top of page


Desk Organizer


A stackable desk organizer to increase your day-to-day productivity. With a modular design so it adapts to different work environments or used in different scenarios. This project was developed for the Easel Power Hour Design challenge with the possibility to win the first prize, a X-carve CNC from Inventables.


A easily CNC machined piece in under 60 minutes for any maker enthusiast. Using a Portuguese material, Blue Valchromate (Coloured MDF), I designed a modular piece that could be redesigned for different configurations or adapted to different work tool's used on a daily basis.


What can you carve on an X-Carve or any CNC in 60 minutes or less?

The goal of this project was to explore what you can make with one hour, a 3D carving machine, and a lot of creativity.

This was the premise of the Design challenge, to create a open design product that other makers in the community can replicate, learn and experiment with using their local CNC.



Concept & Product Development

To my amazement I won the design challenge, as Maker & Youtuber Cristiana Felgueiras from Get Hands Dirty explains the judges decision:

“The overall presentation of [João Leão’s] project was very good, the images are clear and captivating, the explanation of the building process is clear and complete, the Easel project seems feasible, the
design is balanced, contemporary and minimal and the material choice seems appropriate and easy
to carve. It doesn't require more tools besides a forstner bit and a drill/drill press for a final touch and a piece of steel dowel that is bent. This project has some complexity and requires double sided carving, which I found valuable, revealing a good thinking process. The content is functional and made with parts that can be stacked and layered in several positions, adjusting to each one's needs, making it dynamic. The participant reveals a sense of knowledge regarding design and CNC carving.”

After winning the CNC I decided to donate the X-carve to VIVALab as I felt that at a local Fab Lab, focused in education and design, more people would have the opportunity to access such a tool to develop their own ideas and innovations. Little did I know that several months later I would be invited to be one of the directors of this project seeking to stimulate social innovation in Porto.

All the product development and open source files are available here.

bottom of page