Sending custom sample packs across a variety of industries we serve is a slight challenge at the moment, we have boxes with different types of things all over the shop. CNCROi.com is very much a lean and clean shop, we just have to move things on a regular basis to make room for projects and that means things get placed at the best location AT THAT TIME.
Having a great diversity in client base is great, we’ll do fretwork for instance for a mill working application and then the next job, anneal or fiber mark some aerospace components then make some custom business cards out of just about any material under the Sun.
To optimize our custom packs as a result, for optimal ROI, I decided it was time to design my own CNC laser cut sample holder. It’s capable of holding 12 of our most common “samples” we put in our pack and easily transportable to trade shows where we both exhibit and frequent. This will outline the design process behind this so you get a glimpse of how our projects come to reality for our customers. The program we use for the 3D development is Autodesk 3DS Max.
We’ve been making sample packs for a while and to make life easy, and compact, we generally make them fit within a form factor of a standard business card, which is 3.5″ x 2″. When you have a highly specialized and precise CNC laser like our Trotec Speedy 400 flexx, making samples fit within that form factor accurately is no issue at all. This size is also optimal for networking events, they easily fit in my pockets for instant samples when they are requested by a client.
Here I have a representation of the sample standing at a slight angle and the room I’d give it across 20 cm of space behind it. I want something compact enough to easily move from the shop to the shipping department and shows, having a huge thing to lug around with samples isn’t very useful. Even at the biggest events, the capacity that this would represent is more than enough for the entire show.
The first side wall has been designed, now I’ll duplicate this 13 times to form my dividers between the different samples I’ll have. I’m going to give myself a bit more room between them just so everything is loose enough to easily take out for the mailings.
Instead of making one continuous sample holder of 12, I decided to make two of six, this means I can better optimize my processes both in the shop and on the trade show floor. The design is dead simple on purpose, I’ve spent years designing complex toys and other items for lasers, when it comes to stuff for personal use though, the simpler it is to build and troubleshoot, the better!
I’ve now made the front so that all the dividers, front and back supports are done. The next step is making the bottom part of this. You may notice that I over-extended the front and back edges. The reason for that is I want to make this extra strong with grips on both sides for easy carrying, as such, the sides will have another piece of wood with this extra detail.
I’ve made a few slight design modifications to make this look a bit cooler and at the same time, increase the speed that this sample holder can be made with the laser. Here is the first render of the unit thus far. I’m still very much working on optimizing the process of assembly, cutting this is easy, assembling will be another thing all together. The less pieces and more dead-simple something is to put together, the less time I waste figuring-out what goes where.
I like this design now, it’s very strong due to the interlocking, has easy carrying and sample capacity. I just have the bottom board to do now and it’s done.
I made a few additional design changes just for fun and ease of use. Everything is very modular looking, it’s just a personal style I like using, when we do work for our clients in this area, we work off their drawings and sketches. In case you are wondering, the above design approach is IDENTICAL to what what I’ve been doing since 2008 over at CNCKing.com, it’s just a bit more complicated.
Next blog post I’ll show you a video of this holder being cut out on our Austrian wide format industrial laser using our CO2 laser tube (we have a fiber in there too!) out of 5 mm birch I had laying around in the scrap bin. This design was optimized for 5 mm material by the way, but can be easily scaled perfectly to any size you wish without having to use any measurements.
Looking for something custom made for just about any application using any material? Contact CNCROi.com today!