Zero to Birdhouse With 123D!





Introduction: Zero to Birdhouse With 123D!

A quick project for making a cardboard birdhouse. You can find the software I used at, The files I used are attached and include the roof.  Let me know if you need them in a different format. 

Step 1: Creating the CAD File With 123D Design

Sorry the video is silent, I will attempt to update with a voice over soon. 

Step 2:

After you get your plans from 123D make, you can cut them out yourself from cardboard or if you have access to a laser cutter that would work as well. The other option of course would be to order from laser service like Ponoko. 

From there glue up your pieces using just about any glue, I like a thin layup of elmer's glue all or just plan wood glue. 

Here is what you will need to finish the birdhouse. 
  • Duct tape or some other more waterproof easy to apply stick thing. I think I might actually do my next one using roofing shingles. 
  • Cardboard-This is for the roof, so anything that you can bend in the middle or make a butt joint out of would be great. 
  • a Perch- this can be literally anything that you think a bird might want to stand on. 

Step 3: Water Proof the Roof

Score the roofing sheet down the middle and then fold in half. After that lay it flat and apply duct tape or other weather resistant material. I added a separate piece down the middle so that it would reinforce the joint. 

Now hot glue the roof to the house. As well as the perch.

For the perch if you wanted to add some reinforcement you could drill an extra hole in the cardboard and then use a down rod and some glue.  

Step 4: Hang in There.

For the wire, I just pushed some knotted wire up through the crest of the roof and then added a little glue to assist in sealing up the hole. You can also mount this on a post or what ever else your mind could imagine. 

Have fun and don't eat the birds. 



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wonderful! I'd love to use this in a student workshop. Could you please send me files I can upload to Ponoko? I wanted to do cardboard laser cutting and they require EPS, SVG or DXF files (max 20MB) for that. Thanks!

    Beautifully done Jesse. I mentor elementary children and I'm going to use your Instructable in a series of lectures on future technologies. I was struggling with what "layered construction" they could make and your simple and well proportioned birdhouse is perfect.

    Thank you.

    6 replies

    You could try making a cardboard book hidey-hole thing. That might be an alternative project for the less handy student.

    Well, the way it will probably be set up is to have each student make one piece. The lesson - and surprise -will happen when all the pieces are put together. I have some time, since the government dictates what children learn (19th century stuff they'll never use) until they have their exams. Afterwards, they can learn about the things they’ll actually be using when they grow up.

    Sorry for the mini rant. I could go on for hours, so consider yourself lucky :)

    Don't get me going on how antiquated the public school system is. I took most of a degree in kinesiology and pedagogy, so I have had a bit of experience with 'the system'. Good on you though, not insisting that the kids colour the map of your country for the 17th time. This kind of thing is much more useful! I can see being able to work team-work, cooperation, modular building, esthetics and safety into one lesson!

    At the risk of hijacking Jesse's Instructable, I plan to have a 3D printer running in another room. Even these will be thought of as the Wright Brothers' version of what kids'll be using in 15 years. But if we can show them what's current, the switch to additive manufacturing will at least be something they'll be familiar with.

    fyi, the technology that Jesse is using in his Instructable (minus CAD) was going on in the 1970s after the fax became semi-common. Automotive engineers had plates with rods sticking up, and their counterparts half way around the world would fax sliced drawings of the parts they were working on. The engineers in Detroit would cut them out on heavy paper stock and glue them up on the rods. The idea has been around for quite some time, it just took a bit for the robotic side to catch up.... I bet no one in their 50s were ever taught that in school, so education has always been far behind the technology 8 ball. Unfortunately, what took 40 years to develop into 3D printing, will only take another 15-20 years to become as common as microwave ovens. I wonder if our 10 year olds will be ready.

    I am so happy that there are still some forward looking teachers. I was blessed to have a father very much interested in technology and electronics. He instilled a love for learning, electronics, and buildin' stuff at a very young age. Kudos to you bringing in 3D printers.

    Do you ever encounter resistance from other faculty, because you are doing things differently? Some school cultures do not encourage innovation, instead they favour the "We've been doing it this was for 30 doesn't need to change". Talk about educational anathema! I recently went into an elementary gym class to run a new program being offered in the area. The teachers were still playing the exact same games (with aversive socialization, exercise as punishment, and low equipment to student ratios.) I was flabbergasted.