Newbie Tips Please: Modeling a Simple Box Made of Individual Panels

Hello, I am trying to model a wooden box.

I want to model it as if it were made of wood panels (say a 16mm thick layer). I guess I can model the individual panels and join them together. However I model it, however, I never get the panels to ‘meet’ correctly at the corners of the box. Sometimes it overlaps, goes in the wrong direction, or merges with the adjacent panel. Sometimes a panel is missing an entire face! (Sorry, I’m not explaining myself very well.)

Any tips for modeling ‘panels’ and ‘boxes’? Or can you point me to some appropriate videos?

Remember I’m a newbie so be nice!

Convert the geometry of each part to a component. Start with the bottom, draw a rectangle, use Push/Pull to give it a thickness of 16mm, select the geometry, create a component. Then get the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle for the edge of one of the sides. Pull it up to height, select just this new geometry, and make a component out of that. Rinse and repeat for the neighboring side.

Maybe before I delve into that, you should check out the educational content at

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You should also consider what type of gaskets you are going to use for your box. Search for wooden box gaskets and take a look at all the different types of gaskets you can use. Butt joints are probably the weakest joints for a box, so box or dovetail joints may be more appropriate for your design.

12 ways to build a box.pdf (755.6 KB)

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Thank you very much for the answers! I’ve decided to work my way through the tutorials (to stop asking dumb questions!) – thanks DaveR. thanks also to mballes for the pdf in various wooden joints. I was just going to model the butt joints to get the overall size and shape, but that’s a really helpful article.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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