CNC Box made with Inkscape and X-Carve

The Idea for the CNC Box

Hey there fellow makers. Ever since we got our X cave, we’ve been wanting to try one thing in particular and that was to create a box (a CNC Box) or the panels for a simple box and the top and the bottom. It’s not necessarily going to save any time, in fact it, will probably take longer, but I just wanted to see if we could do it.

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So, I designed this CNC box in Inkscape and that’s not really a program you would want to design this in, but I did it to get the outside parameters using the grid in Inkscape to get the dimensions right. Then I took it into a program where I could make the tool paths and set everything to the correct depth. The recesses for the half-laps would be 3/8 inches since this is 3/4 inch material.

I setup an outside cut path to cut out the box leaving the tabs only. I got everything set up, the work piece is clamped down, I have the g-code put into Universal G-code Sender and I have everything zeroed it out. So we’re gonna go through this and see how it turns out. Check out the CNC box video below to see how it turns out.


Final Thoughts on the CNC Box

All in all I am fairly pleased with the outcome of this. It could have been slightly better, but I think that comes down to designing the box before hand. The inner dimensions of the half-laps could/should have been a bit further inward than the thickness of the material. This would have made sanding at the end much more clean.

I also made a mistake while clamping the piece together. I didn’t apply clamps to the bottom of the box, which left a noticeable gap where the side meets the bottom. Again, something that could be adjusted.

The job time for this was a little better than expected. Yes, you could probably make it faster using conventional tools, but I think with thinner material, which would mean the job would spend less time carving out the pockets for the half-laps, this job could be done in half the time. This would most likely be faster than using conventional tools.

Using thinner material is something we will most likely tinker with in the very near future and will share as well.

Thanks for checking out this “experiment”.

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