Penguin Case

A parametric 3D case

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Penguin Case is my effort to create a parametric 3D-printed box for any handheld-size items you need to store. Someday it might even be water resistant.

penguin case

A 3D printed, parametric, (not yet) waterproof latching box

Awesome Features

* Holds things
* Selectable 1 or 2 clasps
  * Compatible with hinges and clasps from: [Frog Box](
* My mom thinks it looks cool
* Did I mention it can hold things?

Eventual Features

* Native Penguin clasp design (ones that aren't 3rd party)
* Weather/water proofing seals

Make One!

* Required Materials:
  * 20mm long M3 Bolts. 2x per hinge or clasp. I use [these from BoltDepot](
* Print hinges and clasps from the [Frog Box](
* Customize your box in [OpenSCAD](
* Or use my [online customizer](
* Or use [Thingiverse's Customizer](
  * In my experience Thingiverse Customizer does not work, or at least takes more than a week to render. Use it instead as a preview generator and select values to then use in my [no-preview customizer]( above.
* Print it!

Inspired by the excellent [Frog Box v2.0 by Nibb13](

  • The path forward to the web

    Christopher06/03/2021 at 21:55 0 comments

    Nodejs output from my STL generator


    So Thingiverse's Customizer queue is apparently backed up, and I haven't been able to dig up much in the way of details. MakerBot (which owns Thingiverse) doesn't owe me a working tool, but it's pretty bad form to leave it in the current online-but-not-working state. To prevent others from falling victim I removed Customizer integration from my Penguin Case page on Thingiverse, though the change doesn't appear to have had any effect since Customizer integration is still there.

    Proof that OpenJSCAD at least initially planned OpenSCAD support.


    At first it was very jarring to find that OpenSCAD syntax is unsupported in OpenJSCAD, but it turns out that at least in a prior version OpenSCAD compatibility was planned, so I'm not just losing my mind. Unfortunately that version hadn't yet reached OpenSCAD parity, and apparently has been superseded by another which has dropped OpenSCAD syntax as a goal.

    While I was digging around trying to figure out why I remembered a feature that didn't exist, I also found this project that seems to be the genesis of the other two, and this nodejs tool that almost does what I want, but the opposite instead.

    CAD Projects

    There are several interesting projects that appear to be driving toward this "web SCAD" future as well. CadHUB appears to be building a multi-language CAD editor for the web, and SOL75 - a very clean looking parametric model viewer. Neither seem to be ready for public use yet though.

    Web Assembly

    Ideally, I want to have OpenSCAD transpiled into web assembly so that it is actually running in the browser. That way hosting an online STL generator would scale more easily. But web assembly looks like a pain to set up, so it's shelved for now.

    The current state of my STL generator page.

    Good old server-side

    For now I'm going with a server-side implementation. You fill out a form and hit send, and my server will render the STL and hand it back to you. Easy peasy. Github link to the code.

  • Reinventing the cube

    Christopher06/03/2021 at 18:58 0 comments

    My great, great grandfather's mining lamp from the early 1900s.

    Earlier this spring I found myself wanting to take my great, great grandfather's carbide mining lamp caving with me and show the crew how it worked while we were stopped for lunch. Obviously a family heirloom such as this has some sentimental value, and I needed a case to protect it while we scrambled over rocks and tossed our backpacks up ledges.

    Read more »

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Dan Maloney wrote 06/03/2021 at 17:42 point

I wonder if you could do a gasket in TPU? Maybe even a print-in-place would work -- suppose you'd need a 2-head printer for that, though.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Christopher wrote 06/03/2021 at 19:10 point

Ooh, print in place TPU! I dig it.
Now that the basic box shape is together, I'm trying to determine where I want to go with it. I've been thinking about including a print-in-place hinge option to eliminate dependency on metal bolts. Maybe an ultimate print-in-place box for fancier printers is another direction I could go.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 06/01/2021 at 17:05 point

Interesting, I've never seen a case that small before. When you scale up, does it eventually reach a point where two latches are used?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Christopher wrote 06/02/2021 at 02:20 point

Hi Dan! The picture is of a tiny case I use for test prints to save filament. I'm hoping the final design will scale nicely up to 200x200x200mm that many 3D printers can reach.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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