Pew, pew, laser shelf

Shelf for 72 dropper bottles

Shelf for 72 dropper bottles

I’ve been struggling lately to find better ways to organize paints. As an experiment, I designed a shelf that I could hang on the wall and used a service called Ponoko to make it from laser-cut MDF. The process was fairly straight-forward and Ponoko has a very easy to use interface on their site.

The design was first modeled in Solidworks, then 2D drawings were created of the parts laid out as they would be cut. Finally, the 2D views were exported that to Illustrator to create the .eps files that Ponoko uses to laser-cut the parts.

This design was created for 17ml dropper bottles from Vallejo or Scale75. I wanted to angle the shelves so the paints wouldn’t fall out. It was also designed to make the most efficient use of Ponoko’s standard material sizes. The back and sides fill up as much of the panel as possible.

The stock material thickness I used was 3.2 MM. For this size of shelf, that worked out fine. However, I wouldn’t want to use that thickness for a bigger version.

The laser kerf is a few thousandth’s wide, and that seemed to work out well for creating the finger joints between the front and the back without having to add any extra space in the layout. That’s good, because it would have doubled the amount of cutting time at that interface in the sheet

Components as received

The parts need to be removed from the sustrate and the backer material removed. It just peels off.

Parts ready for assembly

The last step was to glue the parts together. It took about 15 minutes and went fairly well.

Assembled shelf

Edit: Added a photo of the completed shelf.

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