JDIY23 : Silhouette Box - Laser Cut


After I shared my first silhouette box it gained interest from others. A friend of mine reached out to tell me that she would like one, but didn’t know a design. I was running out of things to build on my project list and hold her I would love to build her one and we would find the perfect fit. We spoke for a little bit, I got some general details about what she wanted and went to work in Photoshop to mockup some ideas for her approval. She decided to go with a beach scene and gave me some colors she wanted to use.

After I got the approval on the image I created for the front plate, I realized, there was no way I could Dremel the design and have it come out as clean as my Billings Skyline design. I reached out to a local maker group and quickly found the go-to guys in the area that have access to a laser cutter. I met Nate from Heron Manufacturing and ZW Tools. He is on the same side of town as I am and the price quoted was solid. I visited his facility and he gave me a tour of his manufacturing area, and I have to say, I was super impressed. He was doing a mill run of their ZW Tools Strike Plate Titanium MFTool and it looked great. You can visit his site at www.ZWtools.net or www.zwoodknives.com. He has all kinds of cool tools on there. The key part for me during this meeting was I found a local manufacturer that could laser cut front plates from highly detailed images I made in Photoshop with ease. He did the cut out and it came out fantastic.

I made a couple changes to the original design to make the box better suited to fit this amazing face plate. I opted to use 1/8” plywood instead of 1/4” pine and made the middle panel a seamless insert. Instead of the electronics being at the bottom, I put them behind the middle panel and attached the back with threaded inserts as I did before. I also added a power switch instead of always being on and a better power supply.

I am excited at this level of complexity of silhouette box. Making something for someone else always pushes me to do better than I would for myself. Being my first silhouette box commissioned piece, I am thrilled with the results and it has become my new standard.



Difficulty: !!!
This one took a little longer than before, not because of the programming, but because of the additional detail I wanted to do to honor such a detailed face plate.