Parametric Slip-Cover Box Design

I was unpacking games the other day and am trying to fit them into a smaller allotted space than I previously had. As such it becomes really annoying when some games have a box that is 10x the size it needs to be. Many of these are card games. So, I decided that I would make a parametric design that is based on the size of the cards.

Ideally I measure the height and width of the cards, then the thickness of the deck of cards. I can also have a buffer so that there is a bit of extra room for the cards in the box as well as in-between the inner and outer boxes.

The yellow sides are the box that will slip over the inner box… I still have the narrow sides and the top to design.

When done all I’ll have to do is set the dimensions, export to Inkscape to add embellishments, engravings, etc… and then I’m off to the laser! Then I move on to the next game!

It’s been interesting determining the best approach. I started with an object representing the deck of cards - not shown in the photos. Then I moved on to the base of the box, then each of the sides and so on. I duplicate as much as possible. Opposing sides are identical, and they are symetrical, so I can draw half of it, then mirror that to create the rest.

Previous attempts at this have always ended up breaking the object when I try to change parameters, and this one does too, but only if I take it to extremes on the small side. If I keep it within reasonable measurements, then it works perfectly.

I think that a big key to this is testing. Every time I extrude a part, I start changing parameters to ensure that it all reacts the way it is supposed to.

Anyway, I’m nearing the end of the design, and next is figuring out the most efficient way to export the linework. Time to pull up some Fusion 360 YouTube videos!


Terribly cool! I’m still slow as molasses on F360, but the parametric aspects are pretty darned handy. :sunglasses:

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Cool! Glad to see more people learning how to use F360 so I can learn more from them. :slight_smile:

My favorite method is to use this save as DXF plugin.

In this case, (ha,ha) I have found that the Inkscape Tabbed Box maker excels at coming up with nested boxes using the inside dimension and the outside dimension. I’ve been playing a lot with this idea and keep promising to do a video tutorial, but life seems to intervene too much.

But the idea of parametric certainly is the key here. To be able to re-purpose the basic design with only having to change the variables. Glad you have a productive work flow.

I’m not quite there yet with how the finger joint extension in OnShape works. then there is the whole process of laying out so many sides and getting them sliced for SVGs Since I end up tweaking and adding text and embellishments in Inkscape, I seem to just stay there and get it all done.

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I have a really hard time working with specific dimensions in Inkscape. I’m so used to working in AutoCAD and how that works that it is very difficult for me to use something less precise. Even F360 is a huge difference in how this all works, but it just feels far more familiar to me than Inkscape does… that and the whole parametric thing.

I also seem to be stuck in a weird place where visualizing things is difficult until I start drawing them. In this case when I first started, I made a block that represented the exact dimensions of the deck of cards. From there… I was lost for a bit until I took pen to paper to sketch it out. I wasn’t sure whether to start with a solid box and cut it apart, or to create each shape individually. Since I have no clue as to how the parametric aspects work when cutting shapes apart, it seemed best to create each piece of my box individually.

The reason I spell that out is that with boxes in the past that I’ve made, I tended to start in AutoCAD, and draw each side of each box, generating the tabs as I went. It was pretty tedious, but it was the workflow that I knew. In this case I also drew all the tabs as I went, but then I could assign parameters to them so that they stay consistent along an edge (i.e. all the tabs on any edge are the same length - except the tabs that hold the inner box to the base.)

I’ve tried using the tabbed box creators online that export a PDF and I have a super-difficult time visualizing how I will manipulate that to come up with the box that I want. Its actually easier for me to draw face-by-face… and now, in this case, I can just change the variables to make any size box I want, even including material thickness!

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Design completed. Now I will work on figuring out how to export. Thanks for the link @chris1, I’ll definitely check that out.