Storage chest

This post is divided into two pages for greater clarity, in the first I show the finished models, while in the second the problems encountered and solved.
I wish I could do more, but I had time limits due to all the problems I will discuss in the second part. So as not to skip the weekly article, I preferred to show a very simple object, even if of great effect. Furthermore, the addition of YouTube videos did not help, as I had to study the operation of video recording and editing programs.
A special thanks goes to Diego, who with an idea that many might consider trivial (but which is not really) has solved the problem of hinges.


Video – The rendering shown here is that of the first version of the storage chest, which I will show on the next page. The differences with the one shown here are minimal.

I have to admit that the idea of this little object box is a bit that I have it, and since I deal with fantasy miniatures I decided to make a chest. During the drafting of the project I had thought of two variants: one with a flat lid (the one I did then) and one with a curved lid, like a treasure chest. This second version I find is better because it has a greater internal volume, but I did not have time to create it, although I hope for a future article about it.
The project included boxes with dimensions of 10x5x5 and 5×2.5×2.5cm (width, length and height) and in case also a middle ground between the two. The smaller version, although not very voluminous, was convenient for testing quickly.

The 3D model

In this work I used the modifier mirror and array, the second to do the axes. These were the first things done, using pre-established dimensions. I then used them as references to make metal edges.


Figure 1 – The boards. The front walls are on show.
There are vertices in the middle of the model because I used mirror, in clipping mode

For the metal edges instead I did only 1/4 of the work thanks to the use of mirror both on the x and y axis.

Figure 2 – Metal edges. Highlighted the modeled part

As seen from the figure, the lower part is lowered and serves as a support for the bottom without the need for special pins.
The lid was made in the same way as the rest.

Figure 3 – The lid, with a part of the hinge,
still without holes

Finally, the fulcrum of this work: the hinge. This idea is merit of Diego, that is, using a paper clip cut as a pin, while the printed part is composed of only two pieces with a hole.

Figure 4 – The hinge, with the hole in which the pin will stay

To make holes I used the boolean modifier in subtraction mode of a cylinder with a diameter of 3mm. In the part of the hinge attached to the cover the holes only reach the middle of the model.
In this phase we must also make sure that the models have a shape that is suitable to allow rotation during the opening of the cover, so the rotation axis can not be positioned too close to the cover and the hinge can not be too bulky.

Important note: arrived at this point we must be careful, in fact since the holes must have a pre-established size, from the moment in which we apply boolean the model will NOT be more scalable, unless you redo the whole hinge.

Modeling video. The work shown for the pins, as for the previous video, is of the first version, which I will show later.

The 3D printing

For printed chests I set the layers to 0.2mm, the supports with Cure were more than enough, and I used both the brim and the heated bed. Since they should represent wooden crates, I preferred to use some brown filament and then paint only the metal parts.

The small chest

The small version required about 4 hours of printing, divided into two pieces: the body and the lid. To avoid the gluing phase I printed the bottom together with the four walls, in a single piece.

Figure 5 – The printed chest before being assembled. In front of the staple pieces used as pins
Figure 6 – The assembled chest.
You notice part of the clip that protrudes

Like glue I used vinavil, putting a drop in the part of the hinge attached to the lid.
Since I made errors with the measurements during the design, the actual size of the box is 5.5 × 3.5x3cm.

The big chest

This one came out bigger than expected, with the dimensions of 11x7x6cm.
To reduce the printing time (which was about 15 hours in total), I cut the thickness of the walls by half, moving the innermost vertices outwards, while without this change it would take over 21 hours of printing. Unlike the previous case, this is divided into three pieces, with the bottom separated, so that it was easier to remove from the printing bed. In addition, I made two holes with different diameters: 3mm for the part of the hinge attached to the lid and 2mm for those attached to the body of the box, using two drops of super attack on these last pieces. In this way the pins do not rotate during the opening or closing of the cover, making the operation easier.


For the painting I used:

  • Runefang steel
  • Abaddon black


  • Yellow

The first of the Citadel, the last of the Tamiya. The black and yellow version are tests, while the steel-colored version is the “official version”.
The results:

Figure 7 – The small chest completed
Figure 8 – The small chest. Since the pieces are very close to each other there is friction, which makes it possible to keep the lid raised in this way
Figure 9 – The tests with the three colors.
For the yellow and black version I used two discarded models made previously

While the big chest:

Figure 10 –
The large assembled chest, front side
Figure 11 –
The large chest seen from behind.
You do not notice the drop of glue put to hold the pin in place
Figure 12 –
The large open chest, with dice,
to show how many it can contain.
Since there is space between the pieces of the hinge, the lid can not be kept half open as in the previous case

The dice shown in the picture are: 36 D6 of 1cm of edge, hidden by 2 sets of dice for d&d.


Despite the wrong size compared to the original project there was no problem because the proportions are adequate.
Because of the problems, I focused on the general structure rather than on the details, but despite this, those who had the opportunity to see it appreciated it. As details I was advised to make the handles on the sides and a lock (fake) in front, which will be made a future version.

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This is a translation for the original italian post: Scatola portaoggetti

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