I wanted to create a sketchbook for my artistic 14 year old daughter, something that looked like it belonged to an ancient astronomer, or wizard.
something that would inspire her to open it up and just create anything...
Step 1: Create Book
I have access to an amazing laser cutter, my time is limited so I have that thing running constantly, I’m dreaming up all kinds of things to cut on it, this is a sketch book I made for my daughter, I wanted to try a layered approach with each layer conveying a different quality in her, trying a mathematical or just nice organic abstract shapes put together, so this is what I came up with....
I start as most people do with a rough sketch,I wanted a cover with windows that she could display drawings or pictures. they are flanged by the layer above so they will not fall out, a clear piece of acetate can be installed too.
I then move to software to design the layers, as I mentioned I wanted the different layers to reflect different quality’s and there is a limit as if the layers are too different from each other, when overlaid it looks busy and confusing, so first I started designing from the bottom (the base layer) to establish picture openings, the base layers has two flaps that will fold, trapping the sketch book within, it’s also the layer that spans from front to spine to back. Next I moved to the top layer so I can make this as thin and detailed as possible as the layers between will support whatever you do on the top layer.
Balance is important, I chose to make the outer edges consistent patterns from layer to layer just adjusting the sizes, so the results look somewhat like a topographical map.
The centers are where the layers vary,
Step 2: Layers
After the designs are done and it looks good stacked, each layer is laid out in an efficient arrangement for cutting.
After loading the layout to the laser cutter, and cutting the layers, I ended up with my prototype stack. I aligned and stacked the layers checking the fit and making alterations I sketched the changes on the layers and went back to the initial drawings and made the changes, I also located some sex bolts on ebay and made the holes on the four corners big enough to accommodate the shanks.
Step 3: Prototype to Final.
the White card stock cutouts are the prototype, the brown card parts are the final design.
After stacking the layers and bolting them to the base layer, then Installing the paper stack and checking that it all fits well I took it all apart again...
Step 4: Detail
I decided to try and add color to some of the deeper layers, which meant painting or detailing prior to assembly.
I love the brown color of the card and chose some craft paper to make the pages so I don’t want too much paint.
I chose a metallic gold and green, I chose the layer which has the “growing brain” and painted the leaves, I also picked the second from base layer and painted some gold checking to see what’s revealed when stacked.
I used some stabilo pencils to add highlights to the cutouts to give it some depth and add detail. please check out the images as I add plenty of notes to the images.
Step 5: Done...
I decided to fuse the outer layers as the edges will take the most abuse, I plan on cutting a clear cover plate for the front and rear at a later date just to protect the little delicate bits.
I mixed carpenters glue with some water to thin it a little, and brushed it on the edges and some of the inner thin parts, too much moisture will curl the card so a little at a time.
A stack of books will help keep it all flat.
Overall it looks beautiful and she loves it however it is delicate and not something to be stuffed anywhere. After the acrylic covers go on it will be.
I hope this instructable inspires you to create and add to the world, I thank you for taking the time to follow through it.