also allows
    putting holes and slots for screws (bed bolts) into finger joints,
    although this is currently not supported for the available generators.

    Dovetail joints can be used to join pieces in the same plane.

    Flex allows bending and stretching the material in one direction. This
    is used for rounded edges and living hinges.


    • New Server!

      Florian Festi05/13/2024 at 20:25 0 comments

      As people surely have noticed the web instance was pretty slow at times. The issue was not really too much load but some weird latency or time out problem. As my hackerspace has setup a new server I asked if they would host So now a new instance is available at I added a redirect to the old location so you end up there no matter what. For now this is still in testing. Please report any issues you have here or on the GitHub project. If everything works out fine I will change all the links to the new instance.

      Update: Looks like everything is working fine. I switched over the URL in all places I could think of. So the web instance is now officially move to its new home. Please enjoy the much quicker response times!

    • Personal Backlog

      Florian Festi03/08/2023 at 23:13 1 comment

      Being able to put more time into the project have I looked into my local repository and it is full of half finished projects - most of them new "box" generators. I have been working on getting some of them in shape for inclusion. Additionally there where a few needs that popped up that also needed instant addressing. Funny enough a lot of these new generators come in pairs.

      So I did a roll holder for the kitchen after the old, 3D printed one broke:

      Well, it is mounted to the wall... so a "Wall" variant was needed:

      After finishing both I found another 20% finished holder in my working dir. It is more ambitious with 3 layers on each side that allow locking in the axle by rotating the middle layer. No idea why that didn't get finished. May be one day the two above get a fancy sibling...

      For another project I need to 3D print a small part (yes, I know, heresy) but the filament didn't come with it's own spool. So, I did a spool that can be separated into two parts using the BayonetBox as a basis: 

      And as I was at it it was just too easy not the strip it down to a one piece spool (and then add some fancy reinforcements):

      One generator I started a long time ago was one for generating Tetris blocks. At the time this wasn't that easy and quite a bit of work. Nowadays this is much easier as we have the polygonWall method that gets a list of lengths and angles and handles the rest. There also is a companion method to create all the side walls from the same list. So the only tricky part was getting the lengths right as we do want the walls to be within the perimeter of the block structure. I am optimistic they fit, but I have not yet cut them out. So if you feel adventurous and "need some Tetris blocks in your life" please donate a few good pictures.

      Another "thing" that I started long ago and started over with more than once is my Seven Segments feature. The idea is to use a LED stripe on its side and wind it through the seven segments. So you can create a seven segment display without much soldering or special circuit boards and from semi small to quite big. The obvious use case is a seven segment clock. Both of them are still flagged "unstable". But I am not sure if I get to build one any time soon. So if one brave soul is looking an LED stripe fueled clock project let me know.

      So far my backlog is all but empty and I still have more ideas. I just started with a wire straightener holding two rows of v-groove ball bearings. I have a cryptic font that is mostly finished with each letter is just a few shapes that are only legible when surrounded by a border. I wanted to create a calendar with them, preferably perpetual or even some clever mechanical one. I saw a cube box at the Fablab of the University of Oulu that is cut directly between pieces without creating gaps. And I have a half working one for arbitrary sizes.  I have toyed a bit with flexures and thought about doing a laser cut microscope like the OpenFlexure Microscope although with very different kinematic. And I have a dozen more that are not much more than the first few lines of code and I am not confident enough to publicly admit here.

    • Old News and New News

      Florian Festi02/17/2023 at 10:43 0 comments

      It's been a while since the last proper log entry...

      The last few years were not that great for many things - including But even with things going slow or not moving anywhere for months a lot of changes have piled up over this long time. Also it looks like this year is a lot better and things have actually already picked up speed in December of last year. Not only have I been able to do more but several old and new contributors have shown up and gave the project a very notable boost. To deal with the long backlog of new features and box generators while there is so much new stuff coming in I decide to mix in the old with the new.

      Wall Mounted Boxes and Tool Holders

      After a brief discussion here in the comments in early 2022 I factored and renamed the SlatWall group to WallMounted. While slat walls are fancy not many people have them. The whole group is only there because a few panels fell into the hands of our hacker space. Now the generators can have different styles of hooks and also work with DIN rails or French Cleats. It is relatively easy to add new ways of hooking the boxes and tool holders to different things. So it you have ideas open a ticket on GitHub - or start a discussion in the comments below.

      There are also few new generators in this group:

      • SlatWallPinRow allows you to hang stuff on the wall.
      • WallStairs allows you to design your own tool holders.

      and I recently added a few more sample images.

      On the search for the right box generator

      Caleb Crome is one of our new and very prolific contributors. One theme of his work is making finding the right box generator easier. He wrote a Gallery page that shows all sample images side by side for a quick overview.

      The second, complementary new feature is a search field on the menu page. It shows all matching box generators and matches the English name but also the translated name and short description. This is all done with some - not even too complicated - Java Script magic directly in the browser.

      A third feature is not merged yet. It will allow getting or adding QR codes with a link and settings of a generated box. That way it is easier to pass the settings around with a mobile phone or to figure out how to get the drawing from an already laser cut piece.

      These new features are not all Caleb has done so far. Prepare to hear more from him as soon as we get into new generators.

    • Server Health Improvements

      Florian Festi01/09/2023 at 15:35 0 comments

      The last few months complaints about poor performance and an increasing number of 502 errors have been piling up. The later were especially puzzling as it means there is a problem in the communication between the web server and uwsgi instance in the container. While there was some load on the machine everything looked fine at the first glance and there was nothing in the logs that hinted at a bug.

      At the same time there were similar complaints for the web2py application that runs on the same machine. Well, actually this thing is a VM that runs on a server of a friend of a friend that does a few other things and is only maintained to the bare necessity. When I put there the question I asked myself was not "How do I host the greatest box generator on the internet?" but "Now that I hacked argparse to produce web pages how can I show this to a few people?"

      Over the holidays I had time to look a bit deeper. Turns out the web2py app offers the data with different sorting and filtering and a horde of web crawlers eating it all up. Adding a robots.txt got rid of them and dropped the load from 0.7 to below 0.1. I may loosening this up a bit in the future but for now I just banned bots completely - including from

      Looking at the logs from it was very apparent that there are even more connections coming in. Most of them of course are these nice pop-up images in the menu. While I still didn't have access the the main machine it dawned on me that the instance probably gets throttled down due to too many request. This would create timeouts and though the 502 errors. To fix that I moved all the pictures to the GH (documentation) pages and adjusted the links to point there. As this would be very annoying for people that run locally (me) this change affects the wsgi mode only. Yes, the boxesserver should grow a config file for things like that but I just couldn't be bothered.

      So performance has notably improved and I hope you all can now create your boxes without seeing 502 error messages. Looking into the access log it turns out there are quite  a lot of you. There are tens of thousands of request per day - even with the pictures moved elsewhere. This is kinda cool but also kinda scary...

    • It's all Fun and Games...

      Florian Festi10/23/2020 at 17:29 0 comments

      ...until someone makes an insert for Agricola - then it is even more fun ... and even more games:

      Kudos to Guillaume Collic who wrote this master piece. I especially like how he made use of already existing code and pieces and combines them with new edges types and new ideas. It re-uses the Divider Tray and regular boxes but combines them with new solutions like cutouts to make gripping the tiles easier. A very neat idea (but a bit difficult to see in the picture) are the sliding dividers in the trays for the wooden pieces. They are prevented from tumbling around by small triangular feet but are otherwise free to move left and right depending on how much space is needed in the compartments.

      The two box types holding the tiles clearly deserve to get a generator on their own. Guillaume already has ticket opened to make it easier to re-use complete generators by others. Splitting these boxes out might be a good exercise to create the infrastructure still missing.

      If you are on your way to your laser cutter you should probably stick to the default material thickness of 3mm or something close. While not stated in the generator description I have the suspicion that adding too much width with thicker material might end up with an insert that cannot be - well - inserted into the box.

      Inserts and organizers for board games is a very welcome new topic in the I hope at some point we can make this a category in the UI and rescue this gem from the "Misc" section. I have the hope that Guillaume may contribute some more. But may his works also inspires others. The more pieces and features there already are the easier such task becomes. 

    • New Boxes For Your Electronics Projects

      Florian Festi05/21/2020 at 12:32 0 comments

      Often just a generic box is just not enough, but you need something that can house the electronics of your project. The ElectronicsBox was the first variant with this in mind. But in the end it is just a box meant to be bolted down and screwed shut:

      QuitButton needed something else: A housing with a slanted front to mount a LCDisplay and a few buttons.

      As a first stop gap solution (other than just turning a pentagon box on it's side) I implemented Console using the relatively new polygonWall() code that turns a list of lengths and angles into a side wall. The actual win here is that there is a .polygonWalls() method that is rendering all the walls between the sides. The result is still a bit simple, but  at least has the right shape:

      But as with a lot of other boxes there is a severe lack of lockable doors or hatches. And while non rectangular finger joints are cool they are rather distracting around the front panel.

      So here is an improved Console2:

      There are a few variants. You can choose with or without removable back wall, with or without removable front panel and the front panel - as seen here -  clean and glued or attached with finger joints on the sides.

      The panel is held in place by spring loaded tabs:

      The two tabs per side and both springs being one single, laser cut piece.

      The back wall is hooked in at the bottom and has two flush latches at the top:

      The latches are made small enough that they cannot be opened or closed by hand but need a small tool like a screwdriver. This is on purpose to avoid people accidentally sticking their fingers into the electric parts inside. To prevent the latches from opening they have an integral leaf spring and a very small recess that locks them in place when closed. This way they can only be re-opened when pressed in a little bit against the spring.

    • on

      Florian Festi05/20/2020 at 19:48 2 comments is the German speaking IT news site. The Heise publishing house also issues the Make magazine. So via the Make news feed this article in German (translated by Google) made it to get global feed at

      There is nothing in the article regular readers of this project log don't already know about. But getting this level of exposure is quite nice and made my day.

      Herzlich Willkommen an alle Heise-Leser!

    • New Back End

      Florian Festi05/20/2020 at 08:23 0 comments

      So the new back end is finally merged into the master branch. If you update your own installation you need to install the affine Python module which is available both via pip but also in most distributions. Cairo is no longer needed. This should make installation on Windows much easier.

      The SVG produce by the new back end is also much better than the old one. Artifacts like repeated moves are filtered out and the outline of parts is much more continuous. The weird inverted arcs in inner corners are - for the most part - replaced with smooth Bezier loops. This should reduce acceleration in the corners and allow for faster cutting.

      I am still pondering whether it is worth adding a native DXF back end. While there is only very few commands needed by the format does not look like fun. I am also scared that it won't support the text the way we might need. For now the output still uses pstoedit for converting to DXF.

    • Test new Python backend!

      Florian Festi04/06/2020 at 10:06 0 comments is using the Cairo graphics library to generate SVG and PostScript (which is then converted to more formats with pstoedit). This has always been a pain. There is little control over the actual output. Getting the library to run on Windows is a real pain and creates a continuous stream of tickets, questions and complaints.

      So there has always been the thought of replacing Cairo with something else. But thoka finally put in the work to put together a native Python backend. After me not finding the time to take care of the PR for much too long it is now ready to be tested. Please check out

      Beside not needing Cairo it has the following improvements:

      • Continues outlines for most parts
      • Better grouping within the SVG file
      • Improved burn correction with inner corners now being a loop instead of changing direction twice

      Other changes

      • Text rendered as text not as glyphs
      • <deleted>No use of hlines and vlines (yet)</deleted>

      Please test with you tool chain and report issue back. Either here as comments or in the GitHub PR or a new ticket.

      If you want to test locally there is a nocairo branch in the main repository.

      Thank you!


      Turns out I had to redo the text "rendering". The text was never that well thought out as is not a word processor. I now do know much more about PostScript and it's font system than I ever wanted...

      To give the code more exposure I now moved the main instance ( to the nocairo branch. The Cairo back end is still available at . But I expect to call the new back end final and ditch Cairo completely soon - if there are no major issues popping up. 

    • A story

      Florian Festi03/01/2020 at 12:06 0 comments

      Looking at tickets on GitHub is not always fun. They are full of bugs and missing features people stumbled across and ideas that are not bad enough to ignore but not good enough to work on right away.

      But from time to time there are stories that unfold in there that are too good to be forgotten in a closed ticket. So I am putting this one here:

      In the beginning there is a need for a box - a cash box. And there is an idea how it should look like:

      And there even are some plans - although not quite in the right size:

      So the question arises if there is a generator that can already do this. Well, sort of. There is the RoundedBox and it probably can be extended to get similar results.

      But as so often that's a bit too involved for a mere mortal. So Inkscape is called to the rescue instead:

      with green being from, the red added to get the results in blue.

      And the final box is looking gorgeous:

      That's just to good be stay a one-off. Actually extending the RoundedBox wasn't that hard. Half of the patch is just increasing the opening on top/front for the new style. Of course the real work is done in the parts (RoundedPlate and SurroundingWall) that make up the box and need to learn about the new feature. So this could have been a nice show case how easy it is to extend the library. Unfortunately these parts are both pretty old and only used at few places. So there is a bit of refactoring and a few tweaks and bug fixes needed to make this all work eventually:

      The keen observer may have noticed that the edge type of the SurroundingWall has changed from "F" to "f" making the top and bottom a bit more sturdy as the corner holes don't continue into the sides. Otherwise this is very close to the Inkscape version.

      Thanks to bwente for the work and inspiration to finally do this!

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    Keith wrote 05/16/2024 at 15:25 point

    Would be very nice if you could add to ABox a setting to change the material thickness for the bottom, independently of the rest of the box. When using 12mm material, it is not necessary to use 12mm also for the bottom. Cheers

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Yaroslav Zaklynskyi wrote 02/10/2024 at 19:02 point

    Hi, thank you for the great job you did!
    The generator does the job. 

    Today I used it to create a kind of box rig to place the external laptop monitor on it. 

    It would be awesome to have a live preview mode to understand how the different options affect the result. It takes some time to generate a new preview, download, and check it (or open in a new tab). 

    Thanks again!

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 02/15/2024 at 20:38 point

    The Inkscape plugin has a preview if you can get that to work. You might not, though. But you can try MightyScape:

      Are you sure? yes | no

    zifnab69 wrote 12/17/2023 at 16:41 point

    I have a bug in the box generator. Where can i send photos of the problem ?

    thank you

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 12/23/2023 at 10:21 point

    Please open an issue in the GitHub project (Top link on the left side). You can attach images there. But adding the link to the result is often even more helpful.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    meximedia0 wrote 11/02/2023 at 00:24 point

    hi im very glad with the proiect, and i have an ask, i want to know if is possible add a optoion to make a 3d boxes like letters or figures

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 12/23/2023 at 10:32 point

    There isn't something finished yet. I do have an unfinished generator for letters locally but it only has the simple letters and is still missing quite a few letters.

    On an API level there is polygonWall() that allows you to draw a shape from lines and arcs and polygonWalls() that draws the walls between the front and back shape.

    See or the HeartBox as an simple example

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Jonruiter wrote 09/03/2023 at 22:52 point

    I am having a problem with the TrayLayout designs - the holes in the bottom panel are not big enough to fit the fingers from the interior dividers.   All the edge fingers fit well, but not so on the bottom panel.  Is anyone else seeing this?

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 12/23/2023 at 10:34 point

    If they are too narrow your material thickness and/or burn correction is not correct. Especially the material thickness won't show up on edge finger joints. Make sure to measure your material and don't rely on the nominal value.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    cehugues wrote 08/31/2023 at 11:16 point


    tout d'abord merci pour ce site qui permet de faire beaucoup de création.

    je souhaiterai proposer une amélioration sur le site,

    ça serrai bien de pouvoir générer une boite ronde en bois flexible avec un couvercle,

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 12/23/2023 at 19:28 point

    Not 100% sure what kind of box you are looking for but there is the RoundedBox ( It still needs two straight sections of side wall to hold bottom and top together, though.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    nilouth wrote 08/27/2023 at 08:38 point

    can anyone explain to me why I am getting an <_io.TextIOWrapper name='/var/folders/9h/65ctz95j25g6fypfgby_mr400000gn/T/' mode='r' encoding='UTF-8'> error whenever I try to generate a box ? (running on MacOS Ventura w/ innkscape 1.3)

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 08/31/2023 at 09:24 point

    For everyone wondering: Issue was that didn't didn't find the boxes executable - probably due to the PATH variable not being passed by Inkscape. Hard coding the the path of the boxes utility in "fixed" the issue.  

      Are you sure? yes | no

    beaver.cavern wrote 04/05/2023 at 12:44 point

    There seems to be a error in the DisplayShelf generator. The Shelf and Front Shelf are 2 wood thickness too long. In my design I had no shelf division, may be that is a lead to look into.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 04/06/2023 at 20:22 point

    Did you check the "outside" box?

      Are you sure? yes | no

    beaver.cavern wrote 04/06/2023 at 20:53 point

    I did. I should have mentioned that the wall and tray width were different by the amount of two panel thickness. 

    Also looking at the generated panels, the width different is noticeable. Can I send you the QR code?

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 04/07/2023 at 08:38 point

    You can just post the link to the generated SVG here.

    Edit: Ok, found it. The "outside" correction just does nothing. I was going to change the generator to use a sx parameter anyway to allow for arbitrary sections. Will fix this while doing that.

    Edit2: OK; this was just too easy to fix. Should work now.

    Edit3: Uses sx param now. Was all a lot easier than I thought.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    beaver.cavern wrote 04/07/2023 at 15:47 point

    Thanks for the correction

      Are you sure? yes | no

    datazaShane wrote 03/30/2023 at 08:08 point

    Is it possible to include a template for making an open-top box with slanted sides? 

    Either all sides have the same angle or each side has a different angle.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 04/01/2023 at 17:42 point

    There was not. I just finished up which allows to turn the RegularBox into a pyramid stump. It's not tested yet. If you feel brave you can try it out and report back. May be even attach a pictures at

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Matthiasheyer89 wrote 03/14/2023 at 11:37 point

    Is it Possible to make a Template to get Pyramids or truncated pyramid (or UpsideDown trun. Pyramids) for like Vases oder Pencil Holder. Closed and/or with different bottom Joints.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 03/15/2023 at 21:31 point

    There currently isn't. IIRC there is still an issue with finger joints with acute angles. There actually is a PR for the RegularBox that I haven't touched in much too long.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 04/08/2023 at 09:16 point

    With now finished RegularBox can be turned into a pyramid stump.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    tim wrote 02/14/2023 at 12:37 point

    i am wanting to make a teared display stand, similar to the drill stand in misc, but shelves set at the same depth. sort of a hybrid between drill stand and display shelf,. is this possible?

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 02/14/2023 at 13:49 point

    Have a look at the WallStairs generator in WallMounted. That's not quite what you are asking for but probably the closest.

    An alternative could be using a DrillStand and glueing shelves on top - may be even L-Beams from "Parts and Samples"

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 02/14/2023 at 13:59 point

    If those options aren't good enough please open a ticket on GitHub with a description and (if possible) a sketch. Pencil scribbles are good enough.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    tim wrote 02/15/2023 at 01:44 point

    awesome! Thank you very much for your reply and suggestions! I'll give it a crack today! 

      Are you sure? yes | no

    noel hanback wrote 02/14/2023 at 02:07 point

    Heart box generator broken, no matter what measurements are used you get:

     "An error occurred! list indices must be integers or slices, not float"

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 02/14/2023 at 13:44 point

    Fix in polygonWall: Make sure callback indexes are int

    Thanks for reporting!

    Also fixed placements of the heart parts.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Dick wrote 01/15/2023 at 14:32 point

    I must be doing something wrong, No matter which box I try the tabs are always wider than the slots.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Florian Festi wrote 01/16/2023 at 09:27 point

    There are two values that you have to choose correctly: thickness and burn. Make sure you measure your material and don't rely on the nominal thickness. the burn value depends on both your laser cutter and the material used. There is a BurnTest generator in "Parts and Samples" to help figuring out the right value.

    Another possibility is that your tool chain messes up the sizes. Check the reference box to see if the scaling of the drawing is OK.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Daniel wrote 11/12/2022 at 21:04 point

    Somehow I'm too clumsy to generate the universal box appropriately. top_edge=i, pinwidth=0.5, thickness=3.9

    The rectangular cutouts in the disks are too small to accommodate the lid's pins. The dimensions shown for the crop in LightBurn are 3.203 x 3.727. How is a 3.9 mm thick material supposed to fit in there?
    Am I doing something wrong?

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Bob the Builder wrote 11/10/2022 at 09:32 point

    For those that are interested, I made a cutlery holder yesterday. It is in the "Unstable" section. Be aware that the vertical fingerjoint holes/slots that connect handle section and internal dividers to the outside wall are too low by the material thickness used. I used 3.3mm for material, and they were too low by the same amount. Other than that little issue, it works great. 

      Are you sure? yes | no

    Bob the Builder wrote 11/09/2022 at 01:15 point

    Many thanks for fixing the error on the universal boxes. Works great now.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    stujen65 wrote 11/03/2022 at 06:35 point

    Thanks I checked it and now the error is fixed, it is working again. I appreciate your efforts :)

      Are you sure? yes | no

    josedj wrote 10/30/2022 at 12:40 point

    buenas , tengo un problema al crear cualquier caja al pasarlo al lightburn las piezas que deberían encajar no lo hacen ya que las medidas no son buenas , quería saber como es posible esto

      Are you sure? yes | no

    leroy wrote 10/28/2022 at 07:11 point

    I use your program to make stuff, I like it very much. I do have one comment on the dice box though. There is too much wasted space. I like the idea of it, however it is a lot of room for just one set of dice. I made cardboard boxes with your program to hold my dice . Most gamers have multiple sets. If I made a box for each of them (I have around 40 sets) I don't know where I would be able to store them. Thank you for listening and making the program.

      Are you sure? yes | no

    skippy wrote 10/25/2022 at 16:13 point

    Love - thanks a lot for your work.

    Just wanted to say, I have the same issue like below with StorageShelf:
    The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.The proxy server could not handle the request GET /

      Are you sure? yes | no

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