Be sure to visit and welcome the newest member of the family: a heart-shaped unfolding box. (It's almost Valentine's Day)
Also take a look at the s...equel of this box: Solid storage box with origami folding lids.
Updates moved to bottom of page.
About This Model
Thinking about new ideas to design and make with my printer I remembered a youtube video I saw years ago about a door or garagebox opening in a very intriguing way. After some searching I found the video and started wondering how to design it so I could print it.
In the beginning I had no directly identifiable useful object in mind. In the end, it has become the luxury storage box now presented, which can be used as a jewelery box, drawing box, pencilcase or perhaps even as giftbox.
There was a minor print error on the bottom of the box in my 1st print as you can see in the video, but rest assured this was an error from my printer and not the model...
I printed everything in PLA with a nozzle of 0.4 and a layer thickness of 0.2 and infill of 10%.
To get correctly printed flexible hinges, your bed leveling must be 100% in order.
You must also ensure that when printing both lids, the print tracks are printed at right angles to the hinge parts! I positioned the models in such a way that this is OK with a standard fill angle of 45°. You can use the STL file with 2 lids, or if you need a spare the STL file with 1 lid. (I have added an image of the orientation on the bed with printing direction)
Everything can be printed without supports or brim.
Because the double hinges and the flexibility of the lids prevented the lids from tight closing, I added two small cube magnets of 5mm. (See added image) These attract the lids, so that they lay neatly flat. This also serves as a locking mechanism for the lids. So, the only extra you need are 2 of these magnets. Due to a fixed stop, the two magnets remain slightly apart.
You can use the model without the magnets. (You can always add them later)
After printing, carefully bend both lids fully a few times to make the hinged action flexible. Carefully remove any protruding burrs as the tolerance on all parts is very tight. If necessary, carefully re-drill the holes in the lids (for the knob) to ensure that there is enough clearance there.
Everything else is then mounted with (light) press fits.
Press both magnets into both the box and the knob-lock plate. Make sure they attract each other.... Magnets are two small cube magnets of 5mm. Press them till they can go no further!
Now place the knob through both holes in the covers (top of the knob on the side without the axles) and place the knob-lock plate over both axles. Tap it carefully with e.g. a flat punch and a small hammer. The knob with the bevelled side facing outwards when the lids are closed proved to work most comfortably.
Now place both axles of the lids straight! into both holes of the box and firmly push it in. The lids should fit flush with the top of the box. (Before mounting, you can still change the orientation of the knob mounted in the previous step by turning the covers around the knob and mounting rotated 180°!). If you ever need to replace a lid, use a knife or flat screwdriver to push the axles straight out of the holes.
Opening and closing require some minor skills. Do not force the movement under any circumstances. Lift the lids by the knob and tilt it slightly toward you. Then make an up and down arcing motion as you open the lids. You do opposite to close the lids. After opening and closing a few times, this feels natural.
The flexible hinges are amazingly strong. I was so mesmerized by the movement and what I had created that I opened the lid maybe a hundred times in a row. Even after several days of frequent use (and showing it to others) not a single print path was broken!