Laser-cut Your Tape Dispenser!

by Yun-Han Lin

Those on the market

There are a wide variety of tape dispensers that you can buy from a store that come in different sizes, shapes and materials. The delicate and unique ones are usually designed for smaller tapes, as small sizes make it easier for designers to work on different patterns. In addition, smaller tapes have lower adhesion, so users do not have to pull as hard from the dispenser. The base, therefore, can be built lighter.

After observation…

After doing some research on the dispensers on the market, we started to build our own. The priority was that the dispenser could function properly, so we had to familiarize ourselves with the basic structure a dispenser and purpose of each part. Then we moved on to the design to make it eye-catching.

… let the work begin!

  • Overall design and the base: Getting the right distance between the shaft in the rotary wheel and the blade is crucial, and make sure you leave a space between the two, where users can fit in their fingers to pull the tape. Our focus was to build a dispenser that functions properly, so we just used a simple square design for its appearance and even removed the pen holder form the base.
  • Rotary shaft: We used medium density fiberboard (MDF) to build the wheel, and the sides of the shaft were smoothed out, allowing smoother movements.
  • Trench: We just put together two pieces of boards, as most dispensers are designed.
  • Blade: To make the dispenser more user-friendly, we used cutter blades specifically made for tape dispensers. The blades came in a peculiar angle, which required extra attention during assembly.
  • Weight: We deliberately left some space in the trench to fill in materials that could add more weight to the base. After testing, we found that cement was not heavy enough, or we would need extra space for more cement. To keep the look simple, we tried different kinds of metals and decided to use tiny lead pellets in the end.
  • Base: For a non-slip base, we used SRB slip-resistant pads bought from a rubber store.

Then it was done, and it did turn out quite handy! The design and the whole process proved to be a huge success! One thing to be noted is that lead pellets can be costly, and the total budget for all the materials was way higher than the cost of dispensers you could buy in a store. Yet, nothing is more fulfilling than building a piece of work with your own hands! I strongly recommend that everyone try their very own design.


  • Medium density fiberboard (MDF)- NT$25 
  • Lead pellets- NT$216 
  • SRB rubber pad- NT$5 
  • Cutting blade- NT$5

The entire making process

News: If you’re interested in finding out more, the full video of the making process will be available at 20:00, 11/15 (Fri.) on the YouTube channel-

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