If you have a 3D Carving machine on hand, there's an easy way to put a personal touch on a thoughtful gift: make a wooden gift box!
Turns out it's pretty easy to do and there's a couple of different ways to go about it. Here are 3 strategies, with examples:
Boxes with mating halves
A box with mating halves is one of the easiest to make, because there's only one joined edge, and you can just glue the pieces together. Adding a nice detail like an initial or icon adds that extra bit of fancy and earns you major bonus points. This one was made by Tait Leswing, click through for the project details:
Here's another example from our programmer Jim Rodovich using a more complex shape as the outline:
Parametric box generators
There are some great online tools for generating laserable and carveable box patterns. Here's a few example made by our own Paul Kaplan, click through for the project files:
To make your own box like this, consider using Makercase or Makeabox.io. Both are web-based parametric box pattern generators that allow you to specify dimensions, material width, kerf and etc to make a perfectly laserable or carveable box pattern in vector format.
Protip: set the "kerf" width to the width of your cutting bit for a perfect fit. This won't solve the need for "dog bones", but it'll get you pretty close. I find that using a 1/16" bit makes the parts fit well enough to knock together with a rubber mallet. A little glue for insurance and you're set.
Add a sliding lid!
Another nice touch is to take the above example and add a sliding lid to one of the faces for more secure opening/closing, like this example from Paul Kaplan:
There are a whole lot more ways to go about this, but that should be enough to get you started. Have you made your own boxes and have some projects to share? Hit us up in the comments and we'll feature everyone in a future roundup.