Laser cut stainless steel hopper
by martin-lathuille | Source: Precious-Plastic-Community-Platform
This how-to explains how to easily create a hopper for the 2.1 shredder, using laser cut stainless sheet.
Since most shredders requires laser cut parts, you can add the shredder cutout to the list!
This design requires no welding, and can be completed in less that a day with on a angle grinder, a vise and a few rivets.
It features a laser cut plexiglass lid, so that you can see what's happening.
Step 1 - Cut the parts
Send the files to your local laser cutting shop. This design requires 1.5 mm thick stainless steel (more durable than regular steel, but it can work just fine), and 3 mm thick plexyglass. For plexyglass, it can maybe be laser cut in your local fablab too!
Step 2 - Prepare the folds
Once the laser cutting is done, you need to mark the dotted lines using a angle grinder and a thin cutting disc (1.5 mm thick is good).
Grind through half the thickness of the stainless sheet to ease up the bending process.
Small advice: when grinding the small bend line (for the mounting brackets), make sure the grind ABOVE the line (and not below), otherwise the mounting brackets will not be flush with hopper top, and will let plastics leak all over.
Step 3 - Bend the sheet and rivet
Bend the sheet along the line you marked. If you have a sheet bended it's way easier!
Clamp the sheet in a solid vise, and bend use pliers to bend along the lines.
It is easier to start with the large bends, and then proceed to the bends for attachment on the hopper.
Small advice here: if you feel too much resistance while bending, stop and mark the bends a little deeper so that you obtain a nice bend.
Step 4 - Bending the lid
For ease of use I added line along the fold lines during laser cutting the plexiglass.
To bend the lips, I secured the part in a vise just on the futur bend line, and used a heat gun on medium heat at about 20 cm on the plexiglass until the angle is 90 °. Beware of not get too close with the heatgun otherwise you'll create bubble on the surface. I recommend to train on a scrap piece of plexiglass (or laser cut multiple lids)
Step 5 - Here you go!
You now have a functional, aircraft lookin' hopper for your shredder! I sanded mine with 230 grint sand paper to even out the surface, and added a small hinge on the back for the lid: