Intro: Laptop Stand Cut With Shopbot
I wanted a simple laptop stand that could be easily disassembled and packed in a backpack. Using Autodesk's 123D Fabrication Utility, I created CNC toolpaths that I fed to a Shopbot to cut the 4 pieces out.
Step 1: Design
Inspired by a design by Rachel Gant, I made a variation in Autodesk Inventor.
Each piece was exported as an SAT file for the next step.
Step 2: Fabrication Toolpaths
I used this website to create the toolpaths http://apps.beta.123dapp.com/fab/
Full disclosure, I am a developer for Autodesk that helped build this site. :-)
On the 123D menu, I opened the SAT file. Soon, it will be easy to upload STL files to the Gallery for this.
Then I defined the size of my stock. I used a piece of 3/8 inch ply that was lying around.
Creating Tabs to hold the piece in place was critical.
Clicking on the Toolpath tab, it was easy to make the toolpaths. The default jog speed and cut speeds are pretty slow. So I defined my own pass settings that move the bit at 3in/sec for jogs and 2in/sec for cuts.
On the 3D Print Tab, I showed the machine and simulated the results. Then "Save Shopbot Files" produced the files I needed. Actually, because the geometry is basically 2D, all I needed was the file Cutout.sbp.
Step 3: Cutting With the Shopbot
I used a full sized Shopbot at my local Fab Lab. Shopbots are readily available at Tech Shops, Fab Labs and other Maker communities. You can also use 100K Garages, a crowd sourced access to Shopbots hosted by the Shopbot company.
With the Tabs in place, it was easy to cut out the pieces by clicking "Load Part File" on the Shopbot software and selecting Cutout.sbp.
Step 4: Finished
Sanding and finishing would make the parts look much nicer. But I want to try a couple design variations. The stand is a bit steeper than I like. And I want to smooth out some of the corners and add some decoration - maybe inlay would look great. It needs to be a bit more personalized.