Personal Backlog

A project log for

Cut out boxes and other stuff with a laser cutter

florian-festiFlorian Festi 03/08/2023 at 23:131 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.


Sandra Kuipers wrote 04/01/2023 at 05:07 point

Amazing work on! I am a design teacher and have been using it to help my students create their own boxes with the school's laser cutter :) I'm also a board gamer and these come in quite handy to make game inserts. I wonder if you have any plans in your backlog to make a trough-shaped box? It'd be essentially the same as a U box, but with square ends to support itself, and possibly dividers in the middle. I've looked at the script but can't quite make heads or tails of it. Here's an example:

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