Thursday, June 26, 2014

3d Fire Truck Box Construction Tutorial

This fun dimensional fire truck is constructed as a box
with a BASE that includes wheels (on wheel boxes)
and front and back bumpers,
and LID that includes sides, front & back, siren lights
and movable extension ladder & bracket.
Finished size measures approx. 11 1/8" long x 3 1/4" wide x 5 1/8" tall.
The largest cutting pieces (lid top or base bottom) 
measures approx. 3 1/4" x 9 3/8".

Create this project using a cut file available (soon)
from SnapDragon Snippets 
through either Silhouette America or SVG Attic.
Follow this very detailed tutorial (with nearly 50 images)
to put it together with ease.


 1. Identify and cut the shapes for the LID of the fire truck box.
A truck top
B truck sides
C truck back
D truck front
E window trim and pane accents
      (NOTE: these are separate center and side section shapes in the final cut file.)
(F - see BASE list below)

Identify and cut the shapes for the BASE of the fire truck box.
F mid-chassis connector shapes
G truck bottom
H truck base side backs
I truck base side fronts
J front bumper box
K grill contrast backer
L truck base front
M back bumper box
N mid-chassis connector
O mid-chassis connector
P front wheels box
Q back wheels box

Missing from the BASE shapes layout above is the BASE back bumper section, shown here, to be identified in the cut file shapes. In the approximate positioning layout above right, this piece would be reversed and would fit between G and M. As shown, it corresponds to the cut file layout.

2. Identify and cut the accent shapes.

Shown here (top to bottom):
front grill contrast (black) & front bumper box
Window trim and pane (shown as E shapes in step 1 image; here they are layered)

NOTE: these appear as separate side and center shapes in the final cut file, and will be shown as such in the assembly step that follows.
Shown here (top to bottom):
front head lamp lights 
missing: (4) back head lamp lights
tires, hubcaps and rims
3-part flasher box
side ladders
top extension ladder box and accents
extension ladder bracket


3. Build the front and back wheel boxes by folding on perforations to bring side segments to overlap front and back tabs; glue in place.

4. Position the wheel boxes on the face side of the BASE bottom in their appropriate positions (back box is wider than front), insert tabs into slots. Turn bottom over, bend tabs flat and glue in place.

5. Fold on perf lines of both mid-chassis shapes as shown. Join the two mid-chassis pieces by gluing smaller section top tab under the end of the larger section as shown.

6. Position the assembly over the backside of the truck BASE assembly, fitting the inward "box" shapes into the notched-out shapes on the side edges of the bottom shape. 

Fold bottom mid tabs are inward and glue in place.

Also position and glue end tabs (4) in place.

7. Position the bottom edge tab of a front section along edge of the bottom assembly, align and glue in place. Also align and glue the corresponding edge to the tab of the mid-chassis assembly.

Complete the joining of both front body shapes.

8. Join both back body shapes in similar manner, first joining the bottom tab to the BASE bottom edge, then the inner side edge to the tab of the mid-chassis assembly.

(Complete the center chassis assembly in step 15.)

9. Fold the back bumper shape into a box form. Glue tabs to corresponding edges. To glue the back section, insert middle tab through slot, while also attaching back end tabs. NOTE: the upper "grill" detail will present the paper's backside when finished, because of the way this box "wraps" around.

Here you can see the box nearly completed, with the tab inserted through back. 

10. Insert the tab into the slot of the BASE back shape while also gluing the backside of box and grill extension in place to connect it to the BASE back shape, then . . .

. . . bend tab downward on the backside and glue in place 

This is how the BASE back unit will look with the back bumper box in place.

11. Build the front bumper in a similar manner. First glue the grill contrast (black) shape behind (actually to the face side of the paper shape), then fold the sides and tabs into position and glue in place. Finally, insert the tab into slot while at the same time gluing the back tabs to the adjoining surface. 

12. Insert the tab through the BASE front slot while at the same time gluing the backside of the box and grill extension to the BASE front shape. Fold the tab down on the backside of front shape and glue in place.

This is how the BASE front shape will look with the bumper box in place.

13. Position the back assembly between bottom and side walls, then attach bottom tab, then side tabs.

14. Position and join the front assembly into the front opening in a similar manner, aligning and joining bottom tab, then side tabs to corresponding edges.

15. Complete the mid-chassis assembly by prep-folding connector strip middle tabs outward and end tabs back, then positioning it above the front and back upper edges of the (silver) cross piece assembly. NOTE that middle long tab will slide under the mid-chassis edge, middle end tabs will remain unfolded to glue behind narrow side sections, end tabs will attach to the front or back body shape edges.

This is how the connector strips will look when glued in place.

NOTE the BASE assembly is completed at this point until the LID shape is prepared and position, when the wheel shapes will be added. (See Step 28.)

16. Assemble the "siren" flasher box by folding on perforations, overlapping center (white) section to dashed lines on inner edges of end (blue and red) pieces. Fold ends down, tabs in and connect into box form.

17. Insert tabs into slots on LID top shape . . . 

. . . then fold inward and glue in place.

18. Join LID side sections to side edges of top as shown.

19. Join LID front and back shapes to ends of top assembly.

20. Add ALL accent shapes according to the preliminary placement of those shown here:
front headlamps, front window and rim, wheel front & back rims, side ladders.

21. Fold LID into box form, then align and attach front tabs to corresponding edges of body side shapes, shown here. 

Also align and join back tabs to corresponding body edges.

22. Position and attach side window assemblies to correspond accurately with edges of front window assembly.

23. Position and glue in place pairs of back lamp lights on back section.

24. Position the extension ladder bracket over the punch hole and attach with a brad.

25. Position and attach the extension ladder accent shapes over the cut-out sections so cutouts align exactly. 

26. Fold the ends and end tabs into box shape and attach at both ends.

27. Position the punch-hole end of ladder between bracket arms (open end downward), align punch holes and insert brads to secure.

(This assembly with brads will allow the extension ladder to pivot upward and also turn on axis. If preferred, bracket and ladder can be attached with glue to eliminate move-ability.)

When the ladder is folded down into "travel" position, two small semi-circle cut-out tabs can be extended from roof to help hold it in place.

28. Slide LID over BASE, then position and attach front and back wheel shapes:
a.) bottom of wheel(s) should be even with box bottom edge
b.) top edge(s) should correspond to the curve of the wheel well edge(s) of LID.

Here are front, side and back views of the finished box
for comparison and help in construction.



  1. Oh WOW! I can't wait for the fire fighting kit to be released! It is going to be so awesome!

  2. Hi, can you advise me IF There is an SVG file available for this Fire Truck and if so can you point me where to obtain it from?

    Thank you so much