I recently started making samples of the materials that Big Blue Saw offers. Since I knew that I would be showing these to customers, and possibly giving them away, I made the samples in the form of business cards (some of you have received these with your orders).
I ended up with so many samples that I had to figure out some way of organizing them all. A clear acrylic box would be just the thing: easy to make, attractive, and it lets you see all of its contents without opening it. With the techniques in this article, you're not limited to making boxes to hold business cards. You can use this general design to make custom electronics enclosures, robot frames, and more.
I began by creating a design in the Big Blue Saw designer. The base of the box would consist of 5 laser cut pieces 0.118 inches (3 mm) thick that would slot together and be held in place with nuts and bolts. The top would slot onto the base, and be removable for easy access.
I then cut the 6 parts (5 for the base, 1 for the top) on the laser cutting machine. Our acrylic comes with a protective paper layer attached, as shown here.
I peeled the protective layer off, and was left with nice clear plastic parts.
I assembled the pieces and used #6 nuts and screws to fasten everything together. I think you'll agree that the brass hardware gives the box a polished appearance.
Here is one box full of samples. It's a little hard to see in this photo, but the brass nuts make little dividers between the cards.
I wasn't done yet, though. I decided to make another box, this time using several different materials. This box was made from clear acrylic, black acrylic, blue and white engraveable acrylic, and the (on the back face, not really visible) brushed nickel engraveable acrylic.
If you want to make your variation on this design, download the design file. One of these custom acrylic boxes currently costs $22.20 or $11.88 each if you order 10.