This shelving unit was commissioned for the gallery at Autodesk Pier 9 in San Francisco. It was created to showcase a diverse range of maker-style projects made in house by artists, Instructables staff, and Autodesk employees alike. (And the shelving itself had to look cool too.)

I've always liked the appearance of architectural drawings with thin white lineweights, so I came with the idea of making one in steel and plastic. In order to set thin 3D lettering on to a piece of steel and have durability, I cut out paths in the steel with a waterjet machine and inset the lettering.

The choice of the weathered steel and polished stainless was to make it look industrial, but sophisticated. The polished surface also created a reflection that made the shelves 'disappear'.

The text and drawings were copied from my personal notes during the course of building it. I wanted to build the entire unit first, then transcribe my notes on to it. It would be self-referential and pay homage to the process -- a perfect fit for a office full of Makers!

Step 1: Cut and pre drill steel for the frame

I used steel channel (1-1/2in x 1/2in) for vertical spines, and solid rectangle (1in x 1/2in) for the horizontal shelf mounts.
<p>very nice results! how about fitting lights behind the steel panels to light up the letters?</p>
<p>I tried placing lights behind it, but the plastic (HDPE) is too opaque. Any suggestions on a more translucent (and white) material?</p>
lexan or plexiglass? you could give it a white-ish look with a quick sandblast...
<p>WOW!!!!!! ....... just ........ WOW!!!! :)</p>
<p>Very creative use of CNC machines, it will leave many wondering how the explanations of the shelf building was done.</p>
<p>very creative and well executed!</p>
<p>Beautiful! Just curious.... what was the total cost and man-hours involved?</p>
<p>off the top of my head, probably $1700-$2000 in materials. Hours, probably 2-3 days to build the shelves without the lettering, and probably 80-90 hours for the lettering.</p>
<p>Looks tedious, but awesome.</p>
absolutely brilliant