Making a cardboard box

Cardboard box design

I’m making a box to practice using my CNC machine. It’s a great example of 2D CAD and cutting.

The tools I’m using are:

Google Sketchup: To draw the box.

Phlatboyz Plugin: To mark the cuts and scores on the box. They actually have a tool called “fold” which does exactly what I want. This plugin also generates the g-code.

Mach III: CNC control software (to run the g-code and carry out the cutting)

The image shows the design. In a nutshell I want to score all the lines that are on the inside and cut completely through the cardboard on the entire outside. I added a couple of tabs so the cardboard would stay put while it’s being cut.

The scored lines will be folds. Notice the folds are not all in-line. This is because of the thickness of cardboard and the geometry of folding.

Challenge: I can’t seem to get the cuts and folds to be on all the lines I need.

I know this is just a matter of learning Google Sketchup (and the plugin) but I’m so anxious to make a box. 🙂 Any input is very welcome. 🙂

This is the smallest box I will make. The long lines are 12.5″. The base and top are 3″ wide. The height is 2″.

Update: 2am, Jan 4, 2010

Okay, I’ve been fooling around with this problem and I’ve managed to get some boxes made.

I’m still having a lot of problems figuring out Sketchup and the Phlatboyz plugin. For one thing I couldn’t get the box object to accept an outside cut. I had to redraw it. For some reason the second time I drew it, it accepted the cut. I also couldn’t get the folds (partial cuts) in the same g-code file as the outside cuts.

I’ll need to try this again.

The boxes are already taking less time to make and of course they are highly accurate compared to my hand cut ones! And it’s more fun!

Here’s a video. As you can see by the end I had the speed up a bit higher plus I was getting the dept of the bit right.

Here are the boxes I made in the first run: