CNC milled storage units

As I mentioned earlier that we are creating Riverside makerspace furniture. This post is about the storage furniture for keeping powered tools, electronics and other raw material.

We wanted to show kids the sort of things you can create with a CNC mill and the different types of joineries and assemblies which can be achieved. They have been colored in such a way that from any view you can identify the different panels which join.

These storage units are really easy to assemble and can be put together in matter of minutes. To make them real sturdy, after assembling them we put screws in the sides. Castor are put on the bottom to move them around the space. The only hardware used in these units are the screws and the castors.There is no hinge in the units which have doors. The doors open around two circular holes made in the top and bottom panel of the respective units. Provision for locking has been provided.

I’ll be sharing the schematics of the tables either through instructables or through the blog.


Storage 1

Storage 1 has one main lockable compartment and one open top compartment. The top compartment will accommodate the consumables or tools which would be used frequently. The main compartment can house power tools or delicate work in progress. The locking extension is supported on one of the side panels.

Storage 1

Storage 2

Storage 2 is two compartments which can be locked using two doors. The separating shelf houses the door locking extensions. This unit will accommodate expensive electronic components, work in progress and other consumables.

Storage 2

Storage 3

Storage 3 has only one open compartment. This unit will accommodate raw material like MDF, acrylic, cardboard, foam- board and mill-board sheets.

Storage 3


Detailing of furniture


Let there be Light

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

And this light could make all the difference.

I have been practicing origami for some years now and I particularly like geometric folding. An array of mountains and valleys creating beautiful 3 dimensional objects. I particularly like making geometric folded lamps. I prefer using cartridge sheet for folding. Cartridge sheet is stiff enough to hold its shape over a period of time and it diffuses light in a very beautiful way. I’ve used laser cutters to score the patterns and a lot of time I just use a scale and a cutter to fold.

In Riverside school makerspace we wanted to put some origami lamps to give the space a nice ambiance and also to fascinate and inspire the kids. We have put up 8 hand folded origami lamps and we have been getting appreciation for the work. Some teachers have been asking to keep workshop for the kids to learn origami. Maybe once the school is open again the workshop can be held.



Link to some of the best origami books I’ve come across

Some of the Paper Artists which I like

One of the best documentary on origami

Between Folds


3D printed Storytelling

Darth Vader’s iconic status has made the character a synonym for evil in popular culture. I always wanted to have an action figure of Vader. In the school makerspace we have a 3D printer at our disposal and I thought why not print a figure for myself.

I got a very nice low poly model of Vader by FLOWALISTIK on thingiverse. Link to the model: Low-Poly Darth Vader

It took 2 hours to print the model at 0.1 mm resolution and in the end the figure came out to be pretty awesome. The kids in the school went crazy when they saw the figure. All of them wanted to print a model for themselves.

After printing the model I thought why not do a photo shoot to make Darth Vader look bad ass. I made the setup in front of an abstract painting which my friend had made. I had two hexbug battle spider with me, which I ended up using in the shoot. I placed the printed figure and spiders on a towel. I used the towel to give a feel of a terrain. I had printed the model without cape, so I had to make one on my own.

The photos show Darth Vader with two spiders on an isolated landscape looking for signs of Luke Skywalker.

I’ll try to print one Stromtropper as well.


CNC milled table for kids

As we are setting up the makerspace in Riverside, we thought why not design some furniture which is going to be used specifically in the space. So, we designed a set of low tables and some storage units for keeping powered tools and material.

We wanted to show kids the sort of things you can create with a CNC mill and the different types of joineries and assemblies which can be achieved. When using high tables it becomes difficult to keep all the things around. The idea behind making the low tables was to provide kids with extra space around them while they sit on the floor and do their activities. These tables are really easy to assemble and can be put together in matter of minutes.

I’ll be sharing the schematics of the tables either through instructables or through the blog.


A timelapse of milling

Digital fabrication with CNC Milling

Milling started in the early 19th century and has gone through a lot of development. The biggest of them was the automation of the control; use of a universal language G-Code to define how the machine would perform a function. The next big thing was the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). CAD and CAM based system are responsible for the mass production as well as one off products. They have helped in standardization as well as customization of products and processes.

Because of the rise of Open Source hardware & software and availability of components, it has become easier for people and start ups to come up with their own low cost CNC machines. Shopbot, Inventables, Creator Bot are some of the few companies which are making CNC milling machines which could be bought by an individual or a makerspace. I’m currently using a Shopbot (in FabLab CEPT) and a mini Creator Bot CNC mill.

We have been designing and building knockdown furniture, classroom projects of kids using these machines. The furniture built most of the time comes out of a single 8 inch x 4 inch sheet of MDF or plyboard. And as it is knockdown furniture it can be transported, put together and taken apart in a very shot time. We are planning to come up with instructables for the things we build.

Some interesting links to digital joints

CNC Panel Joinery Notebook


CNC Cut Wood Joinery


50 Digital Wood Joints Poster


Joy of 3D Printing

3D printing needs no introduction. People are already saying that 3D printing is signalling to the beginning of the 3rd Industrial Revolution. Due to the advancement in CAD modelling software, user interface, computer hardware and open availability of schematics for building your own 3D printer on  platforms like Instructables we are heading towards the concept of “If you can imagine it, you can build it”

Companies like Autodesk are focusing a lot on the gamut of 3D printing hardware and it’s allied software. It has come up with 123 Design suit which makes 3D printing and other rapid prototyping sort of kid’s play. They have software ranging from app based 3D scanner to circuit making to online CAD modelling. The learning curve for this suit is not that step and the best part is that kids are able to pick it up super quick. We are setting up a makerspace in Riverside School and I see kids making wonderful stuff with the software.

When it comes to 3D printing hardware then a lot of people already know about Makerbot. I’ve personally used their printers and they are quite good for home or educational purpose. The 3D printer “Creator Bot” which we are using in the school is built by a bunch of awesome people from Bangalore. The resolution and finish of the printer is as good as the mass manufacturer Makerbot but at a fraction of the cost. Head to Creator Bot website to check out the things they have to offer.

We are building our own 3D models as well as downloading some for free from thingiverse. It so much fun to see a 3D CAD model come to life in front of your eyes.

Riverside Makerspace

For the past 2 months we have been busy setting up a makerspace in Riverside School, Ahmedabad. Over the last 15 years, Riverside has designed, implemented and shared a unique user centered curriculum that is providing schools with an alternative model which focuses on quality of learning AND student well being. The practices have been recognized worldwide and the school has regularly been honored for its academic achievement as well as its unique philosophy of ‘Doing Good AND Doing Well’. Riverside School’s achievement stands as a testimonial of a true 21st century model with its students consistently outperforming the top 10 schools in India.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. You can do anything.

– Kiran Bir Sethi, Founder & Director


In this project I am collaborating with Krishna Teja and Soumeet Lanka from The Makers of Things. This is probably the first makerspace in a school setting in India. The purpose of this space is to create a curriculum (Better by Design) which will enable the students to learn about digital fabrication and rapid prototyping using activities involving design thinking. This space will also facilitate kids in bringing their creative and interesting ideas to life.

The space is powered by digital fabrication machines from Creator Bot. The machines include:

  • 3 Axis CNC milling machine
  • 2 Watt Laser cutter
  • 3D printer

We are providing the kids with various hand and power tools, electronics, material etc to help them in prototyping their ideas and coming up with high fidelity outcome.

We have been doing a lot of activities with students from different standards. We built some knockdown furniture using CNC milling machine for the space.

I’ll put some of the work we are doing in the school soon.