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Last night’s makerspace project was a laser cut insert to organise my portable soldering kit with Pinecil and SuperTank USB-C battery.

This was designed, prototyped and built in 3 hours.
First I traced the shape of the bottom of the box onto paper with a pen. I moved around the parts until I found an arrangement that worked for both use and storage.
I thought about how to mount the stand in a stowable fashion, and decided on trying magnets. I found a suitable recycled hard drive magnet at the makerspace, and bent the base of the stand so it matched the magnet better and stood securely.
I traced the part arrangement onto the paper in the decided pattern, including screw holes for the magnet.
Then I took a photo of the paper from above with my phone and transferred it to the computer and my SVG editor.
I used the dimensions of the box outline to scale the image to real dimensions in the editor, then traced the cutouts I had hand-drawn into SVG shapes.
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To confirm the pattern would work, I imported the SVG into the laser cutter software and cut the pattern into more paper. I was then able to compare dimensions and make minor adjustments without wasting wood.
I imported the adjusted pattern again and then cut it in 3mm bamboo plywood.
I glued the two support pieces for the iron, and installed pieces of foam in the sides of the box with strong double sided adhesive.
Once the glue had sufficiently dried, I fit the insert into the foam retainer, installing the solder reel, and placed the other items in their places.
And then it was done!

There’s also room underneath the insert to stow a bulldog clip with magnets so if needed I can hold the stand to another surface if I’m working in extra cramped conditions like sometimes happens. And maybe even a small set of flush cutters too.

Ever since my pelican case project, I’ve been a super fan of EVA (or similar) foam as dead-simple shock absorbing friction-fit mounting method for laser cut box inserts. No need to get dimensions absolutely perfect on a draft angled surface. No need to worry about drilling holes without cracking, or glue that’ll stick to the plastic, or brackets. Just hold it with adhesive foam!

@antifuchs in the pelican case project I cut V- grooves into the foam so it also located the acrylic ribs, as well as friction-holding them. I figure whatever it loses in longevity due to dependence on adhesive, it gains in robustness of shock resistance

@s0 yes! The constant pressure will form little guide marks, too. The shock resistance is what I love about it: it all gets nearer and so much more sturdy too!

@s0 I'm definitely going to keep this idea in the back of my brain for the next time I'm playing with optimization of my set up :)

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Cathode Church

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