Laser cutting is widely used by industrial designers and mechanical engineers as a rapid modeling tool. However, designing and fabricating laser cut assemblies can be a complex and tedious process, especially for novice designers. Joinery, the system described in the Instructable, was developed to facilitate the generation of customizable joints for laser cut assemblies.

Through Joinery, designers simply define connections between part edges in the assembly, while the system generates the joints. This system offers six different joint profiles for a variety of material and design needs.

Access Joinery here: clementzheng.github.io/joinery. At this moment, the system runs best on Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Safari users have reported numerous bugs during export which I have yet to address.

Since this is a fairly long Instructable, here is a table of contents if you know what you are looking for!

  1. Why use Joinery?
  2. Interface overview
  3. Preparing SVG files
  4. Defining joints
  5. Creating and applying joint profiles
  6. Modifying joints
  7. Modifying joint profiles
  8. Exporting joint profiles
  9. Exporting designs
  10. Joint profiles overview

Step 1: Why Use Joinery?

Joinery tackles the task of joint design and generation for laser cut assemblies. We understand that designers might want to rapidly evaluate their ideas with physical models, especially early on in the design process. However, we discovered that drawing joints for laser cut assemblies can be a tedious, trial-and-error process.

Joinery tackles joint design between different parts of an assembly. It takes a two-dimensional pattern (as a SVG file) and creates joints from connections which you define between edges. This two-dimensional pattern could be a digital drawing from Illustrator or Inkscape; or, it could be deconstructed parts from a 3D model via tools like 123D Make or Pepakura.

Joints generated by Joinery are customizable based on a set of parameters. They can be modified and updated efficiently in response to fabrication or design changes. This aims to mitigate the effort required to manually edit each joint to achieve a better fit, for example.

<p>i don't know what the hecking flip this is, but when I find out i am going send my father who is the top of his class in the navy seals and he will come and destroy this group as he pummels everyone in his fury. I will find out who this is, what this is, and everyone will remain safe.<br><br>Also love this one! I favorited :)</p>
<p>Is there a limit on the size of a path? I'm working on large sculpture that needs to be jointed. For small boxes the program works, but when I load a large object it doesn't want to set joints. I can hand off a SVG file. </p>
Sure, send it to me and I can check. There shouldn't be a limit, I'm guessing it's some other bug that I have not addressed.
<p>Sent you a message!</p>
I recreated my project using chrome. Everything works now. Might want to tell people not to use safari.
I am using Safari. When I export svg I am taken to a new safari page showing my project I tried to save as pdf but it doesn't capture my entire project only the side of mine square. When I try to save project i get the page of gibberish. I am never able to change type of file to svg or joinery. Its a pain but will try using chrome.
<p>I also have issues having software recognize the edge of my square I created a rectangle in Inkscape, saved as SVG, imported 2 into joinery. I select 'set joints' and hover over all/any sides of square , nothing happens. Help</p>
I suspect you were using the rectangle tool, which creates a svg object. Joinery unfortunately only recognize paths (). Try using the pen tool to draw the rectangle.
<p>you are absolutely right will try the pen!</p><p>thanks!</p>
<p>thanks for all your help - now I am trying to save the project and export.If I try to save it I receive a page of this </p><p>{&quot;SVGString&quot;:[&quot;\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n image/svg+xml\n \n \n \n \n \n </p>
<p>Are you using safari? I encountered a bug where safari will not begin a download, displaying the file as a string of text on the page instead. I suggest using a browser like Firefox or Chrome.</p><p>To fix the issue with Safari, the workaround right now is to copy the string of text and paste it is a text editor. If you are exporting a project, change the file extension to &quot;.joinery&quot;. If you are exporting an svg, change the file extension to &quot;.svg&quot;.</p><p>Hope that helps.</p>
<p>Please send me a link to your svg file (or, paste the svg code here) so I can understand what might be the issue. </p><p>Thanks for trying it out!</p>
<p>Looks great. Have to give it a shot. Pepakura lacks that control of joinery.</p>
Top tip for anyone else slightly baffled:<br>Download the zip file from Github to your desktop, then extract it, then open &quot;index.html&quot; inside the extracted folder. <br>This software runs in your browser as javascript.
Thanks! Alternatively you can just run it from the link included in the introduction, without downloading the whole package. clementzheng.github.io/joinery
<p>Wow! Just amazing work! Thanks you so much!<br>I will vote for you!</p>
<p>I'm going to a Fablab thursday to try their laser cutter, so this is awesome timing.</p><p>But could you provide a working SVG-file for your cube example? I'm using Inkscape, converting objects to paths, breaking paths and breaking them apart, but Joinery does not recognize the units nor the paths to make joins.</p><p>A working SVG-file might give me some clues to figure it out.</p><p>Best regards and thanks<br>Stefan</p>
<p>Step 3 now has sample files for both SVG and a joinery project.</p>
Most awesome, good Sir :-)<br>I will take a look as soon as I get home from work. Thank you.
<p>I just rolled out an update for Joinery which I think should address the problem you are facing. But in any case, Step 3 now has sample files for you to use.</p>
<p>Hi, love the software but experiencing problems setting joints. For some reason when I try to mouse over the path the software does not recognize it as a valid path.</p><p><br>Attached is a link to the joinery file, as well as the svg files and the dxf files all zipped into 1 file.</p><p>https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5MY5sAS4es_TWxzYzg3VXY0U1U</p><p>Below is a description of the process that got me to this point.</p><p>I created the dxf files in Fusion 360. Then used an online convertor (http://www.dxfconverter.org/) to convert the dxf into svg. Then loaded 3 svg files into Joinery (Carry Plate.svg, Vertical Plate.svg and Horizontal Plate.svg). Lastly I tried to set joints, which is where the error is coming from.</p>
<p>Hello! Thanks for trying it out. I had a look at your SVG files and noticed a few issues:</p><p>1) The paths in the SVG document are all in a group. See the picture attached. For joints to be set in Joinery, you need to make sure that those lines are ungrouped.</p><p>2) I noticed that the different edges of your design were not separated. Try using Adobe Illustrator if you have access to it and follow the guidelines in step 3.</p><p>I am working on an update to Joinery right now to address the problems that you are facing. I'll let you know when an update has been rolled out!</p>
<p>An excellent resource. I use the finger joint box to &quot;teach tolerance&quot; in my high school lab. This will take us to a whole new level. I am looking forward to mastering the process.</p>
<p>Tolerances and fittings are a complicate concept to teach. I think students learn best by actually making (and failing). Hope this tool will come in handy at your lab!</p>
<p>Had aquick look but haven't really used it yet (long day, time for bed...), but I had to write and say this looks simply awesome, I think I'm going to have some fun with it!</p><p>I'm going to add a link in my Instructable, which I hope will become a master reference of (free) laser cutter design tools:</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Laser-cut-Box-Generators/">https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ultimate-Guide...</a></p><p>If there are other free tools that you are aware of that might be useful to share, I'd love to hear about them.</p>
<p>The link you posted is an awesome resource! Thanks!</p>
<p>Extremely nice. I'll be trying this out on my Silhouette and Cameo cutters. Thanks for creating this.</p>
Thanks! I'm curious to see how they turn out with a knife plotter. I do not have access to one so it has only been laser cutting for me thus far.
<p>Amazing! Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for making this available.</p>
<p>This is very valuable information, thank you very much!</p>
<p>Looks great. I will definitely be taking a further look into this &amp; figuring it out. Thanks for sharing.</p>
Thanks, I'll gladly take any feedback to improve this!
I've shared this Instructable (along with your software) over on a few Google+ laser related communities who will hopefully bring you plenty of users to provide more feedback.<br><br>See: K40 Laser Cutting Engraving Machine (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/118113483589382049502)<br><br>See: LaserWeb/CNCWeb, open source Laser Software Community (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/115879488566665599508)
<p>Nice, thanks a lot!</p>

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