Have been working on learning Solidworks and figured this would be a quick and useful way to help me learn.
So we have this mini Mahjong set at home. I realized that it didn't have some kind of container to hold all the "non-tiles" like the chips, extra tiles, round changer, and dice. This leads to all the tiles falling out of place whenever you move the whole set. I figured, since i was trying to learn Solidwoks, that I could come up with a quick solution, and fix the problem and 3D print my own container.
I figured out what i had to work with (the space that's not taken up by the Mahjong tiles) and all the components that are going into that space. I knew that once I had these measurements I would be able to start coming up with a design for the container.
The first sketch is just a sample drawing with no measurements taken into consideration. Shows 3 separate sections. 2 circles with little pegs to hold the chips, 1 section for the round changer, and a section for the dice and the extra tiles.
The more annoying part of the measurements what the round changer as it was only a bit smaller than the space that i had to work with. I figured that an outer shell of 1.3 should be enough as they wouldn't be experiencing a lot of pressure and should be enough to separate the tiles and everything else. It also allowed for the round changer to fit with some space.
In the second sketch I decided to only have 2 sections. This was partly because it was 1am and I didn't want to try fiddling with specific slots for each part. I also wanted to keep in mind that the main purpose was just to make a container to hold everything and separate it from the tiles. I got measurements of where everything should be (more or less) and began to take my sketch to Solidworks.
I began by making my available area (the rectangular box) and shelled it out with a side thickness of 1.3mm. I then slow began making the other components.
I made the middle divider with a 2mm thickness in the position that I had diagramed in the 2nd sketch
I then created the slots for the chips to go. I first created a sketch of a circle with a 30mm radius (I knew that, although i wrote the diameter of the chip was 30mm on the sheet, I rounded up so that I would leave some space for the chip). I then made a concentric circle with a 2mm addition to the initial circle. This created a conflict with the shape as i only left 1.9mm, on one side of the circle, to work with. This led to a slight adjustment of the middle divider. This allowed the length of the chips section to change from 67.9mm to 70mm. Though I thought it would fix the problem, there was still a conflict so I just decided to make the edges. 1.5mm.
To make the edges I split the concentric circles into 6 sections with lines. I then just trimmed 2/6 of the split of sections to create 2 edges each with 2/6 of the area. I then just mirrored this sketch from one side to the other in order to make the 2nd chip holder.
SIGH made the part on the wrong axis in solidworks. I tried to find a way to rotate the shape in solidworks and in the makerware but couldn't find a way. So i just had to remake the part.. :(
Oh well. Lesson learned.
Got the part printed today at the computer clubhouse. Unfortunately the part curved up on the side of the print. Thankfully this will not affect the usage of the container. Though at first glance I'm a bit worried about the chips slots, they seem a bit small.
The spare tiles and dice fit with space but the round changer did have to be put diagonally since it was such a tight fit.
The chips container did turn out to be too small. The chips could only be placed upright in order to fit. This led to the contents of the box poking the top of the box.
The curved container truly did turn out to not be a problem. As it fits into box perfectly and keeps the tiles from moving.
Thinking about it now, I didn't really need the chip holders as the middle dividing section would have been enough to simple separate the chips and the other parts. It was mostly important to separate the chips since there are so many of them.
Improvements for the chips section would be either to make the circular section larger so that the chips can fit more easily in OR to remove the chip containment ridges, this makes the chips scattered but would keep all the chips contained with no problem.
-sometimes simpler is better (coins)
-ALWAYS make CAD files on the correct axis (normally X and Y)
-If you do make holes for things to go in ALWAYS make them a good bit larger than expected/the actual
-don't expect perfect prints
But overall, I would consider this a success as it solves the initial goals of separating the "non-tiles" from the tiles, and keep them from moving all over the place.