The better cross joint

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A good cross-joint should be easy to assemble while providing a rigid connection. Because sheet thickness can vary greatly you can't just size your slot to be 'perfect'.


One solution is to cut compliant (springy) shapes that 'lock' two mating parts together. This is called a snap-lock and these have lots of applications. In this case we wanted a less 'technical' look though. Also, the small parts in a snap-lock are fragile and can break when handled by unexperienced users.

Fool-proof compliant joint

The joint we use here is also compliant, but because the compliant part is connected at two ends it's very robust. It doesn't lock, which makes disassembly possible, yet it provides a firm connection. It's straightforward to use and safe (actually the product in these pictures is CE certified to be safe for kids from 4 years).

Last but not least: sliding this joint together feels very satisfying, an easy way to give that quality feel to your product!

Free to use

We're sharing the drawing which is dimensioned for our 3mm birch ply. Off course, you can modify it to fit other materials as well. The file is licenced CC BY-SA 4.0, which means you are free to share and adapt for any purpose, as long as you give credit to Snijlab and share your derivatives under the same licence.

Download drawing (.dxf)

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