I recently relocated to San Francisco for a 2 month stint as an Artist-in-Residence at Instructables HQ. I carved out a work space in a corner by the entrance, nestled in test servers, ethernet switch-gear and Randy's ever spreading pile of electronics components. After securing a corner to work and a very nice HP Z600 desktop PC to play on this left me with one problem, MY clutter. An expanding sea of small hand tools, stationary and small project parts left me with just one single problem. I had no desk tidy...

With a mix of frustration at my decreasing work space from the spread of tools and envy at the success of colleagues with some of the 123D Make tools, I decided to throw together a quick pencil pot in my preferred CAD software, Alibre Design, and then slice and dice it with a preview version of Autodesk's 123D Make to make it ready to slot together after laser cutting.

Step 1: 3D Design

I started by drawing 40mm x 40mm squares on the XY plane, then extruding them up to different heights. I made one large 80mm x 80mm square at the front to hold paper clips and other small items.

Alibre has a nice tree structure to the way you put together a 3D model. You can skip back and forth between stages of design and add new bits. Once I'd drawn the solid, I used the Shell tool to hollow out each of the uprights to the thickness of the material I'm using. In this case, 1/8" smokey acrylic. In this manner, I could easily go back and adjust it for a different thickness of acrylic, cardboard or wood.

Included in this step are the original Alibre file and the STL that was exported for use with 123D Plate.


pencil_pot.stl pencil_pot.stl
A year later and we finally got an update to the 123D Make app, but still no Plate option. If you have ANY influence or connection to the developers, PLEASE plead with them to make this public! <br> <br>Or just leak your copy online? I mean it's a free app, right??
I don't have a copy and I was only at Instructables HQ for a couple of months. The one I had ran on Mac OS, you could email someone at Instructables to find out if they know anything.... ?
I keep looking for Qbert to jump into the pencils tho ;)
Nice job. I can imagine that was fun to make just using the devices available. I'm totally jealous lol, but looks great!
I can't seem to find 123d plate. I've looked on the 123d website. Please can you tell me where to download it, as it looks a useful piece of software
It's a beta feature at the moment. When it's available it'll be of part of 123d.
Thanks, I'll keep an eye on their website
Well planned. Very neat construct.<br> <br> A
Thanks, the software does all the hard work though.
With my assumed precision of your futuristic laser cutting tool, I wonder<br> if you would endeavor to make a version of this furniture desktop tidy as<br> a snap and hold together by it's own friction.
This version has no glue. It holds together fine when sitting on my desk. But it should probably have a little glue just to stop forceful insertion of stationary from obliterating it.
Clever design! It must have been fun watching the laser at work. ;)
Heh, thanks. I've watched it enough times to be at the stage where I wish it was faster :p

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