If you were to browse through the thousands of products listed on 3D printable file repository Thingiverse.com, you would come across many unique, small boxes. None of these are quite as fascinating as one which a woman named Louise Driggers (“loubie” on Thingiverse) has designed, 3D printed, and then proceeded to paint. The Scarab Beetle Box is available for anyone to download free of charge on Thingiverse, and unlike your typical jewelry box, this one comes with a surprise.
“To the ancient Egyptians, the scarab beetle was symbolic of the sun (Ra) moving across the sky every day (the beetle rolling a ball of dung was seen to represent this),” Driggers tells 3DPrint.com. “My model has a stylized beetle with a winged Ra between his two front feet.”
Scarabs were very popular amulets in ancient Egypt, based on models of the dung beetle, which is quite common in the region. It is also common to find artifacts dating back several thousand years depicting these scarabs.
Drigger’s box is printable in 12 separate parts, without the need for any support. It features a secret compartment which is accessible by pulling back a drawer and then opening up the beetle’s wing case. The box can then be securely locked by closing the wing case and pushing the drawer back in.
While the design looks like something you might find in a museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts, Driggers tells us that it is actually styled after the “Egyptian Revival” period, which took place in the 19th and 20th centuries.
“I am teaching myself to build more and more complex model kits,” explained Driggers. “I like to build assemblies because I think it gives people who print them more flexibility regarding colour choices. It’s a way for them to be able to personalize the model and put their own mark on it.”
The complete directions on how to assemble the Scarab Beetle Box can be found on SouthQuay3D.com. In addition to the printed parts, assembly requires some sort of glue which will work with the material your box is printed in. Also if you wish to make your box look as detailed as Driggers’, you will need some metallic color spray paint, which is used to make the box appear as though it is constructed of metal. (Though note the beetle shown with the greenish wings was printed using colored filament; the one with black wings was painted.)
Once complete, this box will be quite the attention grabber, and would make for a great gift idea, or interesting conversation piece. See if you can get your friends to figure out this little box’s secret. What do you think? Have you 3D printed a Scarab Beetle Box? Discuss on the Scarab Beetle Box forum thread on 3DPB.com.