Introduction: The Scarab Beetle Box Assembly Instructions

About: British techie moved to Texas in 2013. Now a full time, freelance artist. Interested in articulation and assemblies. Fan of support-free models. John Joseph Merlin is my hero.

Here are the assembly instructions for my Scarab Beetle Box (with secret lock). The required files can be downloaded from these locations:


The 3D prinitng magazine, wrote a very nice article about this model:

3D Printable Scarab Beetle Box Provides Egyptian Revival in a 3D Printing World

This model was featured on Thingiverse during November 2014.

This model won first prize in the Pinshape support Free design contest.

Step 1: Printed Parts and Additional Items

The model consists of 12 parts which must be fitted together. It is very important that you ensure the correct diameter for the filament you are using is set up in your printing profile, otherwise you are going to run into trouble; parts for this model must fit together and over-extrusion will prevent this. This is particularly relevant for the hinge which prints as one piece - too much filament and it will weld together.

In addition to the printed parts, you will need the following:

A glue capable of bonding the material you are using.

Metallic colour spray paint to create the effect of a precious metal. This is optional of course. I have included example which show a painted version of my model and one using coloured filaments only.

For both items you must read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you paint the model parts please ensure the paint is fully dry before assembling the model. These are the brands that I use, but there are others that work just as well. I do recommend that you use a glue that dries clear instead of white

Step 2: Assembling the Base

1) You will need the following pieces:


2) place the fittings inside the base to check they fit easily. you will need to make sure they are lined up as shown. Trying to fit them using any other orientation won't work.

3) Once happy, glue these in to place and leave to dry.

4) Place the upper base layer on top to check fittings.

5) Once happy, glue these in to place and leave to dry.

Step 3: Assemble the Drawer

1) You will need the following pieces:


2) Place catch in drawer as shown to check it fits.

3) Once happy, glue these in to place and leave to dry.

Step 4: Assemble the Middle Part With the Drawer

I am very sorry, but I forgot to photograph some of the steps listed here. However, if you study pictures of the finished model, it should fairly obvious what to do.

1) You will need the following pieces:

assembled drawer
assembled base

2) Fit the Ra jewel and once happy glue into place.

3) Turn the middle piece upside down and put drawer in place.

4) Turn right way up and put the base in place, Holding the model together(otherwise the drawer will fall out), check the drawer slides back and forth easily. Please be aware that the movement will be small.

5) Once happy, glue into place but ONLY GLUE the middle section to the base and NOT THE DRAWER .

6) Leave to dry.

Step 5: Assemble the Beetle

1) You will need:

The beetle hinge
beetle wing case covers
lid catch
head jewel

2) You have a choice here :

i) Place in the head jewel as shown with the curve against the curve inside the head. The easiest way to do this is to put the jewel through the hole in the beetle's head. I am afraid this is going to be tricky for most people - I forgot I have really small hands. I suggest putting the glue into the head and then placing the jewel on top. You will need to hold this together firmly until it dries. or

ii) One of the Thingiverse users (sherpa_chris)who made this model, came up with a far better idea. Instead of fixing the head jewel against the inside of the beetle's head, he fixed the flat side to the top of the wing case (it does mean the jewel will be sunk in slightly). What is great about this is that not only is it easier to do, it means you can press the jewel and the wing case will open (providing the drawer is pulled back). The curve I created so the jewel could be fixed the the head means there is room to allow this movement. Many thanks to Chris for improving my model - the picture of the beetle demonstrating this (with the red wing case) was taken by Chris and can be seen on his make

3) Glue the wing case covers to the wing case.

4) Glue the catch to the lid.

Step 6: Attach Beetle Head

Finish the model by gluing the beetle head in place on the assembled base.