Introduction: Building a Tiny City Landscape From Scrap (wood)

Picture of Building a Tiny City Landscape From Scrap (wood)

While working on another project, we were producing lots of plyboo scraps (a plywood made of bamboo). We had to find something to do with all the wood... I've decided to create this tiny city landscape. The fun part was that it took less than 24 h from the time I started drawing the images on the computer until the time it was done. I used the Desktop Shopbot at the Techshop ( to cut the images. 

Step 1: Preparing the Sketches

Picture of Preparing the Sketches

I like to make my sketches using Flash. Not sure why. I drew one car and one building and then used them to create the rest. I saved the file as .ai file, although I had to re-save it using AI so that the Vcarve program would be able to read it.
On Vcarve I created a new file, with the dimensions of my wood scrap, and then imported the new ai file. I scaled all the little things using the scale tool in Vcarve, and alined them to fit to the shape of my wood, and also the plyboo's fiber direction. 
I used 1/8 inch bit to cut all the shapes, including the tree's fruits, and 1/16 to cut the buildings' windows. It takes ages to cut the windows, but the corners are quite accurate and beautiful. I only cut 0.08 inch deep for the windows, to save some time, and also it looked nicer than deeper cuts (the entire wood is 0.7 inch). 
Do not forget to set enough tabs (two for the buildings, one for the rest). 

Step 2: Cutting!

Picture of Cutting!

We used a neil gun to attach the wood to the Desktop Shopbot table. It seems like a good solution for these small pieces of wood. 

Step 3: Done!

Picture of Done!

One of the advantages of working with plyboo is that with a thin bit you don't really need to sand the wood - it looks great as is. 5 minutes sanding with a belt sander and you're done, including the tabs.
I still plan to sand it with a fine sanding paper. I think.  


Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-01-17

Oooh, fun! I like how you did the windows in the buildings :) You should enter this into the Holiday Gifts Contest!

nemalim (author)2013-01-09

thanks! I think it took less than 30 minutes to cut all buildings, cars, etc., and about an hour to make the windows. but I wasn't very efficient - next time I'll make the windows' pockets with the bigger bit (1/8''), and then finish them with the smaller one (1/16'').

controlledwrinkles (author)2013-01-08

P.S. I like the buttons you've got on your website, they are whimsical and made me smile.

controlledwrinkles (author)2013-01-08

Nice use of scraps, how long, did it take you do do each city?

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