Introduction: Rugged Camera Box

About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace ( in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ot…

Over the years I accumulated some Sony NEX camera's (mostly because a complete second hand camera was cheaper than just buying an other lens). Until now, those camera's where on tables, in corners or wherever. Time to make a box for them!

I like the rugged (Pelican) boxes, but I don't have the money for them and they are hard to find in exactly the right dimensions.

My 3D-printer has a maximum print area of 15 x 15 cm, so my box will be 14,8 x 14,8 cm.

I have 3 camera's so I need to print 3 boxes.


M3 bolts

M4 bolts



PLA and Flex filament


1 cm foam

Step 1: Design

I made my design in Fusion360 and it was a long time ago that I used this program. It was much easier than I remembered. I'm not sure if the program became easier to use or that I just remembered it worse than it was.

There are a lot of parts to print. The Inlay and rubber rings need to be printed in FLEX material.

You will need to print:

2x HingeOnder

3x HingeBoven

4x rubberring (in FLEX).

All other parts just 1x.

Step 2: Printing

It was fun to print the PLA parts and see them grow hour after hour.

The printing of the flex parts was a little less fun. My printer didn't manage to wind the flex filament from the spool. So I had to unwind enough filament for the printer to print in a way so that is was easy for the printer to grab it, but didn't pull any knots or got stuck in an other way.

On the picture you can see how I manage to do that. I call it the spaghetti method.

Because flex filament needs to be printed extremely slow, I had to print trough the night, so I had to unwind enough filament to get the printer though the night.

The result was nice though.

Step 3: Glue the Feet On

Glue the flex rings on the bottom of the box.

I used super glue.

These rings will make stable feet, but also make that the boxes will stack very nicely. In the lid of the box are some indentations for the rings to fit in when you stack them.

Step 4: Hinges

Screw the hinges on the lid and bottom of the box. It doesn't really matter if you put the bottom part on the lid or the other way around.

Use M4 bolts. I designed the box to have a nut on the inside, but I didn't use them because the bolts cut their own thread in het box that felt very sturdy. I can always add the nuts later if I need to.

Use a long M3 bolt for the hinge part of the hinge.

Step 5: Clasp

Use the extra hinge part to attach the clasp with a long M3 bolt.

Bolt the hinge part with clasp to the lid of the box with M4 bolts again.

Bolt the catch to the bottom with M4 bolts.

Step 6: Interior

The flex inlay is a little bit higher than the bottom of the box. This is on purpose to create a kind of water tight enclosure when you close the box.

I designed the inlay for a Sony NEX5, NEX5R, or NEX5N (I think that all NEX5 versions will fit) and 2 extra batteries and 2 extra SD-cards.

The camera will fit with the big 18-55 lens attached and even the quick release plate still attached.

For the lid I simply cut a square out of 1 cm thick foam. I cut it a little bit oversize so I didn't have to glue it in.

Step 7: Labels

Because I made 3 boxes for 3 different camera's, I needed to label the boxes.

Step 8: Put in the Camera

Now it is the moment to put the camera in.

It all fits perfectly!

I made 3 boxes. The first one I made was a little bigger than it had to be and those few cm extra gave me hours of extra printing time. My first box also had 2 clasps to close, but one clasp just works much better. This intructable only gives the designs for the better second version.

I added a Dutch video about how I made the first version.

Box Challenge

Runner Up in the
Box Challenge