Acrylic Honey Bee

I made this bee last week. @Rebecca made this same bee out of proof grade maple last March. I really like the way both materials look. I found this bee puzzle on Here is the link to the site.
Bee Puzzle by Mutsuki (revised) for use with 3mm material by sahrchitect is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
I used proof grade clear medium acrylic. I could not believe how easily this project was cut out. I was surprised to see what looked like little glass slivers on my desk while I was putting the bee together. Looking closely at the pieces I found that they were the centers of the numbers that are printed on the bee pieces to aid in assembly. It is amazing that the Glowforge cuts so precisely without fusing the pieces in place due to the heat of the laser. Here is the plan that shows how small the numbers are.



Oh wow, it looks great in acrylic!


Wow @davidgal2, the bee looks fantastic in acrylic!! I ended up “scoring” the numbers. Even in wood they were a bit difficult to see.

It just looks great. Thanks for sharing!


Yep! I like 'em both! :grinning:


I’ve seen it in wood, but this looks really cool in acrylic!


Gosh!..this is beautiful! I’m not much into puzzles, but this is a lovely sculpture in it’s own right. Thanks for showing us!

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It says puzzle in the description, but I wouldn’t call it a puzzle. It is more of a model, glued up and does not come apart. :grin:


Anyone see something like that, but a butterfly? That could make a nice garden decoration.

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Oh nice! I got some yellow & black acrylic to try the bee after I saw yours. I was wanting to use it as a garden decoration, so wanted something that might withstand the elements a bit better than wood. Now I may have to try some butterflies too :slight_smile:


It’s a great day to BEE a Glowforge Owner

Just finished one, looks great! Thank you @davidgal2 for sharing the template on Thingiverse .



I really like the white one. How did you like putting it together? :joy:

Yes that was a fun one, the Acrylic Solvent kept drying and clogging in between parts. I certainly won’t be mass producing them anytime soon. :slight_smile:

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Not sure of the terms of the license but you could make it self-locking pretty easily by modifying the notch shapes so that they click into place…

What sort of notch are you thinking of? As for the license its Open so changing it is encouraged.

There are lots of ways to make self locking notches. I goofed with it a while ago and made these guys:

It represents 4 concepts, 1&2 can be backed out but 3 and 4 are fairly permanent. Once you click them together it’s almost impossible to undo 3&4.

I took some inspiration from the 50 digital joints project, found here.

The cross “x” joint in particular is relevant.

Edit: so the nice thing here is that the pieces are identical. 2 #1 pieces will lock together, 2 #2 units, etc. makes designing and assembling bulletproof.

In fact, later experiments proved that it was over engineered. You really need only one “latch” side on one half of the parts and it holds very nicely. It comes down to your strength requirements; the double latch double notch system as designed is remarkably strong, but the single sided “rounded latch” version was by far the easiest to assemble.


Seems a shame to not make the self locking notches its own topic. This has been discussed before a bit here and there, but starting a topic on it would be good for more recent arrivals to the forum.



GREAT job! I tried to build this once with yellow acrylic. I simply could not get the sizing correct. Annoyed me to no end. But I’ve learned a lot since those days, so maybe it’s time to revisit it.

Yeah if I find time I’ll post it separately with the source files. That entire joinery site is outstanding info.