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
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.
Step 2: Slicing
The image for this step shows a screenshot of the 123D Makescreen, showing the various parts that it has decided to cut the model apart into.
Included in this step is the EPS file generated by the algorithm for if you wish to laser cut your own. They are for 1/8" material thickness.
Step 3: Laser Cutting
Peel the paper off both sides of the acrylic then move on to the next step.
Step 4: Assembly: 1
Start by slotting the two small upright pieces into the center dividers.
Step 5: Assembly: 2
Step 6: Assembly: 3
The picture for this step shows the next parts lined up ready to go on.
Step 7: Assembly: 4
At this point a small amount of glue can be added to a few of the tabs at the corners and at a few points along the base. It's a fairly good fit already so this just protects against over loading the desk tidy with stationary.