Meet the Poplar

You can make some sweet objects with Eurolite Poplar.Don’t let this cheap material fool you.  It might invoke images of grubby, plywood clad construction site exteriors, but this economical plywood is very versatile.

Poplar is a cheap, low density material.  It laser cuts quickly and is lightweight, so saves on cutting and shipping costs.  This makes it wonderful for prototyping.  The thick ply is also very structural!  Like MDF, it’s easy to glue and paint with pretty much anything, so it lends itself well to model making.

See some fantastic examples and get free design files under the cut

Poplar engraves beautifully, giving excellent detail and contrast.  This makes it a great material choice for making jewellery.  Australian SniffleCo has been making the very popular poplar brooches for years.  You can read about his process here.This plywood has a wonderful advantage of being cheap and lightweight enough to be suitable for prototyping, and at the same type interesting enough for final products.  This means that you can tweak your joints, tabs and nodes and feel confident that they will translate perfectly to your final design.  Tony Richardson very successfully follows this exact process to create his architectural scale models, including the Futuna chapel model below.  Other pictured projects are Alienology’s no waste Bloom lamp; African percussion instrument Kalimba, the construction process of which is detailed in this blog post; Ori’s mechanical Cranespotting lamp; and the monstrous amp by Ponoko’s new blogger Rich Decibels.  You can be the envy of all your friends by winning this amp here.Eurolite Poplar is a natural material, so it’s prone to warping over larger sheet sizes, especially then thinner 4mm variety.  See how it can affect your design files here.  The little spice cabinet below was made from very warped offcuts that were full of knots, but it still assembled with ease in ten minutes thanks to proper gluing and clamping.  You can download a free file to make your own mini cabinet that can be customised with engraving or different colour doors.  The total cutting time for this project is under 10min.  The cabinet is designed to fit on a P2, and the sliding doors fit on a P1.  The doors are made from 3mm acrylic, giving you a great range of colours to choose from.  I have clear doors for all cabinets with my uniform glass jars and mirror doors for cabinets to hide away all the visually polluting containers.Eurolite plywood is available in different thicknesses from Ponoko NZ and Vectorealism for all your Personal Factory projects.

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