Introduction: Acrylic Moodmonster
Everybody needs a special friend, even if you're alone in your cubicle.
Lots of people liked the original Moodmonster, but I decided that I could do with something both more durable and more practical.
So, just before I lost access to a lasercutter, I decided to create an acrylic pen pot from Moodmonster.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Moodmonster is cut from a sheet of 3mm acrylic, using a desktop-sized laser cutter.
I used black because the choice of colours in the acrylic we had spare was black or a sort of... beige. I didn't think about how hard it would be to photograph a relatively featureless, shiny, black box...
I also used some two-part epoxy, masking tape and a small file.
Step 2: Files
I created the cutting files with software called LaserCAM 2D.
It's not great, but it's the software supplied with the laser cutter, and there was no spare budget for something decent. Still, at least you don't have to draw it yourself...
The MCM files are attached to this step as a zip folder, but I've also made a screen-shot of the file, so you can create your own version in the software of your choice.
Step 3: Cutting
... er, that's it. I cut it.
Follow the guidelines for your laser cutter, but I made sure to leave the protective film on the acrylic during cutting to keep the surfaces clean, then peeled it off just before gluing.
Step 4: Gluing
I pre-fit the parts using masking tape first, and found that all the panels fit fine, but the pegs attaching the arms and tail were a little snug in their slots, but a minute's light filing fixed that.
I unstuck the face panel, glued the joints with some two-part epoxy, then taped it back up again. I did the same with the back panel, and taped that back up as well.
Although the arms and tail were still a good friction-fit, I still added a drop of epoxy to each before I fit it the final time, just to be on the safe side.
You should follow the instructions of the glue you use, but I left mine overnight before taking the madking tape off.
Step 5: Done!
Moodmonster is now ready to stand on your desk and hold pens and what-not.
For these photos, I stood a small candle inside Moodmonster so that his features showed up on camera (black acrylic is an absolute pig to photograph properly!), but that made me think he might also serve as a nightlight, especially if he was cut from translucent acrylic.
Obviously, I'm entering Moodmonster into the lasercutter contest, but with a specific reason in mind; if I win the top prize, I intend to start a small business delivering the "Maker experience" to children in junior and primary schools that cannot afford their own machine.