Tic Tac Box Challenge

Challenge: Make something to turn a Tic Tac box into something new then share your design with the world.

Yesterday, I finished a box of Tic Tac Mixers (Cherry Cola flavored of course) and was about to throw the box away. I stopped and wondered how I could use the container. The see through container reminded me of the acrylic display boxes that are sold in craft stores to showcase memorabilia.

I brought the box to my workshop and started designing a model to 3D print. I used a small screwdriver to gently pry off the Tic Tac top without scratching the box. I used a set of digital calipers and a metal ruler to measure the dimensions of the top. I went into Tinkercad and created a new top to 3D print to use as a base to model on. Edit the model yourself at https://tinkercad.com/things/5xsL65t2iHu

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 4.44.33 PM

The plastic of the Tic Tac Box is soft and flexible and should be relatively forgiving of measurement mistakes. Note that the corners of the part that slides in the box are rounded and the corners of the part that remains outside the box are squared. The squared corners give a fingernail hold for removing the 3D printed top.

I printed the top on a pre-production version of the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40. (@DremelEdu gave me a printer to support my maker education program and for feedback on 3D printing in the classroom.) The model printed in less than 12 minutes on the low resolution settings and fit on the first try!

Now that I had a piece that could fit in the Tic Tac box, I started brainstorming on possible classroom project ideas. My first thought was a Tic Tac Skyline project idea. Students could design real or imaginary skylines that would fit in the Tic Tac box. Perhaps the skyline could be from a place the students are studying or from a book they are reading. The great thing about using the Tic Tac box is that it provides a natural constraint and scale to the student design. The advantage for the teacher is that the designs will print quickly. For inspiration, check out photos of the imaginary towers and cityscape from the Curated Space: Babel exhibit at the Outsider Art Fair NY 2016. I made a quick skyline design in Tinkercad and 3D printed the prototype. Tic Tac Skyline in Tinkercad.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 5.08.29 PMIMG_1890

A second idea I had was to use the Tic Tac box to store bits for the new Carvey that my school won in the Inventable’s 50 State Carver Contest for Virginia. The bits come in individual plastic holders but I want to store several bits in the same container. Different materials should use different bits and I want to label each container with the material. I measured the shaft of the bits and created three holes in the Tic Tac Box Top that I had designed earlier. To make it easier to insert and remove the bits I created X shaped cutouts for each hole. The holes in the first test print were a little big and the bits fell out if the box was turned over. A quick tweak to the design and the bits were held snugly in place. Tic Tac Bit Holder design in Tinkercad.


Please share your ideas for converting waste like a Tic Tac box into something new by leaving a comment or contacting me on Twitter or Instagram @DesignMakeTeach