Bamboo Fruit Bowl





Introduction: Bamboo Fruit Bowl

This beautiful bowl is made of 20 layers of laser-cut bamboo tied together with copper wire.

I am posting it as an entry for the "Epilog Challenge". It is a "green" product in that the design makes minimal use of materials.

Step 1: Laser Cutting

I had the bowl laser-cut by Ponoko out of a single sheet of bamboo. It is made of 20 rings. On the sheet they are concentric and there is no space between them. The only part not used is the rectangular surround.

Step 2: Assembly

I took the rings off their sticky backing and stacked them up, rotating every other one by 90 degrees.

Step 3: Fastening

Each ring has four tiny holes through it. I tied the adjacent rings together by threading 20-gauge copper wire through the holes, twisting the ends together, and trimming the excess.

Step 4: That's It!

Here are some more pictures, and some random thoughts about the bowl.

The finished piece is about 33 cm (13 inches) across and 10 cm (4 inches) high. It is made of 20 layers of bamboo, each 5.5 mm (0.22 inches) thick.

I was inspired by some other "minimal waste" bowls available on Ponoko. Just search Ponoko for the word "bowl" and you'll see them.

Here is the "trick" that turns this flat sheet of bamboo into a three-dimensional bowl. The wood is cut into 20 concentric rings. But the rings are not perfectly round (this becomes more obvious as the pieces get smaller). The dimensions are cleverly staggered so that the 6-to-12-o'clock diameter of each piece matches the 3-to-9-o'clock diameter of the next bigger piece. Therefore, when you take them apart and rotate every other piece by a quarter-turn, the left-to-right span of each one overlaps with the top-to-bottom span of the one underneath, so they stack instead of nesting.

The first thing I drew was the profile. I wanted it to have a nice shape.

Isn't it funny that we have this idea of a "bowl" that doesn't have to hold liquid?

The laser *burns* its way through the bamboo. I was smelling the char the whole time I was putting the prototype together. My fingers got dark with carbon.

The burning also creates a two-tone color effect, where all the vertical surfaces of the bowl become coal-dark, while the horizontal surfaces remain bamboo-pale. I did not anticipate this, but I like it very much.

Tying it all together in 40 places is tedious. If the piece went into production I would want to come up with a better method - some kind of rivet, perhaps.



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    Thank you so much for the file and the idea! I went ahead and made my own out of 1/8 inch maple veneer plywood. I added another set of holes and wired it together differently. The wiring is less visible but i think it may allow more flex.
    Please check it out here:


    Thanks for the great feedback and blog post. I agree that the original design is too flimsy—the outer rings of my prototype kept breaking. My second version used thicker material and had fewer rings. Instead of "lacing" it together I used tiny steel dowels that I ordered from McMaster-Carr. It's beautiful. We're still using it in the kitchen.

    OMG!!!! its fruits :O OOOOOOOOO i want one now .w. ~dances around~ WEEEE!!!!!

    This looks great! Where did you get the bamboo sheet?


    Try to make one with the cuts slightly edged to the outside, e,g a diagonal cut, so when you drag the bottom out, it will fasten to the edges!! I have seen this type of cutting in asia!

    I'm not following you. I don't think laser cuts can be angled. . . but maybe that's not what you mean?

    It's awesome! I wonder if you could post the design file for the lasercut. It would help me a lot. Thanks!

    I second this request! Without the design file this is really more of a slide show than an instructable, since we can't recreate your design...

    OK, you talked me into it.