I am currently on the path to build some finger jointed boxes for my kids intended as a Christmas gift. Aside from building the CAD from scratch I came upon a few automated tools that make it easier. Being a cheapskate who doesn’t want to pay for Vcarve and use their fancy Box Gadget, I came upon Makercase.com. It seems to do exactly what I want and will even throw dogbones on the joints in the SVG.
The one thing that seems to be missing is the ability to add in some tolerance to the joints to make glueup easier. (I believe the site is meant primarily for laser production) Vcarve has it in the gadget, and technically makercase does too, but you can’t do tolerance with the dogbones.
I understand that I could manually drop dogbones on each of the box joints using the 45 degree rotated circle or new square vector union methods, but is there possibly an easier way to add those ad-nauseum OR add tolerance to the box joint portion of the vectors?
Have you just tried cutting?
Possibly a work-around is to lie to the software about the tool diameter, and add how much are you reducing it by (so as to add the tolerance) and add that to the material thickness.
That said, it’s pretty straight-forward to just draw up the geometry to cut the joiner, and there are a couple of options now which hide the joinery:
Have you seen boxes.py?
I haven’t! Let me take a look and see what treasures I have in store.
Have you just tried cutting?
Fair enough! I’ve been pouring over the CAD for so long that I’m fairly worked up about the actual operation. Ideally I’ll cut out a test box this week.
The Quarter Blind miter box joints are bananas! I’ll need to look at the walkthrough in more detail when the Christmas madness is over. I’ll admit it seems that CC is far more capable of complex joinery than I assumed it was.
Unfortunately, they’re also quite unforgiving of stock thickness and where one sets zero and whether or no the stock lifts up.
I’m hoping the full blind version will be a bit more forgiving, but it also unfortunately, doesn’t leave as much material for hinges for lids.
I’ve got one more joint style I’ve been working on, but the math for it is hard and it will need to have the G-code generated for it, so will require RapCAD or something similar.
While on the subject, I’ve seen people do the standard box joints without dogbones but follow up with a 1/8" roundover to post-process the fingers so they fit together seamlessly. It seems really cool, but got me thinking that one could probably do the roundover on the machine with one of the roundover bits that comes to a point instead of a bearing.
I assume that process would just involve figuring out how far you had to offset the vector to compensate for the ‘point’ and then just a contour path on each one of the stub vectors?
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