I found this cardboard 3D puzzle while browsing the web for ideas. As I own a pet cat, there really wasn’t a doubt in my mind I would eventually be making something similar. I thought about downloading a proper 3D model and slice it up in layers, but making the joints and have it all fit together would have been a huge undertaking to say the least.
So plan B: I actually found the plans for this particular design. They were low-res images though, so I had to trace the whole thing, which took me a while…
Ideally, this project should be done on a lasercutter, but mine is broken. Moreover, with its 200 x 300mm working area I would have been limited in size. So I turned to the cnc router once again. The plywood stock was about 3.5mm thick. I used a 1.6mm (1/16″) endmill in order to be able to cut the slits. In hindsight, I could have gone full thickness in one pass, but I took it way more conservatively with 4 passes. If I were to do it again, I’d lower my feedrate a bit (was at 2000mm/min) to get nicer edges and do it in 2 passes.
With proper nesting, the whole cat pattern could fit on a 750 x 700mm sheet. The end result is about 45 x 33 x 10cm, just slightly smaller than my real cat.
Below are all the parts after some minor cleanup.
And fully assembled.