When they were first announced, I knew fairly quickly that I wouldn’t be attempting to collect amiibo figurines. Being a fairly stalwart Nintendo fan, though, I knew I’d be picking up a handful of the tiny Nintendo characters. I certainly didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to get a hand on some of them, though.
Neither did Josh, a local friend and fellow Nintendo fan, who recently discovered the fun of hunting down these NFC-capable toys. Soon enough he had over a dozen amiibo figures and needed a way to display them, so he designed a display stand that would fit neatly beside his Wii U and could hold the collection he’d amassed.
Since his design called for five flat layers of material, Josh knew it could be made well with laser cutting and got in touch! His design was already well thought out and his files required very little adjusting to prepare for laser cutting, so once we settled on a material—1/4″ red oak plywood—we started experimenting with ornamentation.
The prototype was a single-amiibo version that I could iterate a few times without a lot of design adjustment and material used up. The extra holes were meant to help determine the exact width of dowel rods that would be used to align the five layers of the final piece. The space for the amiibo was labeled with the name and Smash Bros. series logo matching that character. I even experimented with inlaid brushed gold aluminum on the logo, though you can see some damage to the surface from a sanding mishap—Jennifer thinks it looks cool even if it was a mistake! Because of the issues that popped up when we had to assign positions for each figure, Josh opted not to decorate the stand with names or logos. That way he can move characters around as his collection changes.
The final display stand was made from five layers, one for the base and four that held five amiibo figures each. With the dowel rods, keeping the layers aligned while clamping them down was much easier. Wood glue is not my favorite adhesive and without the rods’ help things might not have turned out quite as pretty. With everything glued, dried, and the final sanding around the dowel rods, all that was left was a thorough oiling and the platform was ready for characters!
Josh’s design proved itself immediately: we realized that many of the characters were in some ways larger than the circular bases they sat on, so I was relieved to see that enough space was given between each seat on the platform.
The project was a thorough success! Josh got his nice new amiibo display platform and I got to scan his figures into my copy of Hyrule Warriors!