Introduction: Make the Body With Locking Tab

Picture of Make the Body With Locking Tab

The following information is a single lesson in a larger project hosted on Tinkercad. Check out more projects like this on Tinkercad

Project description

To build the container we could start from scratch to build each component, but you have already done much of the required work when creating the lid. To save some time, you will re-use as much as you can!

Re-using is a great way of thinking! In this example, you will be re-using the lid to make the body of the container, and re-using the body to create the space inside the container! It’s almost always better to re-use than re-create!

Step 1: Model Your Locking Container Lid

Picture of Model Your Locking Container Lid

To build the container we could start from scratch to build each component, but you have already done much of the required work when creating the lid. To save some time, you will re-use as much as you can!

Re-using is a great way of thinking! In this example, you will be re-using the lid to make the body of the container, and re-using the body to create the space inside the container! It’s almost always better to re-use than re-create!

Instructions

  1. Continue to next step.

Step 2: Building the Container Body

Picture of Building the Container Body

We will begin by creating the shape that will be used to create the internal cut out of the container where you will place your notes.

Instructions

  1. Drag the orange cylinder from the “spare lid” you created in the last step to the middle of the workplane.
  2. Increase the height to 50mm.
  3. Duplicate the shape and move it to the side and change its dimensions to 65mm x 65mm and 65mm tall.
  4. Continue to next step.

Step 3: Align the Container Bodies

Picture of Align the Container Bodies

The inner (taller) cylinder will be used to “cut” a hole out of the wider and shorter cylinder. You will need to align them and then raise up the inner cylinder a bit.

The reason we raise the inner cylinder is because we want to have a wall on the bottom of the container that is just as thick as the lid. Note: You won’t be able to see that 3mm wall on the bottom until we do the grouping in the coming steps.

Instructions

  1. Hold shift down on the keyboard and click on the two cylinders to select both at the same time.
  2. Select Align from the Adjust menu on the toolbar.
  3. Align both cylinders so they are aligned to the bottom-middle and side-middle.
  4. Click the taller cylinder to select it and raise it up by 3mm using the black arrow handle.
  5. Continue to next step.

Step 4: Create a Space for Your Money!

Picture of Create a Space for Your Money!

The inner cylinder is defining the “inner volume” of empty space we will create in this step.

If you made this inner cylinder smaller, then the inner space for notes or for coins or money would also be smaller and your walls would be thicker.

Instructions

  1. Click on the inner/taller cylinder to select it.
  2. In the Inspector window, click on “Hole”.
    Note: Doing this will change the cylinder to a transparent striped cylinder.
  3. Select both cylinders and click "Group" on the toolbar to cut the inner cylinder out of the outer cylinder making it look like a cup.
  4. Continue to next step.

Step 5: Resize the Threads for Cutting

Picture of Resize the Threads for Cutting

In order for the threads to work together, the threads inside the container need to be slightly larger than the threads on the lid. If they were the same size there would not be enough space for them to fit together.

This small gap between the smaller and larger threads is called “tolerance” and allows for just enough space to make the threads work without being too tight or too loose.

Since these threads will be cutting out of the container body, the threads need to be slightly bigger for the needed tolerance.

Instructions

  1. Drag a Workplane on top of the container.
  2. Click on the “spare” set of threads, and press the “d” key. This “drops” the threads onto the newly positioned workplane.
  3. Change the Radius of the threads to 36mm.
  4. Dismiss the workplane by dragging a new workplane into empty space.
  5. Continue to next step.

Step 6: Cut the Threads

Picture of Cut the Threads

Let’s actually cut the threads. By doing this cutting, we are creating a slightly larger version of the threads in the lid, and they will match up well when 3D printed. One object designed to work with another is called a “complimentary set”.

This set is a great example of many ideas:

Re-using the threads to make complimentary threads.

That anything can be a cutting tool, even a spiral polygon.

The next time you look at a screw in your garage at home, you will now see that the threads inside are just a spiral that was cut out of a solid block!

Instructions

  1. Drag the new threads roughly over the container body.
  2. Select the cylinder and the threads, then use the Align tool to align the shapes vertically.

  3. Click on the Threads and click the “Hole” button in the Inspector.

  4. Use the black handle above the threads to move them down 20mm.

  5. Shift-click on the cylinder body to select both it and the Threads, and click on the “Group” key to perform the cut.

  6. Continue to the next step.

Step 7: Put the Locking Tab on the Container

Picture of Put the Locking Tab on the Container

In order for the container to lock, there must be a complimentary tab on the body for the lock on the lid to pass through. Remember how great it is to re-use, you will be doing that again!

Instructions

  1. Drag a Workplane on top of the container.

  2. Click on the spare “tab” you created earlier and press the “d” key to drop it on the active workplane.

  3. Click on the black handle of the tab and move it downwards by 3mm.

  4. Move the tab to the right side of the container, so that it intersects the container body completely.

  5. Continue to the next lesson.

Step 8: Grouping and Orienting

Picture of Grouping and Orienting

You have made almost all of the container…congrats! Let’s clean up your model a bit. Once you think you have finished with creating a set of pieces, it is good to group them.

The nice thing about groups is that you can move the grouped objects all at once, very easily, and you can double click on the group to “enter” it and make changes. Clicking outside the group will “exit” the group and your changes will be shown.

Also note, we will be creating groups here, and groups can be any color you want them to be. Just click on the Group, and in the Inspector window click Color” and change the color to anything you want!

Instructions

  1. Drag a box around the lid you created at the beginning and click “Group”.
  2. Drag a box around the container and “Group” them as well (you might have to change your view if your box keeps selecting the lid!)

  3. Continue to the next lesson.

Step 9: Aligning the Lid

Picture of Aligning the Lid

Remember the description of how objects can be “complimentary”? We need to create complimentary holes so that the lock will go through both holes cleanly. But first, we need to position the two objects on top of each other so that we can cut the same hole through both parts of the container.

Instructions

  1. Click on the container, and rotate it so that the tab is laying on the ground (180 degrees)
  2. Shift click on the Lid, and click “Align”.

  3. Align the centers of both objects.

  4. Continue to the next lesson.

Step 10: Cut the Locking Holes

Picture of Cut the Locking Holes

In order to fit a lock in those tabs we need holes!

This step is slightly tricky because we need to make TWO cutting tools. The reason for this is that we want the lid and the container body to remain as separate “Groups”…so therefore we need two cutting tools to cut through those two separate groups.

Note: make sure your cool extrusion shape does not cut into the side of the box, but only cuts through the tabs.

Instructions

  1. Drag out an Extrusion from Shape Generators -> Tinkercad -> Extrusion.
  2. Resize that extrusion to 10mm by 10mm.
  3. Drag the extrusion onto the center of the overlapping tabs.
  4. Make it a cool shape that does not go outside of the tab. Note: Make sure the hole shape is large enough for a lock to fit through the opening.

  5. Make the extrusion a “Hole”.

  6. Duplicate the extrusion by clicking on Edit -> Duplicate

  7. With that Extrusion selected, Shift click on the container body, and Group them to perform the cut.

  8. Move the container body aside.

  9. Drag a box around the lid and the other Extrusion-hole, and Group them to perform the cut.

  10. You have now completed your locking container!
  11. Congratulations!

Step 11: Prepare the Shapes for 3D Printing

Picture of Prepare the Shapes for 3D Printing

The shapes as they are designed will require support material when printed. Either the tab on the container body or the inside of the container must be supported during printing depending on the orientation of the shape.

I have selected to support the inside of the container because no one will see the inside of the container except for you. Therefore, if the support material isn't completely removed or affects the surface of the container, any flaws caused by the support material will be hidden from the public.

Follow the steps below to prepare your container for 3D printing.

Instructions

  1. Select the container body and rotate it 180 degrees so the locking tab is facing down toward the workplane.
  2. If your lid is not already facing the same direction, repeat the previous step, but this time with the lid. In the end your shapes should look like the image shown above.
  3. Stuck? Remember: You will need to enable support material in your 3D printer software when printing this design.

Step 12: 3D Print Your Container

Once your shapes are positioned for 3D printing you can download the fiel for 3D printing.

Instructions

  1. Select Download for 3D printing from the design menu.
  2. Select .STL as the download format. The .STL file format can be used with any 3D printer.
  3. Import the .STL file into your 3D printer software and print.

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