I’m looking for a better way to make a cardboard box.
Initially I hoped to 3D-print a stamping die. However, I was unable to print teeth that cut the cardboard reliably. As I press cardboard onto the die, it tends to crumble. This method works okay to make edges to bend, but not for cutting of the outline. So, I ended using the die to mark the outline, then cut it with a utility knife. That method is neither fast nor precise, in my hands anyway.
Here’s what the current project looks like:
Someone posted a note at social.makerforums.info about using a laser cutter. This part sounds intriguing: “even the humblest cheap diode #lasercutter can cut cardboard packaging.”
We also have an interesting thread where a member does exactly what I need with a laser:
However, I need to cut something like 300 to 500 of these things each year. Meanwhile, the K40 FAQ is full of scary warnings about not leaving the laser even for 30 seconds, keeping the fire extinguisher on hand, and so on. If these safety precautions were to be followed, the fun factor goes down quite a bit. Also, I obviously need a place with a ventillation system that can evacuate all the burned cardboard smoke.
So, I’m posting this to General CNC in order to solicit ideas about safer alternatives to laser that are more compatible with a living room or a garage at worst.
One idea I’m considering is using a Genmitsu 3018 with a spiral bit. Stack a few cardboard bits, compress with a 3D printed plate for clamping. Is this something that’s likely to work?
I’m also open to any other ideas. Who knows, maybe a router exists that uses some kind of vertical wire saw. There’s also a thing called “drag blade”, about which I know nothing about. So, any experience on the topic of cardboard packaging is welcome.