I guess the CAD software I'm looking for just doesn't exist yet. Designing a case should really be just a couple of mouse clicks:

new case -> adjust size -> pick closing mechanism -> pick device from database -> automatically place screw holes

In other words: I don't want to invent my own designs here, I just need to combine a bunch of existing building blocks like Legos.

Anything like that?


I don't think you need new CAD software. Most existing parametric CAD software could do something like that with the right design. Finding a generic, parameterized case design as you describe might not exist though, but I haven't really looked. Maybe check thingiverse for an OpenSCAD design, there are some oddly specific things there.

@fribbledom Parts of that is build into blender. I mean, you can always use preexisting building blocks for that and go from there. I know in an addon of blender there are screws, so... it is possible?


Not quite what I've been looking for, but hey, I can actually use that for a different project! Very much appreciated!

@fribbledom except thet there is the "Ultimate Guide to Laser Cut Box Generators" (Public Disclosure: I work for Autodesk, Instructables is owned by Autodesk)

@fribbledom It's called
You are not looking for CAD software, but for a ready-made model.
You don't need to learn how to cook just because you want to select between rice and noodles.


Sorry, I'm well aware of thingiverse and have been using it for years. However the case I'm looking for doesn't exist just yet - I'll have to invent my own dish this time around.

@fribbledom Checked the alternatives yet? YouMagine, GrabCAD, CGTrader?

There is even a meta-serach engine:


Thank you, I didn't know yet! Will check out the other recommendations, too!


Most people make their designs parametrisable, but sharing sites like thingivese are sharing STL files not designs alas.

A random left field suggestion for you to play with:

I use this to design my fretboards :)

@mdales @fribbledom Ooh, that looks nice. Thingiverse has limited support for that sort of thing, as it recognises (and has a customizer for) OpenSCAD files, IIRC, but maker.js looks much better

@amcewen @fribbledom

You can see my fretboard example here:

Code is here:

It's quite nice, and when I wrote it they were quite responsive to feature requests (I needed polyline in DXF to be properly supported, which they found me complaining about on my blog and added).

@fribbledom protocase has a tool that does a lot of that stuff for you, with templates and base designs to start from as well.

@fribbledom this sort of thing is more involved sadly. Usually you can’t get this kind of functionality unless there’s a defined standard available or a company has created it. The tech exists, it’s just nobody wants to pay for the legwork involved in building the parts library for it.

@fribbledom the basis of BIM (building information modeling) is supposed to be CAD software where you just drop stuff in and it contains everything from the number of bolts to the part numbers to order it, but it relies on suppliers providing the data.

@fribbledom No idea but now I kindof want Lego with embedded swarm chips that you can build models out of and then tell the computer to output a 3D blueprint of the thing at whatever scale you ask

I would serious use this *so* much.

@xj9 @fribbledom You're kinda stuck designing the part yourself. OpenSCAD has a nice parts library at least.

@fribbledom Not that I've found. I gave up and paid for Fusion360. It does a hell of a lot, but the interface makes Photoshop look like MS Paint. I had to watch about five hours of tutorial videos before I could design something to print, and I am still utterly incompetent in most of its features.

Maybe @xuv can help... but you may end up with a very strange case :)

@fribbledom Have a look on thingyverse - might find something you can template from

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