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What tools / flow should I be using to make a box that contains cut outs for other models?

jens_bodaljens_bodal Member Posts: 4
So I managed to put this together through a bit of trial and error and far too many additional steps to fix mistakes or alignments that didn't go the way I wanted.

https://cad.onshape.com/documents/cf9a1999f6074e23f2a0d943/w/8cd4a50a7077dc865cfcf310/e/1ac21980d95a290ca1daf761?renderMode=0&uiState=65fa19760dc5e76a2220bf2b

I am pretty sure though there is a more efficient/correct way to do this. My first attempt had everything "perfect", but then as I realized I needed to add some additional offsets or update the original part models I ended up with lots of transform fixes in order to place things where I want.

Basically if I have an extruded rectangle with a base, what is a more correct way to place the parts on to the base then cut out their shapes all the way to the top? In this case the box has feet, so basically the parts need to "sit" on top of the base above the feet, then extrude up from there.  

My general order of operations for a part were:

  1. Transform/rotate part to correct orientation on the XY plane
  2. Transform parts on Z plane to the correct height for where they should be on the base
  3. Snap parts that were going to be on the edge of the box to their location, then do a second transform to offset them by a few millimeters to leave room for the wall
  4. Use transform and mate connectors to align other parts to the parts that have been aligned in step 3 then manually translate their position to a spot that looked good aesthetically (really I just wanted to automatically center them between two parts)
  5. Thicken the faces of all the parts past the top of the box
  6. Use a boolean subtract to create the shadows for the models with an offset to leave some room for ease of removal
  7. Split the box into 4 parts for 3D printing

The steps seemed simple but in practice I just might have not been good at what I was doing or used the wrong operation to achieve the desired result.  So what I have now "works", but if I need to make a small change to an existing part it can potentially throw off other changes and I end up having to go back through and add additional fixes/transforms which has led to the mess I have now.

Is there a good video to watch for this in general with CAD? Is there a tool or operation I missed that would have made this easier?

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