Introduction: 3D Printed Puzzle Box
I was exploring Tinkercad when I saw a contest. This intrigued me because I love competition. After reading the rules I immediately had an idea for a puzzle box. I love to watch Chris Ramsay solve puzzle boxes; I even have some of my own. In this Instructable I go through every construction step, how to customize, and how to work the box.
A device with Tinkercad
Step 1: Create Project and Edit Grid
Once you have Tinkercad pulled up click "Create New Design." Change the name to 3D Printed Puzzle Box in the top left corner. Next, in the bottom right click "Edit Grid" and change the units to inches.
Step 2: Make the Outer Box
The next step is to make the outer box that holds everything. Start by bringing out a box and change the measurements to 5"x3"x2". Next, click on and bring out the striped (hole) box and change the measurements to 5"x2.8"x1.8". Then, select both of the boxes by holding Shift and click "Align" on the top toolbar. Align them so the hole box is straight in the middle (picture 3). Lastly, keep them both selected and group them by selecting "Group" in the top toolbar (or Ctrl G). Now, it should have a hole straight through the middle with a 0.2" border all the way around.
Step 3: Making the Inside Box
In this step we make the inside box where we will put all our protected goodies. First, bring out a box and make the dimensions 5"x2.7"x1.7". Next, make a hole box with the dimensions of 4.8"x2.5"x1.6". Then, select both of the boxes and align the hole box straight in the middle (picture 2). Deselect the solid box by clicking it and bring the hole box up 0.2". Select both and group them.
Step 4: Making the Lid
Making the lid is quite easy. Start by bringing out a box. Next, change the dimensions to 5"x2.7"x0.1". Now you have a lid.
Step 5: Making the Hinge Part 1
Now we have to make the hinge for the lid. Start by selecting all of the objects except the lid. Once all are selected, click the "Hide" button on the top toolbar. This makes it easier to work on the hinge without clutter. Now bring out a cylinder and make it 3/4"X3/4"X3/4". Turn it 90 degrees. Next, change the cylinder's sides to 64 or as far as it will go. This will make it more round. Now, bring out a cone and change the top radius to 1. Then, turn the cone -90 degrees. Shrink the cone to 1/4"x1/2"x1/2". Select both of them and align so the cone is dead center (picture 2).
Step 6: Making the Hinge Part 2
To continue the hinge, we need to copy and paste the cone. Change the copy into a hole and place it over the original and move it out a little bit (picture 1.) Now, copy the cylinder and paste it. When that is finished bring it on top of the hole cone. Now, copy and paste the hole cone. Click the "Mirror" button (or m on a computer) and flip the hole. Next, bring the hole to the other side of the cylinder, making sure to group the solid cone and the first cylinder. Then, copy and past the new grouping, mirroring and positing it across from the 2nd cylinder. Lastly, group the two hole cones into the 2nd cylinder.
Step 7: Making the Hinge Part 3
For the last part of the hinge we must shrink it down to 0.2" on the width and height but not the length. Now bring out a box and make it 2"x1"x.1". Next, align the whole hinge piece in the middle of the lid, along with the other box (picture 3). Lastly group the two edge pieces with the lid, and the middle part of the hinge with the other box.
Step 8: Attaching the Hinge
For this step we will start by clicking the "Show All" button so that our other boxes appear. Once they are out, adjust the hinge and lid so that it looks like the first picture. Next, group the bottom hinge box with the second box, and adjust the lid so that it looks like the second picture. Lastly, select the lid and box and shrink the hole selection down to 1.7" tall.
Step 9: Making the Peg Holes
In this step we will make the holder for the pegs that keep the second box inside the first one. Start by rearranging the boxes so that you can easily work on another element. You may need to adjust the size of your grid in the grid properties (bottom right corner). Once, that is finished we will jump straight into making the peg's hole. Start by bringing out a snap and socket from the featured section. Make sure to click on snap hole (tight fit). Then, turn it 90 degrees, and resize it to 0.2" tall and long. Now bring out a cylinder, turn it 90 degrees and shrink it down to 0.3" tall. Then select the cylinder and the snap hole, aligning them so that the snap hole is in the middle of the cylinder (picture 3). Lastly, select the snap hole and cylinder grouping them.
Step 10: Making the Pegs
This step is all about making the pegs. Start by bringing out a snap and socket. Shrink it down to 0.2" all around and turn it 90 degrees. Now bring out a cylinder, turn it 90 degrees and then shrink it down to 0.2"x0.3x0.2. Next, bring out a ISO metric screw, shrink it to 0.15"x0.15"x0.2" then turn it 90 degrees. Make a duplicate of it and make it a hole. Select both the screw, cylinder, and snap, and align it so that the screw is in the middle of both of them (picture 2). Then, keeping them selected, group it all together. Next, duplicate the peg hole made in the last step. Select the second box and a peg hole aligning them so that the peg hole is in the middle, then move it back slightly so that it is flush with the inside of the box. Do this with the other peg hole also. Finally, make another cylinder that is 0.3" wide and long then turn it 90 degrees. Make it a hole and align it in this same spot as the peg's hole. Then select ONLY the cylinder and the box and group them. Do this on the other side also. If done correctly, you should be able to see your peg hole from the outside (picture 3). Continue the same step for the outer box also making holes directly it the center (picture 4).
Step 11: Making the Peg Extractor
This step is when we make the tool that helps to take out the pegs. Start by bringing out a cylinder and make it 0.5"x0.5"x0.1". Then take the other screw we still have out from earlier make a copy; turn it so it stands upright. Selecting both of them align them so that the screw is in the middle and adjust so that the bottom of the screw is flat on top of the cylinder, then group them (picture 2). Now bring out another cylinder make it 0.2"x0.2"x0.3"; take the screw and turn it into a hole. Select the screw and cylinder align them so that the screw is in the middle of the cylinder now group them. Now turn it -90 degrees and select the box also and align the screw so that it is in the middle of the front side of the box. Adjust so it is flush with the inside of the box(picture 4). Lastly, make a cylinder 0.2"x0.2", then turn it 90 degrees align it in the same position as the tool holder we just made, and turn it into a hole. Select the box and group them making a hole in the front box side.
Step 12: Making the Knobs
In this step we make the knobs to keep the contents of the second box safe. Start off by bringing out a cylinder and make it 0.15" tall. Then, select one of our pegs and make a copy turn it so it stands upright and align it in the center of the cylinder, move it up so it is siting on the top of the cylinder, and group them. Now, bring out another cylinder, make it 0.15' tall. Bring out a box and make it a hole and move it so that when you group it, it looks like picture 1. Next, select one of the peg holders in our second box and copy it moving and rotating it so that it is in the same position as picture 2. Group them and copy so that you end up with three; now do the same for the other piece just made. Make a cylinder that is 0.3" wide and long, make it a hole then move it to about 1/3 of the lid make two copies and put them on the the half mark and 2/3 mark, select them all, and group. Now there should be three holes in the lid (picture 3).
Step 13: Making the Knobs Work
In this step we make what holds the knobs so that it doesn't just come off. First, make a rectangle 1"x5"x0.2", then align it in the middle of the 2nd box like picture 1. Now, group the lid, box, and the lip we just made. ALL DONE!!
Step 14: Explaining How It Works
There are many pieces in this box but all the parts work together to make one puzzle box. Let's hop right into the works of it. When the box is fully put together there are two holes on the sides where the pegs are keeping the second box from sliding out. To open it, you unscrew the knob on the front and screw it into the pegs one at a time. Then pull and the pegs should come right out. Once both pegs are out the second box will slide out allowing access to the knobs on the top which when turned in the right spots will open. This is where you can customize it: the knobs snap together so that you can make the combination whatever you want. You could write numbers and a dot and make it a number combo, or put a dot on it and have it be positioned in a certain spot for it to open. This is where you can use your creativity to make it your own puzzle box.
Participated in the
Tinkercad Student Design Contest