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Thread: CNC Cut Acrylic Overflow Boxes

  1. #1
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    Default CNC Cut Acrylic Overflow Boxes

    Hi Everyone,

    I suppose like many I have looked at different overflow box designs, each have their pluses and minuses. In the end I personally liked the drill-a-tank style acrylic box design. There are a few options online, mostly overseas (as far as I could see) available. I haven't tried these options because I was mostly put off by the cost of shipping for what seems like a simple idea.

    So hence why I'm posting in the DIY area of the forum.

    Here comes the good bit. My brother designs and builds CNC machines. These are computer controlled router cutting machines for those who don't know, they cut wood, acrylic, aluminum and even steel with a plasma cutter. So I asked him if he could knock up a designed based on my rough sketch, so he did. Last week he finally got around to cutting a sample from some scrap wood (you never do a first run on the real material apparently... good idea as acrylic is pricey stuff).

    So here it is glued together with wood glue. Obviously the final product is going to be out of Acrylic!







    The Box Dimensions (All metric! We are in Oz after all.)
    Height: 11.5cm
    Width: 13cm
    Depth: 4.5cm

    Suits a 25mm bulkhead

    So I'm primarily getting this done for myself, I need two. One for an existing tank that's up and running and another for a saltwater nano project that I'm in the process of collecting stuff for.

    Here's what I'm thinking, I will be buying a sheet of Black Acrylic. One sheet will be truly more than I need. My brother recommends using the sheet all in one go. The machine can be programmed to maximize the total area of material so that you don't get much wastage. We have calculated that out of one sheet we may end up with as many as 15 to 16 complete overflow boxes! I want to buy the Acrylic this week, so I will know the cost and get it cut out by the end of next week. That's my time-frame goal anyway. I personally need one of these units myself within the next 3 weeks to fix up a tank before I go overseas.

    If you are interested in buying one of these then please let me know. I don't have final costs worked out but I will be using this thread to update on this as I know more. One thing is for sure the cost will be way lower than purchasing it from overseas. The price will vary if you want a 25mm bulkhead with it (I can get trade prices on these), Acrylic glue and/or if you want it constructed. Shipping cost will likely vary a bit if it's flat pack vs constructed.

    There are other details I haven't worked out as well such as who puts it together. I will be buying proper acrylic glue for the job however some people may prefer to do this themselves and receive it flat-pack style. On the other hand others will want it constructed, which I'm sure I won't mind doing. I kinda like little DIY projects like this.

    I don't want to go on any longer, if you are interested in getting one or more of these overflow boxes then just let me know in this thread, please don't PM me, at least not at this stage because I don't know anything more except what I have already said. Please post your questions here and I'll do my best to answer.
    Last edited by Chunks; 09-04-13 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The Acrylic thickness will be 4.5mm
    The flow rate is a guess at this stage but I estimate it'll be between 750 to 1000 litres per hour. I can't guarantee this as I haven't tested the design yet!
    Last edited by Chunks; 09-04-13 at 05:52 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hey Chunks, great project! I think i will have to move it to the Group Buy Section though, due to the nature. Good luck with the project and if you have any questions about why i moved it feel free to ask. Cheers.
    Chris -my tank

  4. #4

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    might sound like a silly question but how does it work?

  5. #5
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    Default

    No not a silly question at all.

    This box design requires that a hole be drilled in the tank, in this case a 25mm hole (or just slightly larger) for a bulkhead. I'll post a picture up later but a bulkheads is typically used in water tanks where you need to attached an outlet. This creates a seal between the box which sits inside the aquarium and the outlet pipe that runs down to a sump filter.

    Apart from that this box sits inside the aquarium and water cascades through the teeth and down out through the bulkhead in to the sump. The sump pump then returns that water to the tank again.

    I hope that makes sense. I'll post a picture soon that might help.

  6. #6
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    Default Progress report...

    Well it took a little longer to get the box cut because we were waiting on a special acrylic router bit to come in so that the job could be done. So here are all the individual pieces cut and ready for gluing.


  7. #7
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    looks great imo, ive seen pictures of them from overseas marine setups and that looks awesome. You could easily make it stronger between joints just buy apply strips on the side of it and it would compromise the external look at all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanoz View Post
    looks great imo, ive seen pictures of them from overseas marine setups and that looks awesome. You could easily make it stronger between joints just buy apply strips on the side of it and it would compromise the external look at all.
    Not sure why you would need to reinforce it with strips on the inside as the glue used to put this together actually isn't a glue as such, it literally melts and bonds the edges together almost making it one piece.

  9. #9
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    i got one of these kits imported, cost me about $50 all up, looks exactly whats you have above but incldes the glass home silicone and bulkhead
    http://www.glass-holes.com/Complete-...ow-Kits_c3.htm
    i would be interested in one but in clear acrylic?
    why doesnt anyone make a clear one so it cant be seen in the tank?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by majorspawn View Post
    i would be interested in one but in clear acrylic?
    why doesn't anyone make a clear one so it cant be seen in the tank?
    It wouldn't be a problem to make one in clear, in fact any colour that acrylic is available could be done. The only problem is that you would still be able to see the bulkhead which is black... not unless you know of a place that make clear bulkheads?

    I would have to order in a sheet of clear acrylic so if your serious about it I can cost it up for you. Gonna cost a bit more that a black one as I would have to order in a sheet especially for the job.

  11. #11
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    Cool

    Sorry about the lack of activity on this thread but I'm still serious about this.

    We have progress... I have cut up (not yet glued) the full sheet of acrylic with 15 boxes available... plus 6 of something new. I have designed an overflow box to suit a 30cm cube tank, designed primarily for the saltwater reefer out there that needs large amounts of flow but wants a fantastic looking nano cube for their work desk etc.

    I here by introduce the "Chorro Nano Overflow Box" It's a full tank width slim design. Even though it fits the full width of a 30cm cube it only takes up 5cms of depth. The design allows for full surface skimming and good surface flow preventing any dead spots. The nano overflow box is design with teeth to strain out any critters. Also designed with two bulkheads to keep it quite but also too hold the box in place and horizontal. It was designed to handle 1200 to 1400 liters of flow. (300 Gal per hour). Pictures pictures...

    Front Shot of Aquaone 30cm Cube with Nano Overflow Box


    Top Down Shot of Aquaone 30cm Cube with Nano Overflow Box


    Close Up of Nano Overflow Box


    As you can see this isn't filled yet but will be soon. I'm waiting on a pump so that I can connect it to my sump under my desk. Then I'll go get some live rock and kick start the cycle. Exciting!

    Prices to follow, please register your interest!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by majorspawn View Post
    i got one of these kits imported, cost me about $50 all up, looks exactly whats you have above but incldes the glass home silicone and bulkhead
    http://www.glass-holes.com/Complete-...ow-Kits_c3.htm
    i would be interested in one but in clear acrylic?
    why doesnt anyone make a clear one so it cant be seen in the tank?
    Theres no way it cost ya $50 bucks mate. It's selling for $65 + shipping of $27.00 + US exchange rate = $93AUD

    If they were selling for $50 bucks I wouldn't have bothered going to the effort of buying the acrylic and getting it CNC'd.

  13. #13
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    Exclamation Acrylic Overflow Box Prices

    Here are the prices

    Nano Overflow Box - 15 Available
    Acrylic Parts: $30
    Construction + $25
    35mm Glass Hole Saw + $10
    25mm Bulkhead + $12
    Shipping + $10

    Total = $40.00 including acrylic parts and shipping.
    Total = $65.00 including acrylic parts, construction and shipping.
    Total = $75.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction and shipping.
    Total = $87.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction, bulkhead and shipping.

    Wide Nano Overflow Box - 6 Available
    Acrylic Parts: $40
    Construction + $25
    35mm Glass Hole Saw + $10
    25mm Bulkhead + $12 each
    Shipping + $10

    Total = $50.00 including acrylic parts and shipping.
    Total = $75.00 including acrylic parts, construction and shipping.
    Total = $85.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction and shipping.
    Total = $109.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction, 2 bulkheads and shipping.

    The above prices are just a guide, you can order what you like to suit what you need. Please note that if you order a box and want it constructed, that means glued and water tested then you will need to add a construction cost to the base price of the acrylic parts. If you just order the acrylic parts without the additional construction cost then you end up with a box of bits that you need to put together yourself. You will need proper acrylic glue to put it together. I don't have this as something that can be purchased separately so you will need to buy this yourself elsewhere.

    Let me know what you need and I can price it up if your unsure. I have a few of these boxes ready to go but normally there will be a delay in shipping of three days for construction time. If you don't want construction then it will ship out quicker.

  14. #14

    Red face Are you still making these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunks View Post
    Here are the prices

    Nano Overflow Box - 15 Available
    Acrylic Parts: $30
    Construction + $25
    35mm Glass Hole Saw + $10
    25mm Bulkhead + $12
    Shipping + $10

    Total = $40.00 including acrylic parts and shipping.
    Total = $65.00 including acrylic parts, construction and shipping.
    Total = $75.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction and shipping.
    Total = $87.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction, bulkhead and shipping.

    Wide Nano Overflow Box - 6 Available
    Acrylic Parts: $40
    Construction + $25
    35mm Glass Hole Saw + $10
    25mm Bulkhead + $12 each
    Shipping + $10

    Total = $50.00 including acrylic parts and shipping.
    Total = $75.00 including acrylic parts, construction and shipping.
    Total = $85.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction and shipping.
    Total = $109.00 including acrylic parts, hole saw, construction, 2 bulkheads and shipping.

    The above prices are just a guide, you can order what you like to suit what you need. Please note that if you order a box and want it constructed, that means glued and water tested then you will need to add a construction cost to the base price of the acrylic parts. If you just order the acrylic parts without the additional construction cost then you end up with a box of bits that you need to put together yourself. You will need proper acrylic glue to put it together. I don't have this as something that can be purchased separately so you will need to buy this yourself elsewhere.

    Let me know what you need and I can price it up if your unsure. I have a few of these boxes ready to go but normally there will be a delay in shipping of three days for construction time. If you don't want construction then it will ship out quicker.
    You still making these matey?

  15. #15

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    These are cool, I just had a friend laser cut me one out of black acrylic, so much easier than trying to do myself.

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