What's a good way to model a tabbed plywood box?

I'm trying to model a plywood box, assembled with interference-fit tabs and mortises.

For example, see the Makerbot chassis here: http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/makerbot-designs-for-birch-plywood-and-bamboo-4296

I can certainly draw a tabbed panel (see attached model file), but how do I manage the corresponding mortises in the overall assembly?

Is there a way I can have the corresponding mortises "cut" in the side panel, to line up automatically with my tabs? Or, have some overall defining feature that places the tabs and mortise locations?

I'm trying to avoid a lot of hand-work of lining up tabs and mortises.

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1 Answer

Make an assembly with the part you want to mortise.
Working inside the assembly...
Make sure "No External References" is NOT highlighted.
Highlight part to mortise
Select "Edit Part"
Select Surface for mortise and select "Sketch"
Select "Convert Entities"
Select three edges of each of the "Tabs" (may have to highlite "Filter Edges")
Close the edges to form a "Profile"
Select "Extrude Cut" "Through All"
That's it... you tabs and Mortise are now related. If you change location/size of tabs, the mortise will also change accordingly.
Hope this helps
See attached file

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