Printing tools to make a toybox

I made something to help me make something. If this trend continues, I can see a dangerous chain of events occurring at some far point in the future.

A friend of mine and I designed on a napkin (Actually, it may have been a white board, but bear with me) some corner brackets so we can use simple ratchet straps as corner clamps for large woodworking projects.

I wrote some OpenScad code to model our idea and uploaded the thing to

3d printed plastic Ratchet Strap Corner Bracket
The corner brackets feature a lip to help keep them from sliding out from under the strap. They also feature a glue slot to help keep them from getting glued to the project.

I used these little plastic bits to help me make a toybox for my children. I will soon make a 2nd one as well, but, lets just stick to the story about the first toy box for now. And Ratchet Straps… And 3d Printers… And Stereoscopic photographs – because at least that way people have a better experience when looking at my website and go cross-eyed.

Toy Box strapped together
I used some ratchet straps to hold the toy box together while I am test-fitting the pieces.
StereoScopic Photo of a #RepRap printing plastic parts
I printed the corner clamp brackets out on my MakerGear Prusa Mendal RepRap 3d Printer. I just love that tool… Wait… I made a tool to make some tools to make a toybox… See, this is starting to get dangerous.
toybox held together with ratchet strap and plastic bits
The plastic corner brackets allow me to tighten the ratchet straps up much tighter.
plastic corner strap guide
The lip on the plastic bracket helps keep everything where I set it. The strap doesn’t dig into the tip of the wood so I can slide the corner up and down and in and out to get a better joint.
a box assembly trick
There is the wooden base there, but it’s not visable. The rope and bungee cord helped keep the box held together while I glued everything up. I can slide an end panel out, smother it in glue, and fit it back in place. The rest of the boards didn’t try to fall over because of the bungee (I’d removed the 2 straps for the gluing phase)
little girl playing with ratchet straping
Bella loved that I was making her toy box with ribbons! She helped me sort out the straps and untangle them.
little girl untangling a strap
Believe it or not, this is a big help. She LOVES helping. I am a bit bummed as I had to keep her away from this one due to the gorilla glue…
boxed clamped together with ratchet straps
Three sets of straps seems to have held the box together well.
broken corner bracket
I broke one of the corner brackets. The hook lined the strap up just right that it put extra force on the bracket and I crushed it.
upside down strapped box
I turned everything upside down and glued and strap-clamped the bottom on. This one didn’t get the plastic bits, as they where still printing and I was impatient, and the strapping dug into the wood pretty bad.
corner bracket
The corner brackets sure do make the ratchet strap clamps work nicely.
broken corner bracket
I am thinking of how to redesign the brackets so they won’t break like this one did. Luckily they are pretty easy for me to replace.
printing corner brackets
The brackets take about an hour to print each or so. I can just start the printer, and walk away and let it do it’s thing while I do my thing. This batch was given away to those who had input in the design.


For those who are wanting to print their own brackets, my print settings for the UltaMachine 3mm Green PLA are:

 generated by Slic3r 0.9.8 on 2013-03-10 at 23:03:36
 layer_height = 0.15
 perimeters = 2
 top_solid_layers = 4
 bottom_solid_layers = 3
 fill_density = 0.30
 perimeter_speed = 60
 infill_speed = 100
 travel_speed = 130
 scale = 1
 nozzle_diameter = 0.35
 filament_diameter = 2.85
 extrusion_multiplier = 1
 perimeters extrusion width = 0.56mm
 infill extrusion width = 0.56mm
 first layer extrusion width = 0.38mm

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