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Houten vouwboekje

October 2011, quoting Designboom: Snijlab has developed new possibilities of working with wood. Using laser cutting technique they make tiny cuts in wooden sheets that allow it to be flexible. Once processed the wood can be fully bent in both directions without breaking.

Snijlab makes wooden booklets with the bendable wood technique. The cover is a single sheet of wood cut from a beautiful birch plywood and finished with a clear varnish. Cuts in the middle allow the cover to be flexed open and really; It’s only wood! A tiny clamp, made of the same material, holds a standard a7 writing block inside.

"With this design we want to show the great possibilities of digital manufacturing. by using manufacturing techniques like this in products it is possible to make all product features in only one production step and a single material. Only one machine is needed and material supply is easy. This cuts down production effort and logistics and also makes for a beautifully simple product. Because a laser cutter is a fairly common tool these products could also be manufactured locally, all over the world. That saves transport. By working from flat materials the products can also be flat-packed, saving even more resources and costs on shipping. These kind of advantages make digital production a great new way of making things."

foto: Peter van Dijk
foto: Peter van Dijk
Foto: Peter van Dijk
Foto: Peter van Dijk

License: you are invited to contribute to the open design world

We've licenced this design under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This means you are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

for any purpose, even commercially.

Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, andindicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

*You must provide our name (, a license notice, and a link to this page.

Getting your own

You can buy the booklets readymade from our shop or you can upload a drawing and have it laser cut by our service. The latter will be less expensive but you'll have to do the finishing work yourself. The cool thing is that you have the chance to change/hack/customize the design before you have it made.

The source files are available for download here

In the press

This design was picked up by a number of blogs including Designboom, boingboing, Make and Inhabitat. We also published an article explaining how to make your own booklet in your local techshop in Make magazine Issue 33.