Secrets to MakerCase

Has anyone actually successfully created a box using a template from the MakerCase site? http://www.makercase.com/ I have tried multiple times, and can never get any results where the tabs actually fit. I’ve tried a kerf of 0, 0.008, 0.022, 0.01 and no matter what I use, the tabs don’t fit together. Even in the SVG itself, you can tell the tabs won’t fit at all.

So what is the secret to actually getting a box made?

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I will hopefully let you know shortly. I stuck with the default kerf value that was listed. I’m re-working an SVG from them for a current project in Illustrator, and so far everything lines up perfectly, we’ll see how it translates in real life.

I suspect you want smaller kerf than any of those listed. The real kerf is going to be around 0.007, I suspect so any thing that size or larger is going to be too tight. The box generator cuts everything bigger by 1/2 the kerf so you’d expect it to overlap in Inkscape by that far plus the stroke width. You may want to give yourself a little space for some glue, so perhaps 0.004?

What I did with boxes.py was to cut little finger tests by using Inkscape to make little three finger pieces until I got the fit I wanted.

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I recently did this too, though with a different box maker. .007 gave me a tight press-fit in PG maple plywood.

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Are you using proofgrade? I used the default settings. The fit was perfect. I used a bit of wood glue for posterity sake.

I use 0.006 or 0.007 kerf on these box generators for proofgrade plywood if that helps.

Yes. Took some time to dial in the settings. One important thing I ran into with this particular site… At some point it simply stopped accepting changes I was making. Well, that’s not the right way to put it… the numbers changed, but the result didn’t. I didn’t notice at first because I was working with .0000x" ya know? Until I tried something crazy like .1 or something… and saw no visible change. Closing and re-opening my browser reset things and changes were working again. So… food for thought. :slight_smile:

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Are the tabs supposed to be tight enough to hold the pieces without glue? Doesn’t that make the top too snug to get on and off easily then? I suppose if it’s a little loose, I could just glue it…

That would be your tradeoff. Snap fit means the lid snap fits. Loose joints mean you have to glue, but the lid comes off. Also, if you do glue, glue with the lid in place (but be careful not to glue the lid on.) If you don’t, and just one side is the tiniest bit angled in your lid won’t fit either. The shorter the side wall, the more likely this seems to be. Learn from my mistakes.

I wrote my own box generator in OpenSCAD so I have the option of extra room for the lid. What you could do is run your box through the generator twice. Apply the actual kerf once and a zero kerf, or negative kerf if it allows it, once. Cut the bottom five pieces from the actual kerf run and cut the lid from the zero kerf run. That is essentially what I did when I wrote my generator.

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I didn’t see a way to get MakerCase to provide a box with finger joints and a flat top. You can edit the files I guess, but this generator does have an open, flat-top box as an option. It also lets you enter a material thickness instead of using presets. It does have fewer features in some other regards, though.

http://boxdesigner.connectionlab.org/

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FWIW I use the Festi box generator. Lots of options, some even comprehensible :slight_smile: Press fit with defaults on my cheapo 3mm BB.

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I’ve looked at it, but it’s really quite confusing for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, nor what any of the terminology really means, and finally someone who’s not metrically oriented…

I finally got one made… Yay!

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