One of our first assignments as industrial design students should have been to design and build our own carrying cases. But no, we students were too busy being taught crap like theory, so we all coughed up twenty bucks for a plastic ArtBin. Which is a shame. A simple modular toolbox would have been relatively straightforward to design and build, while providing us with the perfect, individualized product to field test and tweak the design of over the course of a semester.
From Germany comes what they're calling the Toptainer, seen here. Once loaded up with tools, it's meant to fit into an older plastic Systainer design.
As you can see by the joinery the pieces are CNC-milled, but had we students been asked to build something similar with conventional shop tools, it would have taught us to use the tablesaw, bandsaw and a drill press.
What would have been even cooler is if second semester, they paired us with "clients"—students from other disciplines—to design cases for them. This Japanese-tool-inspired Systainer insert would have been perfect for Sculpture majors, no?
Not that we would have needed to stay with an open-sided design. Here a Brazilian YouTuber shows how to make a simple closed-sided toolbox, from start to finish, with modular inserts. His descriptions are in Portugese, but I like to think we ID'ers speak the International Language of Love of Building Things.
ID professors reading this: Yes, I know the department head is on your ass about covering that ridiculously thick curriculum, but see if you can't get those sophomores covered in sawdust for a spell.