Introduction: Curved Laser Cut Easter Basket

About: In my little workshop the most satisfying outcome is a new design come to life.

There are a lot of cute easter baskets out there, but the really nice wooden ones cost a bundle and aren't really all that COOL. This one looks cool and to people who know laser cutting, the technique is also ingenious.

This technique can create round structures not usually seen in laser cut designs. Here I demonstrate the technique on an Easter basket made using eighth inch laser cut birch plywood. There’s a little bit of math involved but it’s super basic, nothing scary!

Step 1: Doing the Math for the Basket

Let’s start with the circular side panel to our egg-shaped basket. The bent panel will extend to exactly half-way up the round base. The teeth need to be recessed into the side panel so that they do not pop out due to the tension, so we have created a red contour (henceforth called the bend guideline) with which to align our teeth. This red line is a guideline only and will be removed once the holes are set up. Also, use the formulas with your bend guideline, not the outer circle (this is the outer rim of the basket)

The mathematics of the design can be tricky when working with 2-d software such as CorelDRAW, but we have a quick formula that works pretty well every time. If you are using half a circle or “pi*r”, matching up the teeth to the holes isn’t so hard.

The bend guideline can be as deep or shallow as you prefer. Once you have the bend guideline, you can determine how long your bent panel needs to be. The easiest measurement to set up is half of the circumference of the guideline, or Pi*r (basic math) If you make the panel halfway up the guideline, you will know that your panel also must be Pi*r long from end to end, otherwise refer to the 2nd formula.

Place the holes evenly along the line and you will know that the number of teeth need to match up on your panel. Space apart accordingly. The easiest way to manually copy the teeth around the circumference is to place one then copy+paste selecting the red circle and using the rotate function. By selecting the main circle that will ensure you are keeping the teeth on the right path. Make sure snap to nodes is on, it will make your life easier!

The secret to making the panel bend is in the parallel laser cut lines that run across the it. These lines do not cut all the way through the material, they cut away just enough that the panel can bend into a nice curve. We have designed a method of using alternating cyan and yellow hairlines to represent the perfect depth to laser cut through the eighth inch birch plywood.

Step 2: Finishing Up!

Once you get your cut pieces ready, you can to glue them together
for optimal permanence. A little wood glue on the teeth and a quick tap with a mallet will do the trick. It helps to have someone else around to hold the bend panel while you tap the side panels on.

Let the glue dry and you're done!

Those brackets cut from the empty space are designed to make holding such a wide basket easier for a small child.

Now it just needs a bunny.

You can download the original SVG files and tweak them as you desire from this original blog post:

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