Mouth Guard Box For My Brother

Recently, my bro came to me to ask if I could print a box to hold his mouth guards (apparently, he grinds his teeth while sleeping). The guards do come with containers but he finds them too large. For example, he has a drawer in his bathroom to hold toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc., but the mouth guard container is too tall to fit. He has a mouth guard for use at his regular home, 1 for travel, and 1 for his Florida house, and would like a new container for each.

I started out with a simple 2-part box, kind of like some jewellery boxes:

The container on the left is the 1 that comes with the guard. My design’s lid slides down over the bottom & is about 1/2" shorter.

I then created a new design, one that’s hinged:

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I felt this design was an improvement, but the hinge is larger than needed and is completely outside the box. The lift tabs do help, but it’s hard to know which side has the latch, so I refined the design:

If you look closely, you’ll see that the back walls of the 2 halves are much closer together in this design, making the overall width shorter.

This shot shows the thumb dimple & latch. The dimple helps identify where to press to unlatch & helps prevent your thumb from slipping while pressing to open.

Pretty obviously, a closeup shot of the latch. The angles of the sloped sides are 40 degrees.

The counterpart to the latch: the notch that catches the latch.

Overall, the box works really well. I printed it with the EcoTough Natural filament I got from in Canada (I still haven’t found anywhere in the US where I can get this filament). I chose this filament because it is strong (it’s PETG) but has a level of flexibility & resilience I don’t find in regular PETG; and, it’s food safe. The flexibility really helps with pressing the dimple to open & close the box.

My bro is very happy with the boxes. He showed 1 to a neighbor and she said, “He made that??”. :slight_smile:

Very cool design. Nicely done.

Print in place stuff is the one thing I did not do, beside stuff that combines parts in one print and both parts need to be broken apart after printing.

Thanks. The ‘bottom’ half (the 1 with the 3 hinge parts and dimple) has the hinge pin as part of it –– there is no gap between the pin & the hinge segment. This means the pin can never loosen or come out. And, because the printer only has to span the gap between 2 hinge segments, rather than the whole width of the box, it’s much more 3D printable. I suspect it just wouldn’t work if it had to try to span 50+ mm.

Excellent, Ender5! Designing print in place hinges is taking it to the next level.

I’ve just completed version 5 of the box.

This came about after a call with my brother in Florida. He mentioned that he was talking to a neighbor, Lee, who is a “snowbird” from Canada and was back in FL after missing 2021. Turns out they both use mouth guards at night. In fact, Lee and his wife both use them. Go figure, my bro, his wife, and their neighbors all use mouth guards. Weird, right?

My bro asked Lee how they store their guards, then showed him the guard I designed and printed for him. And, you guessed it, Lee and his wife both would like to have some of their own.

I asked my bro about what he feels is the weakest part of the design. He said it’s the latch. He said he’s careful when opening or closing his 3 boxes, but the tip on 1 of the latches did break off.

Drawing on the experience of the past year, I figure the latch tip that broke did so because it was printed in place, which meant the layer lines run horizontally across the width of the latch instead of vertically.

I redesigned the latch as a separate model. I put a slot into the bottom half of the box. The latch slides into the slot.

While I was at it, redesigned the hinge so it doesn’t even have to span the width of a hinge segment. It now uses matching cones and recesses.

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Here is the box closed. Yep, the neighbor’s wife’s name is Colleen.

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The bottom side of the box. Since my bro’s neighbor is Canadian, I decided to personalize the box a bit by adding a Canadian flag. Believe it or not, you can find and download an image of the flag, with measurements, online. That made it pretty easy.

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Here is the box layed out flat.

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The inside of the box. You can see the slot for the latch on the left.

Part 2

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Here is a closeup of the slot for the latch.

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The latch itself. The layer lines running the bottom of the latch to the top are visible.

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The bottom of the box with the latch in place. The fit is tight enough that it doesn’t need glue. If, over time, it loosens it can obviously be glued in place. Leaving it unglued makes it easier to replacer the latch, should that become necessary.

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This is a capture from Fusion 3D that shows the female halves of the hinge segments.

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This is another capture from Fusion 3D, showing the male halves of the hinge segments.
Overall, this hinge design seems to work better than the previous 1.

Looking good, I’ll bet you could sell those of Esty or someplace like that.

Mouth guard? Isn’t that something boxers wear? I hope your family is getting along. Sorry for the dull humour. I’m a Canadian.

Well, at least you stayed true Canadian: you said you’re sorry [SIZE=36px]??[/SIZE]

That definitely proves I’m not a Yank.