Apps for creating finger joints/snap pieces

Hey y’all!

This may be a naive question, but I would appreciate the help! I learned that there is the makercase site to help create boxes…and I was wondering if there are any other sites to help create putting things together with basic shapes?

I hope that is clear…for example creating a name plate (acrylic rectangle into the hardwood material as the stand?), or creating table numbers and having them snap into something as the base? Those are just examples but I want to learn more just very new to design!

Thank you in advance!

Boxes.py is the go to most folks start with. Snapping together is much an art as it requires knowledge of kerf to add or subtract that is a bit different in each wood or acrylic and that at different settings.

Okay great to know! Thank you! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Spend some time in Inkscape. I prefer to find all the places to go and then put that together, others prefer to have a specific project in mind and try to go there. But either way that is the ultimate flexibility to do anything you have in mind.

In addition, there are a whole bunch of different box design websites discussed in this thread:

6 Likes

If you scroll down on this post to the section titled “The Matrix” you’ll be off to a good start with any of several software packages.

4 Likes

When you get right down to it, all 3d modeling is working with “basic shapes,” as you outgrow the box making sites you will want to explore 3d modeling deeper. Tinkercad would be a great place to start if you have zero experience. From there you can go to a “real” 3d modeling program like Fusion 360 or OnShape.
While you are doing the box sites, remember the concepts they use, and then you can leverage these when you start doing your things.

4 Likes

Is there a site? No or not really. Box sites are easy - a bottom, four sides and maybe a lid. You can make some fancy boxes, but they are still a relatively well defined problem. Even something as “simple” as a table number is anything but. What font? Many fonts are licensed and even open fonts may have different rules for displaying on the web versus cutting glitter acrylic with them. What base shape? Are you going to make the base out of many layers? Is the base material the same thickness as the number material? Are there more than nine tables? If so how do you support the 1 and 0 of table 10? Like this:
image

Or like this:
image

It is the simple things that lead all of us here to learning a program like Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw or Affinity Designer. Those tutorials the other posters linked in their posts above. To continue the table number example, it is really easy. You make a number, add a tab to the bottom and then union the tab with the number. In your base you cut a rectangular hole that matches your tab. Just like this:

It’s really easy once you’ve learned the program. Learning it can be frustrating. I like to know it can be done before jumping in. So jump in. How hard could it be, I did a simple one in a couple of minutes. Once you have started to master the simple things you can learn about kerf (aka why is the number falling out of the base??) and all the design details you did not know existed. It really is fun and quite rewarding when everything finally goes right. Just don’t learn on your final material, use something cheap at first.

2 Likes