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P1030688

Customizable Box with Finger Joints

by txoof, published

P1030688
Customizable Box with Finger Joints by txoof Sep 1, 2014

Thing Info

6820Views 1295Downloads
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Summary

Customizable box with finger joints for a 2D cutter

  • To create a valid DXF you MUST download the SCAD file and open it in OpenSCAD. The Thingiverse Customizer will not deal with this object as it is a purely 2D shape. See the INSTRUCTIONS for more information on how to use this.
    P.S. If you like my designs and make something, I'd love to hear about it. I enjoy sharing the designs, and I really enjoy hearing about what you made of and with them

Instructions

TL;DR: Download, set your X, Y, Z dimensions, material thickness and finger width. We'll do the rest!
To create a DXF that is usable with your laser cutter do the following:

  1. Download
  2. Open in OpenSCAD
  3. Adjust the dimensions as needed (see the variables below)
  4. Render the box in 2D mode (F6)
  5. Choose File > Export > Export as DXF
  6. Open the file in your favorite laser cutting suite!
    Variables
    =======
    [Outside Dimensions]

    bX = Width
    bY = Depth
    bZ = Height
    thick = Material Thickness
    [Box Features]


    addLid = 0/1 true/false
    HoleDia = Diameter of hole in lid (set to 0 for no hole)
    HoleFacets = Number of line segments for the hole
    [Finger Width]


    FingerW = Finger Cut Width
    FingerLidW = Finger Cut Width on Lid (allows for a different size on lid)
    [Layout]


    separation = amount to separate the 2D pieces
    alpha = transparency of 3D model (no bearing on final product)
    2D = 0/1 true/false - create a 2D or 3D model (2D for cutting, 3D for visualization)

    Notes:

    The finger width must be < 1/3 the shortest edge.

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Customizer is the easiest way to take great 3D printable designs and make them your own. Make your OpenSCAD designs infinitely more valuable by empowering the community to customize them.

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Just wondering why you removed kerf handling, and why you don't need it.Are the finger joints tight enough without worrying about it?

In the first few iterations I had the math all wrong for the kerf handling so I took it out. I ran a few more test pieces and realized that it really wasn't needed for laser cut things. As all of the fingers and grooves are the same size, the laser kerf ends up affecting everything equally. The fingers are all slightly smaller than they should be and all of the grooves are all slightly larger than they should be. This adds up to a pretty good fit.

I've made boxes out of cardboard, 4.5m birch ply 3mm and 5mm acrylic and so far everything lines up really nice. With the birch some of the joints need a little bit of sanding.

I think that this would not work on a dove-tailed joint, but I'd have to math it out and I have had far too little coffee to do that right now. This method might not work on a router table, but I've never used one in real life so I don't really have a good understanding of the finer details of that process.

If you find that you need the kerf settings, let me know; I can offer some advice. It might be an interesting puzzle to get those back in.

Well, finally got a chance to cut out a box. The finger joints are a bit on the loose side and I wish to make them a bit tighter. Perhaps the kerf on our laser cutter is a bit wider. Perhaps it needs a tuneup.

I'm going to go back to the openscad code and see if I can figure out where to add some kerf allowance.

Where do you find the slop in the joints? I'll have to go back and look at the source to get my brain back around how I made this thing.
I'd definitely be curious to see what adjustments you make and roll those into the version here.

This comment has been deleted.

Beautiful work. Thanks!

I have tried to make two custom boxes and both times it tells me that there is a error.

What is giving you the error? Is it OpenSCAD or the Customizer? The customizer will flip out as it tries to generate an STL from the 2D layout because the "Current top level object is not a 3D object." The customizer is not set up to deal with 2D objects, it just wants to make a printable STL for use with a 3D printer. Look at the last line of the ERROR output in your customizer queue and you will see a similar error as the one above.

Just to be clear, I used the customizer features to show off the customizable features of this thing, it is not meant to be actually downloaded from the customizer. You MUST download the .SCAD file and open it in OpenSCAD to produce a usable DXF. If you've never used OpenSCAD, this is a great opportunity to give it a play. I tried to document the source to make it easy to play with.

The 2D layout option in creates purely two dimensional objects; this option is meant for creating a DXF that you can load into a 2D printer/plotter (such as a laser cutter, CNC router, or water jet). If you want to make a DXF that you can use with your cutting device, you will need to download the .SCAD and follow the instructions:

Instructions:
TL;DR: Set your X, Y, Z dimensions, material thickness and finger width. We'll do the rest!
To create a DXF that is usable with your laser cutter do the following:

  1. Download
  2. Open file in OpenSCAD
  3. Adjust the dimensions as needed (see the variables below)
  4. Render the box in 2D mode (F6)
  5. Choose File > Export > Export as DXF
  6. Open the file in your favorite laser cutting suite!

If you just download the SCAD file and follow the instructions as they now are, you get an error "Current top level object is not a 2D object." when you try to Export as DXF.

Changing the following line will fix that:

2D=1; //[1:2D for DXF, 0:3D for STL]

By default it is currently 0, which, as the comment in the code suggests, is for exporting as STL.

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