Everyone needs storage. Pencils, papers, pens, sometimes just plain garbage. I always have things scattered over my desk and it's about time to clean it up. As an engineering student, I just want everything to be...well...custom. I refuse to settle for something that just sort of fits, so when it was time to make storage I had to make custom storage the size I wanted. Additionally I wanted something that could easily be modified and adapted to several use cases. And so became the Build-a-Box.
This instructable works best with 4 mm (0.160 inch) cardboard but if you're feeling extra crafty you can scale the 3D models to the size of any cardboard you choose using simple math. Multiply by the fraction: your cardboard thickness divided by 4 mm (0.160 inch).
Step 1: Get Your Pieces Ready
The Build-a-Box was designed to be as simple as possible, using the same piece over and over again. You can make a box any size you'd like and it turns into a box using the corners I designed. The files needed to print your own pieces are attached with this Instructable.
When you're ready you can print out 8 corner pieces and 2 divider pieces per divider you intend to have(or none if you would not like a divider). If you don't have a 3-D printer don't worry. You can use a service like 3D Hubs to get the parts printed out locally.
Additionally you will have to cut the cardboard pieces to the size you want your box to be. Remember that the vertical box faces should be about 1/2" narrower than the base.
Step 2: Assemble the Base.
Once you have all your pieces ready you can start by assembling the base. I found it was easier to get the cardboard into the corner pieces by giving the edges a nice little squish. Slip 4 of the corner pieces onto the base as shown in the picture.
Step 3: Build the Walls.
Wow! This is going quickly.
It is time to add the sides.
Again, squish the corners of the cardboard before putting them into the 3D printed parts.
The trickiest part here is putting on the top 3D corner pieces so take your time and make sure the orientation is upside down when compared to the bottom ones.
Step 4: Add a Divider. (Optional)
If you want to separate your Build-a-Box into compartments use 2 3D divider pieces and another piece of cardboard that slips in where you want it.
Step 5: Pat Yourself on the Back.
You have Built-a-Box!
Congratulations on your new custom box. Depending on the exact thickness of your cardboard you might want to add a drop of glue to each of the corner joints to keep it together.