Yesterday was spent making boxes as Christmas gifts for my staff. The basic layout was done with Boxes.py, which has been mentioned multiple times here in the forum.
My first step was to make several test cut Boxes to see which ones worked best. I did this without masking the surface of 4.8 mm underlayment I had from a previous project.
For the test boxes, I simply selected Thick Maple Plywood and used the default settings. The box in the upper left in the picture above was very sturdy, but the living hinge was stretched to far and it broke.
I selected the following two boxes s the best design and function.
After this I spent most of the day cutting and weeding
I’m very pleased with the way these turned out.
Now I need to clean Millie as she is really a mess after all of this cutting.
What a day of fun!!! Nice work!
Thank you for the file!
Wow, that’s a lot of testing, but well worth the effort. They are gorgeous! And thanks for the files–great to know they are certified!
I have a technical question about the siped wood for the bendable joints. How many times can it flex before it breaks? I’m sure it depends on the type of wood, humidity, distance between the slits, etc. And I’m not talking about extreme bends or taking it beyond the intended use.
But in general? Can the recipient of one of these gift boxes open and close it a hundred times? Will it be expected to last a few years? A decade? Longer?
I’ve been hesitant to create a box like this because I don’t know how long the bendy joint will last.
Just like any other project, testing will help you understand. You don’t have to do a whole project, just take a scrap and test it out.
In my limited experience living hinges can be quite durable. I have a sample about 4 inches long that I have fiddled with, like a fidget spinner or worry stone. I couldn’t count how many times I have flexed it both ways.
Flexibility is determined by the cuts and their spacing. The best way to get a feel for it is to cut one and feel it!
The ply is better than hardwood for durability.
Thanks @PrintToLaser. Great advice. I’m without GF right now (replacement arriving next week!), but this will be one of my first tests. I’ve got plenty of scraps to play with.
Testing (playing) with materials is some of the most enjoyable time I have spent with this machine! Between all the settings, you know the effect you are after is in there somewhere - it’s like a treasure hunt!
Here’s hoping your next unit is everything it should be!
Hi @PrintToLaser – I know what you mean! I spent a day playing with cork, a few days with foamboard, and an entire day with hinges. I’m still very pleased with my 1"x1"x1" hinged box. It uses circular cutouts for the round hinges and works way better than I expected.
Love it. I’ve been doing the same thing, plus making specialty holders for ornaments, etc.
I feel like the kid that gets more enjoyment out of the box than what goes inside some days
I need to sneak up on settings for cutting and engraving cork now. I got a sheet of it at Michael’s for coaster bottoms. Man, that stuff isn’t cheap.
Have any tips for me?
Love your boxes.
They woke me up to the writing on the wall also, with a solution to another issue.
Think a box for the boxes.
I have a few shelves cleared, making ready for the big day. Looking at how fast your boxes populated gave me inspiration on one of those cleared shelves.
I now have some project containers there. So, one will be boxes, another Signs, Odd-N-Ends, and so on.
Without this, I feel my project results will just start to take over the entire room as I keep pushing for the ‘Best One’.
Thanks for the inspiration and keep on burning.
Lovely gifts! Love that little half round shape!
Cork: Let’s move this to a different thread.
I’m not aware of any limit to the number of bends or how long they will last. Based on the one test box that failed, the durability has to do with a couple factors, how far the joint needs to flex and how far it needs to extend to latch. Another factor is definitely the quality and thickness of the plywood. My test Boxes where made from inexpensive 4.8mm underlayment, which worked well for t st, but I would not want to made finished items from it as it’s only slightly better than cardboard.
The medium maple plywood worked great. There was one box that I assembled with the hinge upside down from the way it was cut and it would not flex correctly, so I had to take it apart and turn it over. As these boxes are entirely friction fit and had to be hammered together. absolutely no glue, nails or other fasteners.
Nice job on that fit. So satisfying when you nail the kerf settings!
One thing I’ve been doing with the living hinges is to dampen them with a wet rag before bending them into their closed position. I find that this takes a lot of the stress off the hinge.
Another thing to consider with living hinges is the grain of the veneers of the plywood. The long cuts with the grain work a bit better for flexibility.
Does everyone use Boxes.py instead of makercase.com? I am trying to make a simple open box with 0.5 inch wood. Any help from anyone please
Welcome to the forum.
I have no experience with 1/2" material as that would be a serious test for the Glowforge, but boxes.py works for me with thinner materials.
I just switched to using makercase because boxes.py creates a ridiculous number of excess nodes in everything, though the ability to make smaller fingers is nice
vs with default tab size: