Scarab Beetle Box (with secret lock)

by loubie, published

Scarab Beetle Box (with secret lock) by loubie Oct 29, 2014

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46943Views 9793Downloads Found in Interactive Art


The scarab beetle is a small model with a secret compartment which is accessed by pulling back a "drawer" and opening up the beetle's wing case. The box is locked by closing the wing case and pushing the drawer back into place. Another Thingiverse user (sherpa_chris) came up with the idea of fixing the "head jewel" differently, so it can be used as a button to open the wing case (providing the drawer is pulled back) which enhances the model in my opinion. You can see his make here:


This model is styled after the "Egyptian Revival" of the 19th and early 20th centuries rather than Ancient Egypt. For more information, visit this excellent page
It is worth researching this style as it is beautiful and striking.
To the ancient Egyptians, the scarab beetle was symbolic of the sun (Ra) moving across the sky every day (the beetle rolling a ball of dung was seen to represent this). My model has a stylized beetle with a winged Ra between his two front feet.
The model consists of 12 parts which must be fitted together.
All pieces print without support.
It also has my design logo on the bottom of it:-)
UPDATE: I have uploaded a third version of the drawer file after it was noted that it had a tendency to fall open but the second version was too big. The file drawer_v3.stl file has a height of 12.45mm whereas the fitting for it int he middle_part.stl file is 12.5mm. This may require some sanding Thanks to MacGyver for pointing out the original issue to me and Botmaster for alerting me to the second problem.


The assembly instructions are here:


Please read these instructions as they will contain any updates I have had to make and instructions for modified files.

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Hi Loubie. Tried to send you a tip last night, and the receipt says it went to "Makerbot". Is that correct?

Which way is the Upper_Base_Layer suppose to go on? Curved side up or curved side down?

Curved side up. The documentation should show this, I do apologize if it isn't clear.

Loubie, i lovely your design. Tks :)

This is by far my favorite design on "Thingiverse" so far... I've ordered three dozen new colors of filaments just to start experimenting with this box. Thank you thankyouthankyou for providing your designs!

Thank you for the design as always your designs a fantastic
And lets hope we can get those pirates of fleebay that are selling your designs
Thank you

I love this design thanks loubie
I wish i could make my own 3d designs :)

Hat off for this nice design.
Just uploaded my make...
Printed on M3D's The Micro. Took some time but result is great.
Hinges printed well.
The secret lock is a nice feature but wasn't as effective as I expected (drawer easily opens, little movement possible).

Scarab Beetle Box (with secret lock)

Thanks - I'm glad you like my design and your print does it justice.

If you are over or under extruding it will effect the outcome of the fittings. The drawer isn't supposed to move very much - the larger I make the drawer, the smaller the room for the box interior. If the drawer opens too easily, you could try adding in a shim.

Do bear in mind that this was my second attempt at an original secret locking mechanism (as a proof of concept) and I had to design it to be printable by pretty much anyone, without supports and to separate the parts so colour choices could be made in a pleasing arrangement . Those are quite restrictive requirements:-) Probably next time I'll do something using tension springs, so the design working well won't be so dependent on perfectly printed components.

Hi Loubie
I've taken a closer look now, and it seems I should 've done the glueing part more carefully. The middle part isn't 100% flat on the plate underneath and this is why the drawer has to much space.
Yes a shim will do the trick!
Looking forward to your next design...

The design isn't perfect and I'm happy you've resolved the issue.

Thank you for your feedback.

Hi, I wanted to thank you for such a cool design, I look forward to attempting to print it. I am a bit curious about what gold filament you, and others have used?

I have seen several available, but I would welcome any suggestions of ones that stand out. I would particularly be interested in PLA filament, but ABS suggestions would be welcome as well. :-)

The gold filament I used in the photos above I got ages ago from eBay and is of unknown origin.

I do happen to sell a very nice gold PLA filament on my site which would suit this model well. Have a look here:


Aria the Dragon
by loubie

I scaled one up a bit to get more interior space and modified the catches. I made the track the "drawer" slides in longer and this let me install a tiny spring behind the bottom catch to keep the drawer shut if the box is shaken, and longer catches. The catches are right angles now so the lid is very tight. Because of the spring resistance , the "tabs" on the sides of the drawer stand out a little bit more to get a good grip. I really enjoyed your work with all the boxes you have done. thanks!

That sounds really interesting. It would be great if you could post some pictures detailing the changes you have made. I love to see stuff like that.

Fantastic! I'm building mine now. I found some gold ABS that's as if it was made for this project.

My first multi-part project. Thank you for sharing it!

Excellent! Post pictures of your make when you've finished it - I'd love to see it.

In your description RE: drawer_V3 you mention: "The file drawer_v3.stl file has a height of 12.45mm whereas the fitting for it in the middle_part.stl file is 12.5mm."

When I print middle_part, the fitting for the drawer_v3 is only 11.5mm. I seem to be losing 1mm somewhere? I reprinted the part thinking I had a file error or the printer aborted prematurely, but both parts are the same.

By chance, is the actual dimension SUPPOSED to be 11.5mm and I'm not really losing 1mm somewhere?

Thank you in advance for your reply! :^)

It's 12.5mm. If you open up middle_part.stl in Netfabb and use the measuring tool, you can check this for yourself.

Send me a message if you continue to have issues.

I'm having quite a problem with the hinge. It keeps cracking when I try to move it. I only have pla, not abs, but I have tried different orientations, fill density, speed, to no avail

It's possible you are over- extruding and the hinge is welding closed. Measure the diameter of the filament with some calipers (I usually take 3 measurements along a length and use the mean average) and see what that comes up comapred to your current settings in your slicer.

You know I was thinking you could integrate the hinge to include the "catch_lid" part. I'm reprinting two more of these things.

The only issue with that, is that you would be printing the far end of the catch in mid air. I did have a think about it, because the fewer the pieces, the better, but I couldn't work out a way.

If you work out a better way, then do publish it. There always room for improvement in my work:-)

I would think if it was designed with a 45 degree angle it would print just fine? It's only the top side that does anything anyway so angling the back shouldn't be a problem would it?

Yes - that could work - you'd just have to make sure that the lid could still close, bearing in mind that the lid catch has to fit into that space made for it in the beetle_seat.stl.

It would actually be smaller so fitting shouldn't be a problem. Anyway, for the time being the way it is designed works perfectly well. I think I've printed 8 of these things now. The next ones are being shipped to Louisiana! Scarab boxen down in the bayou!

I go to Baton Rouge fairly regularly as we've got family there:-)

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I love things that lock it would be so cool if it did or does it dum dum dum

does it really lock?

It has a catch on the lid and one on the drawer. When the lid is shut and the drawer closed, the two catches fit together and effectively lock the box. Pulling the drawer back moves the catches apart and you can open the box. The instructions explain how it put together.

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looks cool Im going to ask my brother if we can make one

Love your designs. I have just finished printing this and I have either made a mistake or there might be a problem with one of the parts. The draw that activates the catch has a height of 13mm in your STL. The depth of the middle part is 12.5mm on the STL when this is glued to the base the draw will not fit in without sanding it or reprinting it .7mm less high. Have I missed something here. The rest of the model prints beautifully. Thank you for another great design.

I have updated the file and my instructions. The drawer height is now 12.45mm. It'll probably require some sanding still but I would rather have more model to be sanded than not enough (if you see what I mean). Thanks for pointing this out and I have given you credit on the Thing Info tab.

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What program did you use to make this?

I used Solidworks.

Amazing work like always. I cant wait to get home and toss this on the printer!

Cool. Post pictures of your make when you finish it, please:-)

This is great, thank you for your effort in designing this. You are an asset to the Thingiverse community.

Thank you! I really enjoy designing these models.

Your attention to detail is yet again stunning. Wonderful work!

Thank you. I like designing models with parts that fit together, so people can choose different colours. I've always loved model kits too and enjoy learning to design them even more.

You're at it again. Hopefully no one tries to take credit for this one.

Here's hoping.

Really digging this series! As soon as I can get my machine back into shape (having trouble with larger prints) I'm going to print one of these. Stellar work, as usual.

Thanks - it's a challenge to think up new mechanisms that'll work with 3D printing. Hope your printer gets repaired soon, I hate it when I have problems with any of mine. This 3D modeling game is highly addictive.

Haha, highly. I haven't stopped to breathe for the last couple of years. Thankfully, I can still print small stuff, and I mostly deal in small stuff anyway.

And congrats on the feature! Most worthy!

Yeah, great work Loubie!

I am happy you like it.

Oh wow. I loved your last box. I am sure this one is a winner too

Thank you. This one is a more complicated design as far as fitted parts are concerned, but I have always wanted a scarab beetle ornament with an opening wing case and could never find one. Only option was to design one myself:-)