Picture of Stacked Laser Cut Bowls
This instructable will show you how to design, laser cut, and build a stacked bowl quickly and easily.  These bowls waste very little material during manufacturing. They can be made from a variety of matrials like: plywood, solid wood, and acrylic. The instructions assume that you have CorelDraw available to use.  I'm using version 14, but most any recent version should work fine.  You can also use other drawing software, but the process of creating the concentric rings may not be as easy.

You can find pictures of a variety of bowls that I have made at

Supplies and Materials
Plywood to laser cut (size depends on your design and laser cutter)
CA Glue (
Xacto knife

Thanks and Acknowledgement
Special thanks to Mark Plaga (@mark_in_raleigh) for helping me learn to use the blend tool in CorelDraw.
Thanks also to Todd Hartzell for teaching me about CA glue wicking.
And finally, thanks to the wonderful staff at TechShop in Raleigh, where I do all my laser cutting.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Draw a polygon

Picture of Draw a polygon
Draw a polygon.  I chose a pentagon since it is easy to work with a smaller number of points to deal with when you are just getting started.  This will serve as the base shape for our bowl, but you will be able to modify it later to suit your taste. It doesn't matter what the size is, we'll change that it in the next step.

Step 2: Resize the polygon

Picture of Resize the polygon
Select the polygon. Go to Arrange->Transformations->Size and change the size to 3.0 inches in both directions. Click Apply.  You can also bring this window up by selecting Windows->Dockers->Transformations->Size (ALT+F10).  This  docking window will allow you to quickly change the size of the object and/or create duplicate shapes of varying sizes.

Step 3: Convert polygon to curve

Picture of Convert polygon to curve
Select the polygon again.  Select Arrange->Convert to Curves. Then, select Shape Tool (F10).  Select all points in the curve with a lasso rectangle.  Click on "Convert Line to Curve" in toolbar.

davemenc1 year ago
Really good instructable! I like the coreldraw work -- how to take a basic shape and make it curvy, how to generate multiple sizes of shapes easily. All good stuff. And, of course, the idea of doing two sets and then interleaving them!

Not only is it a clear set of steps to do a bowl, the techniques are useful for a wide range of things...

Thanks very much! I learned a lot!

scoochmaroo2 years ago
I LOVE this !!!
LinkR2 months ago

I really thank you for this instructabe! It's just what i looking for ^)

brianfss1 year ago
Very nicely done. My new laser cutter will arrive in two weeks. Looking forward to trying this one.
mberndt2 years ago
The rings would fit into each other with no overlap making it hard to stack and glue up. Any suggestions???
The two sets of rings are slightly different sizes - when you build the bowl, you alternate rings ftom each set.
lwaring2 years ago
downloaded the pdf, but it saves as a damaged file. Can't open it.
tinkerology (author)  lwaring2 years ago
I just downloaded the PDF and viewed it in Chrome. What are you trying to view it with? Unfortunately I did not create the PDF, that is a feature of the Instructables site.
Ligarius2 years ago
which is the outformat for lasercutting?
tinkerology (author)  Ligarius2 years ago
The laser cutter I use has a printer driver which converts the vector drawing into gcode for the laser cutter to use. Each manufacturer will have their own solution for how this works, so you will need to read the manual on how to use your laser cutter.
katvanlew2 years ago
very nice!