Intro: Laser Cut Dinosaur Box
A simple laser-cut pattern for a box to hold tools, art supplies, cooking implements, or anything else tall and skinny. With a dinosaur engraving because dinosaurs are great!
Step 1: Cut Design
This was my first experience trying out laser cutting, so I made a pretty simple pattern with a few finger joints (that definitely need to be glued to stay together) holding the curved face to the Jurassic backing, an internal divider, flat base, and lid - two layers to fit snugly without sliding. I used a bendable kerf pattern from Aaron Porterfield and dinosaur image from Wall Stickers. I designed for the plywood material that I had available, which was 1/8" thick.
The laser cutter I was using takes input from Adobe Illustrator, but I wasn't familiar with the software so I generated the svg image in Inkscape and set all the shapes and dimensions I wanted, then imported it into Illustrator to set the final line widths and colors necessary for the cutter (these will depend on the machine).
Step 2: Assembly
Super glue is definitely your friend for assembly, especially in this case because the curved face really wants to spring back flat.
I started by gluing together the two layers of the lid - there should be ~1/8" offset all around the interior shape to lie flat along the top of the box just inside the curved edge.
I next connected one edge of the curved face and backing, holding it for a minute or so to let the glue set and then leaving it without connecting the opposite side for some time. Meanwhile I joined the internal divider and the base, gluing the bottom tabs of the divider into the spaces in the base semi-circle piece.
Then I glued the remaining side of the curved front face to the backing, again holding it for as long as the glue took to seal. Finally I slid the divider up into the interior of the box and settled the base against the backing and curved kerf face. I added some drops of glue along the two back tabs of the divider and around the base to hold the pieces together.
Step 3: Use It!
This box is tall and versatile, and with enough glue will hold together fairly robustly. Use it in your workshop for tools (lid recommended for incoming scrap pieces), or in the kitchen for those pesky-to-store ladles and spatulas. Modify the design to store shorter objects and accommodate smaller dinosaurs, or tip the box sideways - the possibilities are endless. Happy lasering!