Adjustable Laser-Cut Bookstand

This quarter, I had some incredibly heavy textbooks. As a result, I wanted to laser-cut a book stand to prop it up, which would make taking notes much easier. I had a few constraints I wanted to hold my However, after looking for patterns online, I realized that adjustable, laser-cut book stands are a rare find. After doing some research on similar stand objects (like tablet stands), I decided to use this pattern and modify it to fit my larger needs.

This book stand is around 12.5” by 10.75”, and can raise the book from an angle of 30º to 60º. As a note, the photos of the actual stand are slightly different from the final pattern- I chose to adjust the placement of some of the crossbars, as they got in the way of being able to lower the bar.

Supplies:

Materials:

-Epoxy resin (I used Devcon 2-part epoxy, with a 30-minute cure time)

-¼” acrylic sheets ( I used transparent black for the side pieces, and blue for the crossbars and bolt covers)

-Transparent black: 15” by 12”

-Transparent blue: 5” by 14.5”

Note: I chose these sizes in order to fit into scrap pieces I found from a local acrylic store. If you can’t find any pieces around this size, the pattern can be scaled down or altered to fit your needs. I also created an altered pattern that can fit on one 12x24” piece of acrylic.

-Hex nuts and bolts (10mm head, 20mm length) - 4 each

Tools:

-Tabletop-mounted clamp, or some other way to hold the acrylic still vertically

Step 1: Step 1: Sourcing Acrylic & Files

When it comes to laser-cutting acrylic, an important factor to me is to keep costs down as much as possible. For this project, that included using scrap pieces found at my local acrylic store, TAP Plastics, which cut the cost down significantly compared to using pieces cut by the foot. However, if you are only able to source acrylic cut by the foot, I’ve created a separate file that can be used with a 12x24” acrylic sheet. (I've included both .ai and .svg files)

Step 2: Step 2: Cutting the Acrylic

Cut out the pieces from your acrylic.

When cutting with ¼” acrylic, I like to adjust the thickness in the material settings to be just slightly thinner than it actually is (for example, .23” rather than .25”) in order to prevent scorching the edges of the material. If you’re using frosted acrylic and accidentally burn the edges, you can use a piece of sandpaper to file down any discoloration.

Step 3: Step 3: Gluing the Nuts In

The nut needs to be attached to the hex-shaped hole on the top black part of the stand, to hold the stand in place when the height is adjusted.

To do this, I used epoxy resin, which has a high strength level and the ability to fill any small gaps in the holes. I started by mixing the two-part epoxy together, then applied it into the hole. (if using a syringe, don’t forget to label which side of the cap corresponds to which!) In order to keep the nut balanced in the acrylic whilst gluing it in, I secured each piece of acrylic vertically with a tabletop-mounted clamp. I used a folded piece of cardboard around the acrylic to protect the acrylic from any scratches or damage while using the clamp. Although the epoxy cures in 30 minutes, I left the pieces to sit for around an hour before handling again, and let it fully cure overnight.

Step 4: ​Step 4: Gluing the Bolt’s Handles On

After dealing with the upper part of the stand, I worked on gluing the handle parts onto the bolt. I let them dry in a similar fashion to the stand, but secured them horizontally using the sides of the tabletop clamp.

Step 5: ​Step 5: Gluing the Horizontal Supports

Glue the horizontal supports in with the epoxy. While gluing the horizontal supports onto the side pieces, it’s a bit difficult to keep the pieces secured together at a 90º angle, so I would recommend using a textbook or some other heavy object to hold them in the correct position.

Step 6: ​Step 6: Wait for the Epoxy to Cure

It’s important to wait for the epoxy to cure enough for it to be stable, so wait 24 hours (or at least overnight) for the epoxy to cure fully.

Step 7: ​Step 7: Assemble the Pieces Together

Assemble the top and bottom of the stand’s mechanisms together using the nuts and bolts and attach the hinge using the remaining nuts and bolts.

Now, enjoy your finished stand!

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