Tomorrow is the 1st Advent, and right on time I was able to finish a special version of an Advent calendar for the Christmas 2020:
I have put the design on GitHub, so if you are looking for a last minute project and have access to a laser cutter, you might still be able to build one too until Dec 1st.
- 5 sheets of plywood, 4 mm, A3 size
- wood glue
- Christmas mini LED lights
- material to fill the calendar boxes
The design has been created with Inkscape, my favorite and open source vector drawing tool.
The design is for 4 mm plywood, but can be easily customized and changed with other tools too (.svg file format).
The calendar features 24 different boxes, one for each day in December. Each box is able to hold a few small items:
The parts for the houses fit together without glue needed, but glue can help to make it more robust. The house can be easily removed from the bottom part if needed. The calendar boxes are all removable.
In the basement I installed the batteries and the wiring of the lights, as there was not enough space inside the house itself.
LEDs are powered by 3 AA batteries:
The lights can be dimmed and and turn off automatically after 6 hours.
In the base there is space for the battery, electronics and the wiring:
The lights can be dimmed or turned on/off using the round button near the left front door.
I’m very happy with the result: it looks great at day and even more at night. The advent boxes could be refilled or replaced for a different event next year. Why not an ‘Easter Calendar’ or a ‘Summer Calendar’ depending on the season of the year?
Happy adventing 🙂
- Files on GitHub: https://github.com/ErichStyger/mcuoneclipse/tree/master/LaserCutter/Inkscape/AdventCalendar
- Inkscape: https://inkscape.org/
- LightBurn: https://lightburnsoftware.com/
- Lasercutter used: Upgrading a Laser Cutter with Cohesion3D Mini and LCD
I really love what you did (it’s really splendid, congratulations) and I would like to do the same again. Could you tell me what type of plywood you used because it gives a great rendering
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i used 4 mm birch plywood.
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Hi Erich, this is a great project! I saved the page to try it for this December.
I just finished it today. The cutting and assembly went pretty smoothly – but a couple of comments for someone else making this advent calendar:
* the template is missing a few pieces to make all 24 boxes. You’ll need copy and paste these pieces: 5 square box back pieces, 4 short box sides, 3 large box bottoms (and a partridge in a pear tree)
* definitely glue this together.
* the box backs are not exactly square, so before you glue make sure the box is square, otherwise, turn the back 90 degrees – otherwise you’ll be sanding down edges to get the drawers in and out easily.
* before cutting the round holes in the floor, check the diameter of your LED lights to make sure they fit through.
Great job and may be making a second one sometime soon!
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thanks for all these points! I did create the boxes in several iterations, and had them on the sheet just to fill out things. Next time I should probably have all parts together to make it easier. I noticed the little non-squareness too, mostly because of the laser cut kerv. As you, I did turn the back to make to make it fit. All good points, and thanks again!
Hi Eric, any chance you could update the file on github to get all the changes right? I was planning to laser everything on thursday 🙂
Tremendous job from you thanks a lot!
Unfortunately, no. I’m under a big crunch preparing lecture and exam material this week, and want to build another (different) calendar for 2021, and I’m running out of time. Sorry 😦
No worries, I’ll figure it out. Do you know if this would work with Poplar wood, 4mm as well?
See section ‘material used’ in the article: I did use 4 mm 🙂
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Are there directions for how to assemble or how many bit vs small boxes someplace? I’m not particularly familiar with github and didn’t see it.
There are no special instructions as I thought it should be obvious? For each of the boxes there is a front with a number, two side walls, a bottom wall and a back wall.