Acquiring the Waichulis Form Box

Waichulis Form Box containing 3D models of the Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, and Cube featured in the exercises.

Since the launch of our Language of Drawing (LoD) and Language of Painting (LoP) programs, practitioners have been looking for ways to get a copy of The Waichulis Form Box to work with. For those that may not be familiar with the box, it is an essential tool for the Waichulis Curriculum as it further bridges the conceptual gap between the two dimensional image and the three dimensional world. The Gradation Patterns that are done prior to the Form Box are actually slightly abstracted representations of potential Form Box sections. This fact should make some aspects of the form box exercise seem somewhat familiar. To learn more about how the box is used within our curriculum you can read this article: Waichulis Form Box

Initially, the Form Boxes were available with the LoD and LoP program through a company called Composimold (Wizbe Innovations) ( The initial box contained a sphere, sphere housing block, cylinder, cone, two cone-housing pieces, and a rectilinear/curvillinear cubical solid. The Composimold box is very high quality–but extremely pricey (coming in currently at $299.95.) Composimold’s version contains the Sphere-housing block, Cone, 2 Cone-housing pieces, and a Rectilinear/Curvilinear Cubical solid, made from their highly durable urethane casting resin that has been formulated with an anti-UV element. The resin forms a bright white polymer selected because of its excellent toughness, stability and ability to handle mild solvents. The Cylinder and Sphere are also included but are made from durable Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). All pieces were presented in a pine housing box with an oak rimmed top that slides over the top.

And while this was indeed a high-quality product, we wanted to see if we could make this tool a little cheaper and lighter to ship. As such, we switched our production efforts to 3-D printing. First we made the plans available to all for free. They can still be found here if you would like to craft your own out of any material you like:

Next, Leah Waichulis had 3D files made from the plans for 3D printing. They are available here:

(If for any reason you have an issue acquiring the files from the Thingiverse site you can get them directly from my website here:

Here Leah explains how the new 3D model plans differ from the original:

Leah writes on the Thingiverse page:

"This project contains two files which are listed in ‘Thing Files’.

Form Box without Cylinder and Sphere- The form box contains a nested cone, cube, a rectilinear/curvilinear cubical solid and new nested pyramid. A cylinder can be purchased at your local hardware store from a piece of white PVC. A sphere can be purchased separately. This would be the cheapest option.

Form Box without Sphere- The form box contains a nested cone, cube, a rectilinear/curvilinear cubical solid, a new nested pyramid and a cylinder. A sphere can be purchased separately."

For those looking to assemble the most economical Form Box possible we recommend printing the Form Box without a Cylinder and Sphere and adding in a standard white Field Hockey ball (which has a 2.8” diameter) for the sphere and a piece of white PVC pipe (3” diameter) cut to about 4” in length.

With these files downloaded and unzipped. You can proceed to an online printing service like 3D hubs. Using the settings listed below, the print should look something like this:

Printer Brand: Ultimaker. Printer: Ultimaker 2
Resolution: 200 μm Infill: 20
Color: White Material: ABS (Parts are modeled in mm.)

To 3D print your own Form Box. Download and unzip the 3D print files downloaded from Thingiverse or my site. Next, follow the 3D hubs link at the bottom of the Thingiverse page or here:

Proceed to click on the “Get Instant Quote” button on the 3D hub’s main page. When the next page opens, make sure that under the " Select a technology" field 3D printing is selected. Next, drop the unzipped project file (either one (see above)) in the " Upload files and configure parts to get an instant quote" field.

When the file uploads you should then see a screen like this:

To proceed with our settings you need to switch the Material to ABS. You can examine other material (left) and resolution/infill options (right).

Clicking the “Printable with FDM” link will give you a Manufacturability Analysis."

Click “Continue to submit request” when you have the settings you desire.

From there you should be good to go.


Whining ensues from the Department of Tragically Under-Educated in Technology: I have tried a few different printing companies with the files Waichulis_Form_Box.stl and Waichulis_Form_Box_NoCylinder.stl. They all come back with some form of this message: Floating Parts Check: The file contains multiple floating parts which must be fabricated separately.
Recommendation: Separate each body into a new part file and upload it individually. or a message that the files can’t be printed.

Does anyone know a way around this or am I not finding the correct files?

I am grateful for the availability of this resource.


Greetings Joseph!!! LOL! —I completely understand trying to navigate the Department of Tragically Under-Educated in Technology. Honestly, I would recommend asking the printing company how best to proceed. I am not sure how to break the files down further or why such a message wasn’t received by others in the past. I would think that one of the printing companies could tell you exactly how to do it.

If you do get the answers, and If it is not too much trouble, please let us know as the information may likely help others facing the same message. Thank you in advance!!!

:+1:Thanks much, Anthony. I will dig deeper and come back with anything new.

Thank you Joseph!!! :smiley:

The story so far: I contacted three different companies and all of them gave me the same line. The issue for them is that the cone and the pyramid are embedded inside other objects, and that they want all five items in separate files. I put out a call on social media for any friends that know how to handle the files. A friend of mine in upstate NY teaches IA in a school with a budget; they have a number of large printers. Unfortunately, most of the printers were offline for annual maintenance over the summer, but he had one up and running for a few more days, and was pleased to be of help. He found the Waichulis Form Box on Thingiverse, and had the same issue the commercial printers had. My friend redesigned the files (no kidding, in about ten minutes) and printed a set that are now on the way to me. There are a couple of small issues because of using the machine he had available, versus the one he would have chosen. The surfaces are not fully smooth, and the tip of the pyramid collapsed a little (both fixable). However, he wants to print them again when school comes back into session, and says that he can print me sets in any colors I want. The set that is coming is light gray, but he will print me a white set, and a set in whatever colors I give him. In the meantime, I will take the ones he was able to print, rub in some glazing putty, buff them up, and spray them white.

This doesn’t really solve the main issue, which is that the single STL files are for whatever reason no longer acceptable to commercial printers (or at least the ones I tried). If they all work out, I will see if he will either give me the files or put them on Thingiverse.

The first two photos show what the parts are like. The half-print of the sphere and cylinder were the last things he put in the printer before the school booted him out of the building for the summer, and the printer ran out of filament. He ran those last because I told him I had substitutes for those. The glazing putty will smooth the surface out nicely. It’s an extra layer of work, but the forms were free, so I can’t complain. The ones I get in the fall should have smooth surfaces.


That’s awesome Joseph! They look great! Yeah I do not understand why the file function has changed but I do have a note here to ask a colleague that is well versed in the medium to see if he can update the files (or knows someone who can.)

If your friend does have the edited files by all means, please feel free to share on Thingiverse or elsewhere that I can link to for others!!!

Keep me posted my friend—it is much appreciated! :heart:

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