As autumn sets in, I'll soon be waking up entirely before the sun does. That means I'll slowly be replacing those warm rays of sunshine with more minutes of groggily smelling coffee at the breakfast table. I personally love to choose something different every morning (hmm, honey-flavored coffee).
However, since I buy new flavors faster than I can drink them, our kitchen counter had turned into a giant mess of capsules over time. Existing market solutions for organizing and displaying capsules are all rather boring, and they tend to hold a limited number of types.
You guessed it - it's making time!
- A lasercutter.
- Plexiglass and MDF plate, around 60x60 cm. Mine is 3mm, but the design is thickness-agnostic.
- 4 nuts and bolts, a dozen spacers.
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Step 1: Tryouts
To display the capsules we'll make a series of vertical paths just wide enough to fit one nespresso capsule. They're held up against the back plate, making them very easy to store and access.
To check the sizes needed to hold the capsules, I made a few versions of the above holder first, which is essentially a pimped version of this cool Instructable.
Step 2: Drawing Something Snakey
Once you get the size right, create a tiny template of the capsule's size in Inkscape (two concentric circles). Use that as a guide for how 'fat' your 'snakes' have to be. It doesn't have to be snakes, you can use any existing image or draw something yourself. The holders could be elephant legs, octopus tentacles, skyline buildings, anything! Go nuts!
You can literally just draw something on paper, then use the "Trace Bitmap" function in Inkscape to convert it to a vector image and further smooth the lines by playing with the nodes (F2). Doing some pre-editing in photoshop or other to smooth lines or remove loose pixels will speed up the process.
The only requirement is that the width of the snake fits the width of the smaller circle (the bottom of the capsule), and that there is one spot towards the top where it fits the width of the larger circle (the top of the capsule). The larger part is where the capsules will go in and out.
Feel free to download, adapt and cut your own version using the file below. For those who love the idea but don't have time or access to a lasercutter, I've opened a brand-new Etsy store where you can order a copy :)
Note: This is my first real project on my very own lasercutter. All the parts were bought separately and the machine was constructed based on guidelines created by the amazing opensource Lasersaur community. Building your own lasercutter results in a relatively cheap yet high quality machine that you know everything about, so I would definitely advise anyone interested to look into it. Fair warning: Mine was 90% assembled when I bought it second-hand, and I still spent four week-ends tweaking the hardware.
That being said, I haven't QUITE gotten the ratio between Inkscape and the motor steps right. If you use this file, bear in mind that you'll need to enlarge the whole image by a few percentage points if your lasercutter does have accurate stepper motor control ^^
Step 3: Cutting and Assembly
First, try to make a version that doesn't fit your lasercutter's platform like I did. Then resize it to the correct size and start over. MDF rules!
For the background I painted a layer of standard MDF, which gives it a bit of an industrial look. Use large amounts of thin paint layers to avoid warping. Or use white MDF. That also works.
In each corner there's a little hole to fix the background to the front. Since our capsule's tops have to fit between the two, it's best to place a few spacers between. I used 3 spacers on every corner, but the necessary amount depends on the size of your overall design.
Step 4: Organize Your Capsules
Now simply place all your capsules in there. Ponder over the right choice of coffee for at least two minutes every morning. Enjoy!
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