This is the forth in a series of Instructables on how to use CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) and CAM (Computer Aided Machining)
if you have been following along you should be getting quite good at using prodesktop so there is not as much detail in the photos and we will be focusing more on the design part of the program as engineering drawings and photo album have been covered in the first three instructables.
This project is a simple laser cut box which little kids love to play with, or you can cut it out of clear and use it to display an object.

If you haven't seen project one, take a look as it covers where to get the Prodesktop, how to activate the software,  how to navigate the screen, what you will need and the mouse functions.

Digital Manufacturing - project one Key tag
Digital Manufacturing - project two desk name plate
Digital Manufacturing - project three 3D printed box
Digital Manufacturing - project five printed toy car

As computer tutorials don't translate to text very well, for this series of  instructables most of the info is in the photos. So click on the first photo and use the arrows to go to the next photo. The boxes in the photos show the location of the icons and have have text in them when you hover the mouse on them.

Step 1: Designing the front and end

As a normal box has six sides it may surprise you to know you only really need to design the front and end of the box. The top and bottom just need to be traced.
A couple of things before you start, if you make the box too big, it may not fit on the laser cuter, so think a ahead, will six sides and the lid all fit on the bed of the laser? The other problem with making a large box out of acrylic is the material is not very strong so a large box is more likely to break if it  is dropped or handled roughly.
Also fitting legs to  box will help protect the bottom from scratches and also help the box to sit flat on a surface.

Ok let get started, click on the photo and use the arrows to follow along.
<p>May I suggest a free online open source tool for designing these boxes: <a href="http://makeabox.io/" rel="nofollow">http://makeabox.io/</a> &ndash; i am the author and I am adding new features daily. Would love some feedback! </p>
I love your design! I haven't done any CAD in a long time (since high school) and was wondering if you had a suggestion for a program to use to do this?
Hi Penolopy, I use a free program Pro desktop, which has a link on the<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Digital-Manufacturing-project-one-Key-tag/" rel="nofollow"> key tag project</a><br> A couple of months ago dropbox said that it was generating too much traffic and they disabled it, so I dont know if it will work or not, it still works from my end.<br> If you get stuck let me know and Ill see what i can do. Prodesk top needs to be activated and you can see how to do this in the keytag project. also if you have a new version of windows you will have to fiddle around with &quot;run as xp&quot; and &quot;run as administrator' settings.<br> i use these instructables to teach CAD to high school kids, that why they are in that &quot;slide show&quot; format, and kids get the idea very quickly.<br> thanks

About This Instructable


26 favorites


Bio: Fixer, Finder, Fabricator.
More by liquidhandwash: Graffiti stencil clock or signs How to write a self marking test. Siren Whistle. The most annoying toy ever!
Add instructable to: