60 June 2017
I then used a second smaller box set as a hole to take
away material and cut out a center section. The walls of
the drawers were set to 3 mm, so these will not be weak
drawers. This allows me to store various components,
including nuts and bolts if I want.
The drawer handle in front is a half moon shape with
a tiny lip so it can be easily gripped at any level of the
three rows of slots. Putting the lip at the very bottom of the
design allows it to 3D print without supports. I printed 21
of these in three different shades of gray PLA filament. That
way, each row was color-coded. I used a 0.3 layer height
and 30% fill.
This is really a simple design to make. The nice thing
about 3D printing is I can modify the drawers to add
custom slots to store even more components.
The benchtop latch used
another block element in
Tinkercad that is flattened
out to 3 mm thick. I placed
a half moon piece as the
end to form the locking lip.
Two holes at the back for
screws held it in place while
also allowing enough flex to
release the fold-down work
The latch was also
printed in PLA, though I
thought about using ABS plastic as that has more flex to it.
The PLA ended up working well at a 0.3 layer height and
50% fill for added strength.
I could have bought some rubber feet for the bottom,
but I wanted a custom size. When the work area folded
down, it was below the bottom of the case; I wanted it to
fold down flat, not at an angle. So, I needed the feet to be
exactly the same height as the folded down work area.
I designed the feet with
a screw hole insert using
Tinkercad, and then printed
them using a semi-flex
filament at a 50% fill/0.2
layer height. This gave
me the perfect feet with
a rubber surface finish to
hold the box in place while
The design was made
with a cone shape and then
cut off at the top to make it
flat. Two holes were placed
in the center: one larger hole for the screw head to rest
against; and the second that went all the way through.
The handle also could have easily been purchased,
but I kept with the theme and designed and printed that
as well. It’s made from a couple of ramp elements with
a block across them. I did add some half rounded fillets
under the long block to add some plastic and some
As the box gets filled, though, I may have to either
print a thicker handle or get a metal one. I wanted to 3D
print it so I could fit it to my hand, plus save a trip to the
The handle is probably the first design I’ll improve. The
edges need to be rounded more, and I want a little more
space when I’m wearing gloves in the winter. I will also
need to beef it up so it doesn’t flex.
The handle was printed in PLA at a 0.3 layer height
and 50% fill.
The final addition was brackets for a netbook
computer. If I’m travelling around, I may need to write
code, and a small netbook is perfect for that. I have an HP
netbook that fit within the walls of the box, so I designed
a couple of open-ended brackets so I could slide in the
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n FIGURE 7. Custom handle.
n FIGURE 6. Rubber feet
with recessed screw insert.
n FIGURE 5. Rubber feet clearance.
n FIGURE 4. Latch.