Hinged Box With Latch, Somewhat Parametric and Printable In One Piece

by anewsome, published

Hinged Box With Latch, Somewhat Parametric and Printable In One Piece by anewsome May 1, 2013

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I searched the Thingiverse for a simple hinged box that was parametric and printed all in one piece. I couldn't find one. I did find some really neat parametric boxes and lids though. I used none of their OpenSCAD code for this.

I've printed probably a dozen one piece boxes with hinge during my testing. I wanted a tight hinge that would reliably print and NOT fuse together. During my testing I experimented with different speeds, temps, and tolerance values in my SCAD files. The attached OpenSCAD files prints reliably on my printer. The resulting hinge is a bit loose but it reliably does not fuse. Changing the tolerance by .1 does make a much tighter hinge, but sometimes I could not break it free. YMMV.


You'll need a fairly dialed in printer to do this. If your printer calibration is way off, you won't get a good hinge mechanism.

I printed this one with:

Layer Height: .15
Infill: 100%
First Layer Speed: 40mm/s
Speed: 80mm/s
Shells: 2

I'm using MakerWare. I used to think it was crap but I'm getting really good results with recent versions. In MakerWare:

feedDiameter: 1.77 (caliper measured 1.75mm filament)
feedstockMultiplier: 0.87
retractDistance: 1.0
retractRate: 20.0
restartExtraDistance: 0.0

If your filament delivery system is not tuned up, you'll probably get a hinge that's fused together and will not fold.

The OpenScad file is not idiot-proof. You have to supply a width, depth and height for the box. These are the outside dimensions make sure you add in the wall thickness if you need these to mean inside dimensions of the box.

Once you change the depth value, you'll probably need to manually adjust the size of the hinge fingers so you get a reasonable distribution of the fingers and you don't get a missing finger or a really thin finger that won't print, or would be very weak.

Also, do not scale this down and try and print it. The hinge will be fused together.

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Nice Thingy thing!!! Today we are gonna print it in class!

Worked great on first try at 0.2mm layer and 0.4 nozzle 210C glow in the dark PLA. I tried a second one at 0.1mm but one of the hinges cracked (use needle nose pliers to rotate close to the hinge). I'm thinking a little less heat it would have been fine.

Very creative proposal. Worked for me on the first try with recycled ABS @ 245C, .5 nozzle, .4 layer, 40% infill. Thanks.

Very nice design! Thanks

Nice job, made 3 with colour changes on my Creality CR7 printer. Hinge works perfectly. Thanks CJR

I made several of these. They work perfectly. I LOVE IT.

I tried 20, 30 and 40mm width with various settings but the hinges were always fused.

The width setting has nothing to do with the hinge tolerance. Your printer is extruding too much filament, you're printing too hot or both. If you want to increase the tolerance, change the hingeInnerSlop and the hingeFingerSlop to larger values.

How do you make the hinge?.. I'm using Alibre and kinda just started a while back :)

This box wasn't modeled using a traditional cad program, although it could be. It's made using OpenSCAD, which is a language to build solid geometry with primitives like cylinder, cube and sphere along with Boolean and other operators.

I don't understand everything you said haha but I'll get it eventually.

Very nice design! Thanks for sharing this also as an OpenSCAD version.

Thanks. I really had wanted to get more fancy code in their to do things like auto-sizing the hinge fingers. It's a bit manual in this version but it's workable. I've already made a few of these that have actual practical use. Good luck with it,

Hi! does the latch break easily?

I've printed at least a dozen of these boxes now in various sizes. I've adjusted my recent ones so the hinge is a little more lose. They print easy and the hinge swings freely straight away. The hinge is also very strong, I haven't broke one yet. This also depends on wall thickness, since a strong hinge needs walls at least 1.5mm or so. You can also simply make the hinge stronger by increasing the diameter of it and printing 100% infill, using the openscad file.

Thanks for the feature makerpeople!

looks good ! here is something similar just because you said you couldn't find it (:


Treasure Chest
by Zaggo

Thanks, that's actually a really nice, complete box design. Mine was more of a proof of concept for the hinge and latch. I also wanted to make sure mine could be printed with no support. Thanks again for pointing this one out though.