Creating Boxes!

Creating Boxes!

Did you know that there are many websites that will help you when you are designing boxes!? Two that come right to mind are https://www.makercase.com and https://www.festi.info/boxes.py/!
If you just want a simple regular box then use makercase. It is really easy to use. Make sure that you choose custom material though and put in the exact caliper measurements of the material you are using. This is really important to make the finger joints fit right!
If you want to make interesting and complicated boxes then use Festi. This website is an open source box generator. It has all kinds of shapes and sizes to help you make whatever kind of box you desire!
One of the boxes that I have made from this website is this heart shaped box.

This box was made out of our Crimson Obsession ColorWave Acrylic. It has a living hinge and the box opens at the top of the heart (not shown in the photo). This box was so easy to make but looks so complicated.
To make it easy to use and understand how to use this box generator website, I am going to break it down into steps.
When you first get on the website you will see a very simple looking screen.

From here you decide what kind of box you want.
Let’s make the heart box for our demonstration!
To make the heart box we would click on the arrow that says “Boxes with flex”.

And then scroll through until you get to the HeartBox link and press it.
This will take you to another screen.

On this screen you can push the arrow button next to “Settings for FInger Joints”.

This brings up a screen where we can specify how close or far apart we want the little finger joints to be. I usually keep these the same as they are, but you can experiment with them. For instance, if you want the little finger joints to have more room to move in and out you can set the “play” to a different number, like .01 instead of 0. This will make the joints looser and easier to slide in and out.
Next you can push the arrow button next to “Settings for Flex”

In this section you decide how flexible you want the flex portion. Beside each input number box it explains what each of these numbers does.
Next you can push the arrow button next to “HeartBox Settings”.

Here you decide how big you want your box. (It is in mm so you might need to google an inch to mm calculator if you don’t know the conversions in your head.) Also you decide if you want to have the box closed, hole (open) or a lid.
Next click on the arrow next to “Default Settings”.

This is a really important part. If you have calipers measure your materials thickness and put that exact number into the “thickness”. This will make your finger joints and lid fit smoothly.
I usually keep the format as SVG because that is what my Glowforge uses.
I usually keep tabs at 0, debug not checked and labels checked but play around with it and see how you like it to print.
The “burn” is what we usually call kerf. You can keep it at this or use the BurnTest in “Parts and Samples” on their website to find the right burn number for your laser. For Glowforge I have heard that it is 0.08 but everyone’s laser can be a bit different.
Next press the Generate button and it will make the box svg for you. Check out the prototype and see if it looks like you want it to. If it does, save it to your computer. If it doesn’t then play with the settings until you get it looking like you want it.
Next, laser it!
You might want to play around with some cardboard or mdf until you get the hang of making the boxes.
Good luck! Show us what you make on our facebook page or group and on our website gallery!

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