Have a few special Easter eggs that you would like to display? Try making some of these acrylic Easter egg holders with colorful spiral bases and transparent arms to maximize the view of the eggs.
I made these at TechShop www.techshop.ws
Step 1: Materials & Equipment
Vector drawing software (I used CorelDraw)
Laser cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
Acrylic strip heater
1/8" thick acrylic sheet (clear for arms, colors for bases)
Step 2: Design the Base
Start by drawing a 2" by 2" spiral using the built in Spiral tool set to 10 Spiral revolutions. Make sure you set the line color to red and the line width to hairline (to indicate that these lines should be cut and not engraved). Then draw a pair of identical trapezoids that are 0.7" tall, 1.25" wide at the base, and 0.35" wide at the top.
Next draw a series of reference rectangles on the trapezoids. To make them interlock, draw opposing rectangles (from the top on one and the bottom on the other) that are 0.125" wide (the width of the acrylic). Next add a reference rectangle to the top of one trapezoid to act as a tab for the spiral and ultimately the arms to sit on. I chose a 0.2" wide tab that is 0.25" tall (the thickness of two pieces of acrylic).
You need to make a slot in the middle of the spiral, so draw a reference rectangle that is 0.125" wide and 0.2" long to match the tab on the trapezoid. Next add a horizontal line across the first spiral leg that doesn't hit the slot. You will use this to delete the inner spiral so that there is a flat area to glue on the arms. Finally, using the 3-Point Curve tool close off the end of the spiral.
To complete the design, use the Virtual Segment Delete tool to remove the appropriate line segments then change all of the line segments to red with a width of hairline.
Step 3: Design the Arms
The arms consist of a central circle with four outer circles connected by thinner arms. The central circle is 0.5" in diameter and the outer circles are 0.25" in diameter. To maximize the view of the egg, make the front arms shorter than the rear arms. Draw two perpendicular lines that are a total length of 2.25 inches, biased so that the front arms are 1" long. Center the outer circles onto the end of each arm. Add a 0.125" by 0.2" slot to the middle of the center circle.
To make the arms draw two reference rectangles that are 0.15" wide and 2.5" long on top of the arm lines. Finally, using the Virtual Segment Delete tool remove the appropriate line segments and set all remaining line segments to red with a line width of hairline.
Step 4: Laser Cut the Pieces
Acrylic cuts very easily on the laser cutter. I set the laser to 100% power and 0.5% speed.
Step 5: Form the Acrylic
Temporarily assemble a base. In the picture you can see the flat spiral sitting on top of the base. Place just the spiral onto the acrylic strip heater. Rotate it 45 degrees about every 30 seconds so that you can heat up the entire spiral (the strip heater only heats a narrow strip at a time). Once the spiral is very pliable, place it on the base and press the outer rim of the spiral to the table surface. If the acrylic isn't hot enough it the outer edge won't stay at the table level. If you don't mind getting some toasty fingers, you can pick up the assembly and pull the outer edge of the spiral below the level of the base. That way if it retracts any it will still be long enough. The spiral will act as a weak spring so it is okay if the spiral is slightly longer than the base, as the weight of an egg will hold it down.
Heat the arms in the same fashion as the spirals. Once they are pliable, hold an egg in one hand (I had a hard boiled egg on hand for this) and press the arm piece around the bottom of the egg. This will form each arm into a nicely shaped curve that matches the egg profile.
Step 6: Superglue the Pieces Together
This step goes pretty quickly. Apply some superglue to the interlocking surfaces of each base piece and slide them into each other. Once those dry, apply some superglue to the tabs on the top of the bases and set a spiral onto each one. Finally, apply some superglue on top of the center of the spirals and place the clear arms on top. This completes the assembly of the egg holders!
Step 7: Put Your Eggs on Display!
Time to decorate some eggs and put them on display with your new egg holders. Happy Easter!