Parametric script makes laser cutter designs a snap

[Tinkerer] bought a small cupboard from an antique store to fit nicely into his kitchen decor. After getting it home, he realized that some of the cubbyholes had originally housed drawers. The originals were long gone but this provided an opportunity for him to make the replacements seen above.

The first design approach that popped into [Tinkerer's] mind was to draw the pieces in an editor like Inkscape. Some consultation with others at the local Hackerspace led him to this script-based parametric SVG design tool. We jumped right in to give it a whirl, clicking on Load –> Construction (category) –> Better Box. Once you’ve chosen the script, click on ‘Parameters’ on the left column and enter the sizing you want for your box. When all values are correct, click the renter tab, then export it as a Scalable Vector Graphic.

We’ve lamented time and again about our lack of a laser cutter, so we were unable to test this out. But we can’t see why it wouldn’t reproduce the same results that [Tinkerer] achieved.

Comments

  1. Brad says:

    Good stuff. Btw, it’s the “render” tab. Not “renter”. :)

  2. sneakypoo says:

    I’ve always wondered, when you guys write “we” does that mean that you have an actual office where you tinker with the other members or is it more of a “royal we” so to speak?

    • mjrippe says:

      Yeah, sorry to further sidetrack the thread, but perhaps a “Tour of Hack a Day” would make a nice post!

      • Caleb Kraft says:

        We are located all over the place, so my normal answer would usually be that we could possibly do tours of our individual workshops. However, we’ve filled our full time position and should soon have an offical hackaday set for hacking and making videos. Maybe a tour of that would be cool.

    • svofski says:

      Something between the royal we and lack of personal responsibility for the published words. “We” was introduced about a year or two ago when HaD started expanding. Someone could write a script for HaD content analysis.

      • Caleb Kraft says:

        Actually svofski, the royal we started sometime in late 2007 when the staff grew to include Eliot. Feel free to browse back about 800 to 850 pages to verify. I personally carried on this rule for a long time as it is a somewhat standard rule on most sites like this, but lately I’ve been encouraging the writers to opine a bit more.

    • Phil Burgess says:

      We (by which I mean the literal we — the contributing HaD writers) are encouraged to follow a specific style guide (adopted from another site) that recommends use of the “editorial we.” This has nothing to do with dodging responsibility and everything to do with following an established successful style guide. Lately this rule has relaxed somewhat and more “I” and “me” are creeping in…which, personally, I’m thankful for, because all those “we”s can be awkward to write around sometimes (much like formal “one” vs. informal “you”)!

      Ironically…we, er, I just acquired a laser cutter last week, but hadn’t told the other writers yet as I’m still fussing around with alignment and settings and whatnot, else that last paragraph would read differently, though still the “editorial we.”

      • Caleb Kraft says:

        yup, we’re mixing it up more lately. Also, looking forward to some info on the laser cutter!

      • svofski says:

        @Caleb, Phil: thanks for explaining it from your perspective. It’s not that the “we” in general is bad. It’s just the passages written around this pronoun, sometimes, say things that probably weren’t worth saying and it feels as if the author realizes that and wants to dissipate the guilt hiding behind that multiple personal pronoun.

        But it’s a interesting insight about the old times, I didn’t realize that. Somehow I didn’t feel the effect of “we” in ye olde days. Maybe because opinions back then used to be voluntary opinions and not just filler phrases added to make the article look bigger? Maybe there’s no point in explicitly encouraging the authors to opinionate? Very often, less is more.

        Well and to pretend that we’re on topic — Congrats with your cutter! *envy* and expecting an article about it.

  3. Victor says:

    One correction I’d like to make: you should load the scripts I posted on my blog, not the one from http://www.giplt.nl/svg/ to get the same output.
    I hope many people have to spend less time than I did to make a box!

  4. Chris Davis says:

    Take a look at Magic Box – http://magic-box.org/ it’s another parametric SVG tool, but allows you to add UI elements for setting the parameters. Very cool.

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