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I need some design advice. I am making a parametric box out of "tough PLA". It's divided into 4 components because the footprint is larger than the print volume; the components are held together with "fingers" and receptacles; clearance is 400 microns (isotropic) which is sufficiently precise for my needs. The question is: what is the preferred way to design a latch that keeps the lid closed and (somewhat) secured? I was thinking of some sliding part, but I am unsure about the best-practice. Any advice would be welcome!

The model is here, by the way: https://a360.co/2TjUQPA  If you find it useful, feel free to utilize, modify, etc.

Screenshot 2018-12-29 19.21.51.png

Screenshot 2018-12-29 19.27.41.png

Edited by aag

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Unfortunately, I cannot help with your question, but respect about how you designed it, separated into components, exactly how it should be - chapeau 🙂

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Have you considered using magnets? Makes for a very compact way of keeping it closed. But of course it depends on how secure the lid needs to be, you still need to be able to open it after all 🙂

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In PET snap-fit lockings work well, if not flexed too much. But I would not use it for regular PLA: it gets too hard and brittle after a year, and then they tend to break. I have no experience with tough PLA.


Depending on how secure the locking has to be, a screw and nut might also work. If you design a cage with some retention for the nut, so it can not fall out. Like the cages in these pics (although they are for a totally different clamping system, not directly applicable to a lid, but maybe you could use the basic idea).






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