COVID-19 Car Box; The First Project on Our New Laguna Laser Cutter!

About a week or two ago we had a new addition to the shop; the Laguna Laser EX. It is a 150 watt laser with a huge cut area. I wanted to start with a simple project to ensure the calibration was all set and that I could easily get acclimated to the machine controls, so I made what I am calling a “COVID-19 Car Box.” In Massachusetts we are now required to wear face masks in all public places so I put together a simple dispenser to hold face masks and rubber gloves that easily fits in a car’s center console. This will make it so I will always have what I need to be safe, and it can also be easily refilled and sanitized as necessary.

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Tools

Laguna Laser EX

Materials

1/8″ Acryllic
Acrylic Cement

To make the design for the box, I used the Box-o-matic app on my Ipad. With this app, all you have to do is enter in the dimensions of the final box along with the other info, like the kerf of the laser and the thickness of the material, and it puts together and SVG file to cut it. I split my box into 2 compartments and added a lid.

It generated the SVG file for me, and then I air-dropped it over to light burn on my computer.

Once I had the design in light burn, I added a small cutout for the gloves to be taken out of. I then organized the pieces in a way that would work well with the laser cutter and minimize waste. 

I loaded the acrylic onto the bed of the laser and calibrated the height. This ended up needing 2 sheets of acrylic. The cutter handled the first sheet perfectly, so I knew that I had my settings right, so I went ahead with the second cut

The acrylic has a thin paper adhesive on either side to protect from scratches. I removed this material from all my pieces, and then tested if the box fit together.

Once I was sure the design worked, I figured I would cut a second one while I was at it for Brooke.

The laser makes it really easy to create multiples. The first version always takes the most time, but once the design and settings are honed in, it’s a matter of loading in the material and pressing go. 

To put the box together, we disassembled it, used acrylic cement on the box joints, and put it back together. I was as careful as possible with the glue, as the box is see through, and any mistake would be visible. This was not the easiest glue to work with, but it ended up working well.

I ended up making a few more boxes with slightly different dimensions. I put masks in the front compartments, and stuffed the top compartments with gloves. I figured a fully stocked box would make a great gift to give to my family members, so I knew their households would have the supplies they needed to be safe when they go out.

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