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This Instructable shows how to make a nice cachepot using the free MakerCase Software to design a birch wood casing ready for laser cutting.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:

  • Aluminium bottle, outside diameter 59mm
  • Jar lid, outside diameter between 65 and 70mm
  • 3mm Baltic Birch wood
  • Wood glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Sand paper and/or toothpaste (optional)

Tools:

  • Centering square
  • Surface gauge
  • Circle
  • Dremel with 2,3 mm drill, cutting disk and grinding tool
  • Computer CO2 Laser cutter 40W or Laser cutting Service (e.g. Ponoko.com or Pololu.com)

Step 2: Plan

I wanted a cachepot with a cubical shape. So the diameter of the jar lid (+/-69mm) determines the edge length of the cube.

Using 3mm plywood, the outside dimensions of the cube are 76x76x76mm.

The diameter of the hole is equal to the diameter of the bottle, 59mm.

Step 3: The Plant Pot

The plant pot is made out of a recycled aluminium (beer)bottle.

First, with the surface gauge, draw a line around the bottle at a height of 76mm. Mind to put the bottle on the Jar lid.

Then cut off the top of the bottle. I used a vice to hold the Dremel at the right height while turning the bottle on its own axis.

Now, prepare the bottom with masking tape to keep the compass and later the drill bit in place. With the centering square and the circle, mark all the drill holes.

Use the Dremel to drill the 2.3mm holes. Remove the masking tape and use the grinding tool to smooth the edges.

Et voilà ! Your plant pot is ready!

Step 4: Create the Design of the Cachepot

The design of the cachepot, which is actually a box, is easy to realize with the MakerCase software (makercase.com).

On their website, fill out the first page as showed in the pdf File.

Then double click on the Top face and provide the informations to create the hole for the plant pot.

Now your design is ready and you can save it for later use by clicking on "Save model".

To create the plan, click on "Generate Laser cutter Case Plans".

A new window opens that shows the plan of your box.

You are given several options to set up the file according to your laser cutter, the material and the software you are using with the Laser cutter.

MakerCase proposes default values.To be sure take a look at the Using guide of your Laser cutter or at the website of your Laser cutting Service. A general setup suitable for all Laser cutters, materials and software can not be given.

Finally, download your plan and you will get an SVG File (Vector drawing) ready to use.

To make additional changes to your drawing you can use Inkscape, a free and easy to handle software with many tutorials available on the web.

Step 5: Assembling

Now you have 6 pieces to put together like a Puzzle.

Note: If you don´t like the burn marks around the edges you can sand the wood or try to remove them with toothpaste. Anyway the wood stays cleaner when you apply on both faces painter´s tape like Scotch-Blue Painters Tape, before cutting.

Put your pieces like showed on the photo and apply some wood glue.

The top face should be removable so it needs no glue.

Attach all pieces with masking tape till the wood glue is dry.

In the meantime you can fill the plant pot with soil and the plant you like.

After removing the masking tape you can protect the birch wood with wood oil if you want.

Close the cachepot and place the plant pot in it.

Ready ! A simple but nice decoration piece for your home or workspace.

<p>That looks great! You definitely have my vote.</p>
Many thanks!

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