Deck Builder

So far I’ve only printed single pieces items; some of them have taken a long time to print, but there’s been no assembly into a finished piece. For my first foray into a multi-component I wanted something useful. This is a loose interpretation of useful: a mechanical box to hold a Pokemon deck.

Deck Box #1

After needing a full recalibration (that’s a fun error message), and spending 20 minutes Live Adjusting the Z axis during test prints, I could finally attempt the first of the eight prints for the CCG Deck box. It took 3 attempts, and various layer adhesion
problems, before I remembered that PETG was my nemesis, and I had to use glue stick on the print bed. With glue applied, the first section of the box was well under way.

Deck Box #2

Took a few tries, but I finally got a good first layer down, and the print went well after than.

Deck Box #3

This one was weird – got a really good first layer down, and wandered off to take care of other things. Came back about half way through the print and it looks like after the first few layers the entire print shifted half a centimeter towards the back of the print bed. The weird part is the print is perfectly fine; the layers still had great adhesion, and the print shifted exactly enough for the teeth of the rack gear to line up, just offset by one tooth.

Deck Box #4

This was a long print – four gear and angle connector sections. 4+ hour print, but very clean print and clear adhesion.

Deck Box #5

Easy print, no major hiccups. I might just be getting enough practice with this PETG filament.

Deck Box #6

This component was left until last, so I could changed to a Yellow PLA filament. These pieces will form part of the hinge assembly for the final box. This box will eventually house a Grass/Lightning Pokemon deck, so this is a small yellow accent for the otherwise green box. Also a mostly quick print – I’ve had good luck so far with all of these component pieces.

Deck Box #7

The bottom of the inner lift that raises the cards up when the box is opened. A series of rectangles make for a clean and easy piece to print.

Deck Box #8

Another set of rectangles make the base plate for the entire container clean and easy, just like component #7.


The hinges and gear assembly with the rack gear make this a bit ungainly to put together. I didn’t have any metal dowling on hand, so I’m temporarily using solder wire as the pins for each of the hinge joints. The malleable solder doesn’t seem to affect the overall build quality. The snap fit for most of the parts adds a good deal of durability to the constructed box.

The weak point of the finished box is keeping the geared lid inline and meshed with the rack gear for the internal lift that raises the cards out of the box: the only thing keeping the four geared “wings” in place is a small plastic dado on each side. There was user error on my part, and on one side the dado slipped all the way into one side of the wing, and is nearly impossible to extract. That side of the box will need careful treatment, otherwise it’ll just fall off. Ideally the plastic dado would be longer, so that it snugly fit into each side of the wing, and should probably also be glued in
place. The wings of this build are printed from PETG, which makes glueing a bit complex: most of the ideal adhesives are incredibly corrosive and toxic. If I end up needing to glue the wings together, I’ll probably go with a less toxic super glue like Gorilla glue or Super 77.

Overall this was a fun build: a functional (if a bit oversized) box for a Pokemon deck in about 17 hours of print time and an hour of assembly.

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