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Picture of Make a Wooden Magazine Rack With a Laser Cutter

Do you know this situation: You bring in the mail and browsing through it you sort it into categories like bills, trash, an interesting magazine I want to read later,... and so on. For me, this usually meant that I ended up with different stacks of paper on my bench or table. This did not look nice and also was not very practical.

So I decided to make myself a wooden magazine rack. I wanted it to have at least four shelves, and I wanted a modern design to fit with my dining table and bench.

I have only basic woodworking skills and limited access to woodworking tools. Yet as I have access to a laser cutter, I chose to make the magazine rack using the laser cutter. I am sure somebody with more skill, can come up with a better way to construct the magazine rack. I am also pretty sure that with a CNC router the building could be done much more efficient. Of course, another option would have been to simplify the design, but I had a certain image in my mind and wanted to test if it was possible to create it with the laser cutter as the main tool.

Material:

  • 4 mm Birch plywood
  • 4 mm Clear acrylic
  • Sandpaper (120 grit)
  • Wood glue

Tools:

  • Laser cutter
  • Clamps
  • Belt/disc sander (recommended)

Step 1: Creating the Design and Modeling in Fusion 360

Picture of Creating the Design and Modeling in Fusion 360

First I did some freehand sketching of different shapes. After I came up with a basic shape I liked, I started modeling in Fusion 360. In case you don't know - Fusion 360 is a 3D modeling software, which is free to use for hobbyists. I am quite new to Fusion. I have done some beginner tutorials and played around with it, but the magazine rack was the first real project for me.

Below you can see a quick rendering of the final design. I decided to use acrylic as part of the shelves because I like the look of the wood combined with the transparent acrylic. Acrylic also has the advantage that it can be cut with a laser cutter and it is not as fragile as glass.

I really learned a lot during the making. At some parts, it was also a bit frustrating, like when I found out the hard way that it is not a good idea just to ignore the automatic Fusion 360 warnings. I had my model completely finished but when I wanted to rearrange the parts of the rack to create files for cutting, I ended up with multiple errors. I don't want to bore you here with all the details but maybe I will later write a post about how to avoid my mistakes and save some hours.

s.antcliff7 months ago
Great use of the laser cutter. A unique way of utilising this machine. The finished product is amazing. It has given an idea for a project for my design students. Nice
Maker Design Lab (author)  s.antcliff7 months ago
Thank you very much for your kind words! I am happy it inspired some ideas :)
This is such a beautiful design and I love that you use clear acrylic :D