Introduction: Laser Cut Video Game Holder
My apartment mates and didn't have a place to store our video games, so they would tend to clutter up the table and the top of the PS4, and even sometimes the floor around the table. It got a little too messy for me, so I whipped up some designs and cut out an easy to assemble video game holder using a cnc laser cutter.
The holder holds 10 games, but if you know how to use a graphics design program well you can edit the provided files to make it hold more. I won't be covering that in this tutorial though. In this instructables, I will be showing you how to cut out and build the 10 game holder shown in the photos. Its a very minimal design and the holder itself takes up very little space. The games are easy to add and remove. It fits Wii and PS4 games, and I would imagine that other console games are the same thickness and would fit as well.
For this tutorial you will need the following files. I have provided both an .ai and .pdf version of my design. This is because my primary graphics design program is Adobe Illustrator, but for other people who use a different software, I included the pdf.
Step 1: Getting Your Materials and Tools Together
This tutorial assumes you have access to and operator's knowledge of a CNC lasercutter. As each machine's software and interface are drastically different, I'll have to assume that you know how to operate the laser cutter you will be using. The laser I used accepts illustrator files, which is why I uploaded the design as an .ai file. However, I also uploaded the .pdf for people who use a different software. Open the .pdf file in your laser's software, as pdf's are very standard file types and should be accepted by your laser's software.
In addition to a cnc laser cutter, you will need a quick release clamp or rubber bands.
As for materials, you will need a sheet of 1/8" plywood. I used several scrap pieces of birch plywood. Most of the pieces are small and you can easily cut them out on a few small scrap pieces. You can get small scrap pieces like that for free or for pennies on the dollar from local lumber supply stores, as small bits like that usually wind up getting thrown away anyhow. Otherwise, a 12x24" sheet of 1/8 plywood only costs a few dollars at my local supply store and can easily cut out all the parts.
You will also need some wood glue. Any wood glue will do, but I used Elmers wood glue. You can also use hot glue or super glue, but wood glue will give you the best results.
Step 2: Laser Cutting the Parts Out
I used a Universal Systems Laser Cutter. It has a materials data base in which you select materials and the machine then knows what power/speed/ppi settings to use. I used the material 'general medium woods' and set the thickness to .120 (using my calipers). I will have to assume for this part that you know how to use your own laser cutter, because they vary significantly from model to model.
Go ahead and cut out the file on your laser. After everything is said and done, you should have two long rectangle pieces with a lot of holes, two large triangles, and nine small triangle dividers. Collect all the pieces out of your laser cutter and bring them over to a work table along with your clamp and wood glue.
Step 3: Assembly
Start with the larger rectangle and one of the smaller triangle dividers. Put wood glue on the indented spaces of the bottom of the triangle, as shown in the first image above. Then, insert it into the base rectangle. Repeat this step with the other 8 triangle dividers, and you should have a model like the third picture. Next, you are going to add the back rectangle. This can be tricky, as you need to line up the fingers on all 9 triangles to fit the back piece on. First, put some wood glue in between the rectangle cut outs of the back piece so that once its on it will stay on. Then, line up the first divider and insert it into the back piece, and work your way down the line inserting each triangle divider into the back rectangle. You should now have a model that looks like the fourth picture.
Next we are going to add the side pieces. Take one of the larger triangles and put wood glue between the cut outs again. Slide it into place on the side of the stand. Repeat this with the other side, and the stand is fully assembled. I used a quick release clamp to hold it all together while it dries, but you can also use rubber bands. Clamp it, and set the model aside while it dries. It will be ready to handle after about an hour but it may take around a day to fully cure.
Step 4: Using Your Stand
After the glue is dried, remove the clamp or rubber bands. Now you can place it where ever you like and load up your games. If you have a ton of games, this could be like your quick bar, where you store the games you use the most so they can be right next to the console. We don't have a ton of games though so it worked perfectly for us, holding our whole collection.
If you have any questions about the tutorial, or have cool ideas for other home improvement projects, feel free to leave a comment. If you liked this project, check out my profile for similar ones. Hope you enjoyed!