Heart Shaped two-piece Box in Autodesk 123D: Part 1- The Basic Lid

There's always a birthday or holiday around the corner, and what's better than creating a personalized 3D printed box for someone special even if it's for no reason at all. Of course it's also fun to create things for yourself too!

Pictured above is a heart shaped box with the text "MOM." It turned out so well in 123D I thought I might as well have it made in Rainbow Ceramic and am going to give it to my mother for Valentines day   :)

Let me show you how to make this.

(At any time if you're unclear on a step feel free to email us by clicking on "Submit a Request" at the top of this page.)

To Begin

First thing is to go to the bottom right-hand corner and make sure to turn on Snap Grid Mode (turns on your grid) and Precise Input (in order to have the measurements turn out as desired). If you want your points to Snap onto the grid, then turn Snap Mode on also. The option is turned on when the it's tinted light blue and the thin blue line outlines the option box. All options picture below are turned on.

The Snap Bar should automatically be visible, it's the ruler above the options just mentioned.


Now go to the Viewing Cube in the upper right-hand corner and click the Top View.


Sketching the Heart Shape

In the top toolbar go to Sketch>Spline


Then start left-clicking the points that make the shape of half the heart. If you want the heart to be symmetrical then I recommend making sure Snap Mode is on so that your first and last point are parallel.

When on the last point of the half of the heart right-click while on that point and either press Enter or right-click and choose OK.

You can adjust the little white control points by left-clicking the points and holding them down while adjusting the placement.

If you're heart isn't going to be symmetrical then go ahead and draw the second half this same way.

Mirroring one side to have a symmetrical heart

Go to Sketch>Draw

Click on first point of the half heart then on second

Press Enter or right-click and OK while over the second point.

Left-click the half heart to select it and a little pill-shaped selection menu will appear. Choose Mirror.

Then when the next little pill-shaped selection menu appears click the second option that says "select mirror line."

Choose the straight line that we drew connecting both points of the half heart.

Once the center line is selected it will show you a preview of the mirrored side of the heart. Press Enter or right-click and press OK.

Click on the line that's now in the center of the full heart, right-click and choose Delete.

 Now we have the main shape of our heart box.

It's a good time to save a version of this file. I often save each model in versions as I progress through creating a model in case I need to go back to a previous iteration to start something over (ie. heart_box_v2.123d, heart_box_v3.123d).


The Lid of your Heart Box

Go to the perspective view by clicking on the little house icon next to your Viewing Cube then go to Create>Extrude

Since I want to print this out in Rainbow Ceramic I am extruding this 2mm (the minimum wall thickness for Rainbow Ceramic). This is where Precise Input comes in very handy, instead of using the manipulators to drag the heart to the correct thickness, I'm just going to type the number 2 in the box and press Enter. My heart will then be exactly 2mm thick.

This is optional, but I'm going to Fillet a couple places on the heart, where the two sides of the heart meet. Fillet means to round out an edge. When made in real life sharp edges may chip.

Go to Extrude>Fillet, choose the top and the bottom sharp edges, put 1mm in the Precise Input box and press Enter.


The Bottom of the Lid

I'm going to use my left mouse button to rotate the viewing cube/rotate my model/3D object until I can see the bottom of the heart

Draw a shape on the bottom of the heart.

The point of adding and extruding this area you draw will be to have an area on the bottom of the lid that keeps it from sliding off when it's a real object.

Keep an eye on the sketch grid to make sure you have this area far enough from the edge, remember that the heart box is going to be at least 2mm thick and so the outer 2mm of the lid will need to be clear to fit the on top of the box.

If you want to have this bottom area symmetrical again, then just follow the directions above regarding drawing a mirroring line

(*If you want to delve a little deeper into possible commands then turn off the solid, turn on the original sketch, Offset the original shape more than 2mm  one section then the other, attach each of those Offset parts using Spline or Draw, then use Trim to get rid of the excess lines.


Use Spline then when still hovering on the last point that connects the two lines right-click and choose OK

Using Sketch>Trim delete the two little lines left on the bottom of the offset lines)

Remember, this is the bottom of the lid, so it's your decision if you want it to look nicely symmetrical etc.

Extruding the Lid Bottom

Now that my shape is complete I'm going to click on it, then Extrude -2mm. If Extruded less the bottom of the lid may not serve it's purpose of keeping the lid from sliding off.

This is optional, but I'm going to go around the lid and fillet most if not all edges 0.5mm, as I mentioned before in many materials it's better not to have too sharp of edges to prevent chipping. Hold down SHIFT to select multiple edges at once.


Click here for Part 2 - The Box Part of Your Heart Box + Text and Color




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