Laser cut coffee tray

María de Eusebio

Purpose of the project

I made this little project to carry the coffee cups from the machine to our table. Currently I am working in a team with 9 other people, so walking around with 10 cups of drinks can be a challenge for the person who is in charge of bringing the drinks to the table. Until now we were using the lid of a paper box to carry the cups around, so the objective of my coffee tray project was to design something marginally better than the paper box lid.

Tray design

The resulting tray, pictured below, has 10 circular slots to carry cups. It is about 40 cm long and 25 cm wide.
The diameter of the slots is 6 cm, so the standard TU Delft cups fit until about three-quarters of their height. The spacing between slots is 2 cm, more than enough to keep the top of the cups separated.  I personalised each slot with the names of the group members and their usual drink from the coffee machine. On the side there is a slot to carry cards, and the bottom features the group’s motto and our name.

Laser cut settings

The tray is made out of 5 mm plywood. A 3 mm plywood would have been too thin to carry all the weight around. The engravings were done first, all of them by using raster engraving (scan mode of the 100Watt machine) at 16%-20% energy and 200 mm/s. The total time for engraving the whole tray was about 15 minutes.
The card holder was done by burning a few mm of the wood surface. The settings were raster engraving again, this time at 100 mm/s and 35%-45% power. The width is just enough to fit a standard card. Completing this part took as much time as making the rest of the tray.
The wood was cut using laser cutting (cut mode of the machine) at 45%-65% power and 35 mm/s speed. It only took a couple of minutes to cut the slots and tray.
After cutting the tray I sanded the sides and applied a varnish coating. Clearly, my woodworking skills need some tuning, as the varnish was uneven and left some ugly spots on the opposite side.

Final result!

The final result does seem to be better than the paper box lid and we are using it regularly. Future improvements will be to correct the typos, put some handles on the side, and make a slot for carrying teabags.