Project
Custom RC field box - 3D designed - laser cut
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Published
Aug 05 2018 by FaTe
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Quick jump
Over the years I've made field boxes out of existing mostly tool boxes and while its worked it was never ideal. Now I'm back at the stage where I carry a bag with a box for lipos another for my transmitter and so on. I wanted to compile all the items back into a single field box but this time designing the whole thing from the ground up.. in 3D!

So while this box is a mere 40cm wide by 30cm tall and 18cm deep it contains 2 draws, a home for my transmitter, a storage area for lipo batteries and another for FPV and random items. While inside the actual lid will sit my charger, a 16000mAh 4S lipo to power my charger, a space for all wires and an empty area to sit batteries currently being charged.

Thanks go to Acrylic Craft for the use of the laser cutters in my own time.
/theme/field box/0 3d model view
I spent over 2 weeks sitting tweaking my design in Rhino. I wanted the most space out of every possible area so I opted to use 3mm ply wood for this case.
/theme/field box/1 sheets nest
Once I had finished designing I extracted the 3D model to curves with finger joint assembly. I knew the plywood sheets are 750mm squared so I was able to create a nest of parts which I got to fit on just 2 sheets after a lot of playing lol.

I laser cut the sheets at work which didn't take that long at all.
/theme/field box/2 draws laser cut out
You can see here with the two draw panel sections and how the finger joints will go together
/theme/field box/3 draws constructed wood glue
I used good old fashioned wood glue to put all the sections together. The draws have a side rail on the top of the left side which the case will contain the opposite, this will prevent the draw from tipping downwards when being pulled out.
/theme/field box/4 box lid constructed lipo charger wires
The box lid section was next and a little more complicated.
/theme/field box/5 semi construction box frame
The lower box section is what took the most time to put together working out which way is best to not have a problem putting panels on given its finger joints.
/theme/field box/6 box frame draw rails final
Last step of the lower box section was to put the lower draw rail on the left outer side.
/theme/field box/7 field box frame constructed
Once all the parts were fully cured then I had all the box sections assembled. A small test to ensure everything fits and lines up as it should.
/theme/field box/8 ply treated 5yr ronseal
I used Ronseal 5 year wood treatment in forest green to seal the box and waterproof it. The picture here is after 2 coats. Its very watery so can't really lay it on thick.
/theme/field box/9 inside black gloss spray paint
Now the box sections have all had 3 coats of Ronseal treatment I masked off the external box / draw faces and sprayed the insides with a gloss matt black spray paint, this ensures the inside is protected from knocks and such but also I like the contrast.
/theme/field box/10 300mm panel hinge
Now its time to fit a 300mm panel hinge to connect the lid to the lower box. I wanted a very wide hinge to give the most support given the 16000mAh lipo battery alone is 1.2kg so it needs to be strong.
/theme/field box/11 latches 3d printed draw handles
On the front I've fitted locking latches which are super strong. On the draws I 3D designed a handle as I didn't like any of the small ones available at local DIY place. These fit a 4mm bolt with a recess for the bolt head, on the right side of each draw is a simple latch to stop them coming out when not needed.

All fitments on the box use bolts so there are no sharp edges inside. Additionally I used brass cup washers which pinch into the plywood as you tighten up bolts giving a solid (but load distributed) connection.
/theme/field box/12 vecro lipo charger mock fitting
Now I've added a Velcro strap to the 16000mAh 4S lipo and Velcro to the charger on the stand below it. I still need to add a cover for the wires area below the lid lipo battery and to add padding to the middle space where my recording cap currently is so when Lipos are stored in there for transport they don't bounce around.
/theme/field box/13 metal wire retainer
I only want the lid to go so far back so I can clearly see the charger when in use. Also stops the weight of the 4S 16000 mAh lipo from tipping the box over when everything in the bottom is empty. I used simple piano wire on 2 bolts which is strong enough and tidy.
/theme/field box/14 wire storage cover battery mod
To fit the perspex cover for the wire storage area I first added two pieces of wood on each side at 3mm thick to take up the depth of the perspex. Then I added a wider lip on the bottom of those with velcro on top. The perspex has a M4 bolt as a small handle and simply pulls the front off.

I had to make a mod to the 4S lipo battery cover above by cutting out the right side panel and putting it on a hinge, a piece of velcro strap retains it in place. This was done to easier access the 4S 16000mAh.
/theme/field box/15 plaster with stickers step1
No field box is complete without a billion stickers and so I made my own start. I had a bunch of all RC related stickers (given I do almost everything RC..) and plastered them all over the place. This is only stage 1 like a base coat.. but of stickers lol.
/theme/field box/16 perfect fit on shelf
Another aspect of my design was the box must fit on my shelf so I don't have to find an alternative storage space. Given the volume of items the box can hold it clears the shelf a bit.
/theme/field box/17 lacquered fully kitted
Last stage was to take the entire box apart one last time and lacquer seal the vinyl stickers in place. Once dried the box went back together and properly got kitted out with all the items I'll need while in the field. I can charge my batteries, have every possible charging cable type I'd ever need, transmitter, lipo storage, FPV storage, draw full of tools and tapes and finally a draw full of props and adapters, O-rings and more.
/theme/field box/18 ready for transport use
All closed up my box is now ready for taking out to be used as my full time master field box.

The 16000mAh lipo needs a bit of padding still but I want some foam for that and for now it's fine the way it is.
No doubt you'll see the field box in future videos when I'm out and about but for now that's all folks!
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