Round Mechanical Iris Box

One of us, one of us. Where are you?

We are out west, in Calgary.

I thin that is really neat

Nice, I’m over in London, ON.

There are ways around using the pro version. I recently installed the SketchUp plugin from this website:

It allows you to export certain faces of objects to an SVG file. I think it might be even easier to use than the method I outlined, but you have less control over where you put your objects on the cut file, and you then have to do the optimization using InkScape (which I find less suited to that work).

I’ve not played with it enough to be able to do a tutorial on how to use it yet. I’ll try and play with it in the next few days (weeks), and once I figure out the best way to use it, I’ll make a new video on making the cut file (an alternative Step 4 in my series).


uhm…incredible! Thank you so much for sharing.

Thanks for being so helpful! I know I am not the only one that greatly appreciates all this help from the more experienced among us! I have just installed that plugin myself, and will fumble around with it and Inkscape myself too.

I watched the videos today. They are superb!
They also inspired me to have a go on Sketchup myself.

Thanks, I’m glad I inspired you to get onto SketchUp. If you have any questions or get stuck, feel free to shoot me an email.

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Fellow Canucks! I’m in Toronto!


I’m in toronto RIGHT NOW. But only for another couple hours, then it’s back to Londontown.

@polarbrainfreeze. Hey Ben, can’t believe I missed this thread. Fantastic work, thanks very much for the tutorials, I am a total noob & this is exactly what I needed to get me off on the right foot. Cheers!

I’ve gone through your videos a few times. They really got me back up to speed with Sketchup. Thanks. I like your voice over. It’s well-done. I would like to know more about your material. It looks like mdf. What is its thickness in mm? It really cuts great and allows for tiny parts. How do you source it? Thanks. I could imagine making parts boxes or beer bottle six pack holders from them as a less expensive material. Or at least a prototyping material.

@marmak326, thanks for the compliments on my videos.

The material I used is 1/8" thick mdf (which is 3.175 mm). I use this because it is cheap for prototyping. I’ll often do the prototype in this, and then cut the real thing in Baltic birch, or some other nicer wood. The MDF is also good for gaming miniature terrain, which don’t require nice woods, since we spray paint them.

Although it does not like getting wet, so you need to finish it with varnish or paint if you plan on using it long-term.

I get mine at Home Depot. They sell a 2’x4’ sheet for about $4. Home Depot will even cut that sheet into four 12"x24" pieces for me for free (which is the size of the laser cutter bed at my maker space). So essentially, I’m paying about $1/sheet for the MDF, which is a really good price.

Thanks so much. Glad to have the feedback about MDF and prototyping. I figured it would be good for that and parts boxes and all sorts of thing. If I can squeeze some time I’d like to try a how to video on Sketchup like yours. I have a feeling the forum is going to get really busy in a couple months.

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absolutely gorgeous! thanks for the videos too!

Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational.

I’m just discovering openSCAD as well. I might try and squeeze out a tutorial on that soon. I’m using it to make a circular maze pattern.

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This is beautiful work! Very much looking forward to seeing your future work with Glowforge.

I installed Openscad on my Ubuntu machine last night. It’s like dancing with skeletons, my image of text based computing. I used Lilypod open source music engraving software and am always amazed at how efficient CLI is. But when Musescore came out, I was hooked. Having spent so long in the Wysiwyg world I tend to forget about those efficiencies. Back to the topic: Openscad has so many resources to borrow, that makes it helpful in doing these designs.