I would like to build a case similar to what in the past was used for portable sewing machines, but it would be used to carry a 3D printer. enter image description here

The sides and the top+handle should be connected/glued together, and the bottom should be connected to the sides only when not in use.

I don't know the name of this type of case, therefore I cannot easily search online.

My question is: how can I design the bottom and how can I easily connect/disconnect it from the walls?

The 3D printer would be fixed/screwed to the bottom and I would like to place screws vertically, because they would require tilting of the device for closing/opening the box.

My first idea would be to glue around the base a soft wood frame that includes nuts (not hexagonal, better something with wings). The external walls would include holes through which screws with wings (as shown) would be placed when the box is to be closed.

To be clear, see other image.

However, I'm not sure how to fix the nut to the wood and I would like to keep the construction as simple as possible, since I do it for friends and I don't want to invest too much time in this.

I have available, at least: glue, MDF or plywood (I think 6 mm are enough), various screws, a drill, a circular saw. I don't have a router or a jigsaw yet (I can ask around if really needed).

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2 Answers 2


Your idea is certainly workable. However, I think I would quickly grow tired from unscrewing the bolts.

Instead, I would use a number of toggle latches to keep the lid and bottom together:

Toggle latch

You can get them in many different sizes and styles, from the relatively light duty type shown above to really heavy duty flight case latches.

  • I didn't think about that, thanks. However how would I fix the fixed part of these latches to the bottom plate? screws or anything along the plane of the plywood would not hold, they would only separate the layers.
    – FarO
    Feb 21, 2018 at 16:36
  • Yeah, you'd probably need to attach some kind of edge on the bottom - but that would also prevent the bottom from flexing. I would probably make a frame with a rabbet and place the plywood for the bottom in there, like on this picture: i.ytimg.com/vi/fc0NWOyJLTo/maxresdefault.jpg
    – XerXes
    Feb 22, 2018 at 14:22

That should work. Where you have "nut, fixed to wood", search for "threaded wood insert nut" to find something that would fit permanently into the softwood.

One concern: 6mm MDF is pretty feeble. How heavy is this printer?

  • Yeah probably plywood. The printer will be about 8 kg. I think I will place an internal frame on both the walls and the bottom, so that the holes don't have to hold all the weight.
    – FarO
    Feb 19, 2018 at 21:57

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