Cardboard - little boxes from big boxes

Well, with this covid crap going on we sure do order a lot more stuff online and have it delivered.
Add to that the fact that my wife is doing some “redecorating” and ordering a lot of stuff and it all means that I seem to be perpetually buried under a metric buttload of cardboard.

A few days ago I was wishing that I had some little bins for temporary storage and sorting of some small parts and I looked at that growing pile of cardboard and figured… “why not?”

I know there’s “box making” places online where you can just enter you desired finished size and it will spit out an SVG for you but I thought it would be more educational to have a go at it from scratch so I thought about the geometry of it for a bit and drew up a little bin. It came out pretty good for a first attempt and didn’t really take very long. It’ll be easier next time. :slight_smile:

Anyway, little boxes from big boxes. The lbrn file is set up for 3mm (0.12") thick cardboard. I did one for 6mm cardboard as well.

storage_bin_3-8-thin.lbrn (23.9 KB)


As well, cardboard is great for refining technique.

If you can engrave on cardboard, you have the control to do anything.

Outside of the laser stuff for work, I make lamps and dolls house/farm buildings/castles and all the cardboard cartons are great for proving 3D models and getting wiring looms worked out

Yeah, cardboard is handy for lots of stuff. But I gotta say the optimum cut settings sure do vary a lot between different flavors of cardboard!
I had 2 boxes that were each 6mm thick “double layer” material and one cut like butter and the other I could barely get through even when slowed way down. Part of the problem I think is that my lens/nozzle arrangement sucks for long focal length lenses and puts my air assist up too far from the cut.
I’m going to have to break down and buy a different head one of these days.

A lot of double-wall cartons are impregnated for shipping.

Engraving corrugated is a nightmare, but cereal boxes, etc. made from pasteboard are great

Hi @Hank, great job.

I’ve also been making boxes for several days and the part that costs me the most is the engraving without cutting or burning them :laughing:

The cutting parameters that are loaded when you open your file are these and they are correct?

LightBurn - LightBurn 0.9.20 2021-01-17 17.12.27

Thanks for sharing it :hugs:

Those are the settings that I used to cut the last batch of boxes.
65% indicated power is essentially “full power” for my 80 watt tube, but the required speed for any particular type of cardboard can vary all over the place. Some cardboard cuts easy, some not so much.

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What a great idea Hank, thanks for sharing!



A metric buttload = 0.984 imperial buttloads, by the way!

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We mostly use the f’cktonne.

thats brilliant :smile:

thanks for sharing that, I will have a go and see how I get on…they look great


nicly done. for a long while i have been thinking about doing cardbord on the inside of a wooden box to keep the weight down. you proved that its more than possible.

Be careful with corrugated cardboard…I was cutting some once, frontside looked fine, but as I picked it up from the bed, nearly the whole of the underside was smouldering and burning.

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I’ve never had that happen unless it’s on a solid plate, rather than a grid or honeycomb - but a quick spray with water on the underside before cutting can get rid of that problem

This was on a honeycomb bed, but I think that was sitting on the solid bed, so no lower extraction

I love these, great idea.
I’m going to make some - and thanks for the tip regarding a spritz of water!

Hmm, going to have to re-think.
I have a 4040 CO2 laser (50W), so will need to resize these, but then the tabs will shrink.

I’ll let you know how I get on with pen-pot sized ones!