I have always been a DIYer, but I recently joined TechShop to expand my skillset (and have access to much more advanced machines than I have in my garage). The first project was a router bit storage box. I made it at TechShop Chandler. I wanted to learn the basics of the modeling software & the CNC router, while making a useful storage box to keep my router bits from being damaged during transport.
Step 1: Creating the Project in the Modeling Software
My local TechShop uses Vectric's VCarve Pro software to draw the project, create the tool paths, and output the machine code for the ShopBot wood router.
You can download a free trial version of the software from Vectric's website: http://www.vectric.com/products/vcarve-pro.htm.
I used 1/4" MDF, since I had it left over from another project. My storage box's exterior dimensions are 4.5" x 4.5" x 9". The tabs are 1.5" wide and 1/4" deep.
The drawing is symmetric both vertically & horizontally. This allowed me to use the 'mirror' tool in the software and speed up the drawing process.
Step 2: Cut the Parts
These are the freshly cut parts. I removed most of the excess material, but left in one piece for reference.
Next step was to sand the tabs that were used to prevent the parts from shifting during the routing. You will also notice that there are drill holes at all of the interior corners. This was to remove the fillet left behind by the router bit. You can see the fillets on the interior corners of the square parts, this was a mistake. So I had to chamfer the mating surfaces with a utility knife.
Another thing you may notice is the damage upper left corner of the "Routing Bits" part. This was due to poor planning of he location of the nails used to secure the material to he router table. Again, this was one of the reasons for the project...to learn the mistakes to prevent on future parts.
Step 3: Assembled Storage Box
Here is the assemble box. No adhesives or fasteners required. Just friction (and a mallet, since the interference fit was pretty tight).
Step 4: Final Product
I decided to spray paint the lid and box different colors. I then colored the engraved text with a black marker (the results are so-so in person). I think that the raw MDF looked better. Live and learn. I already have an idea to try a sliding lid instead of the 'hinged' lid shown here.