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Parametric Project Box

by patshead, published

Parametric Project Box by patshead Nov 12, 2015

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Summary

We needed to print some enclosures to hold the thermostats for my friend's Keezer and fermenting fridge. It seemed like a simple job for OpenSCAD and my 3D printer, but there were two serious problems.

I print with ABS, my printer isn't enclosed, and it has been getting cooler and cooler in my home office. The long, thin walls of the single-piece project box I designed warped during the print and delaminated quite badly. If that was the only problem, I would've rigged up some kind of tent and printed it again. Unfortunately, I had also done a bad job at measuring for the holes. The power receptacles snap in, so I had to guess how much smaller the holes needed to be.

I quickly realized that box made from 6 individual pieces, like the common laser cut boxes, would have a few advantages over a one-piece box. None of the pieces would be tall enough for delaminated ABS to be an issue, and I would only need to reprint a single side if the holes for the power cables and thermostat weren't the correct size.

This box does not require any fasteners. The top and bottom lock into the front, back, and sides with dovetail joints. The sides are held in place by the tabs on the front and back. When the front and back are pushed into place, they snap into ridges on the sides, and are locked in place.

The project box is sturdier than I expected. We were able to play a gentle game of catch with the thermostat. You just have to watch out for those corners. They're pointier than think!

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