Mechanical Engineering/tolerances for snap together parts
I am working on a design that involves parts that snap together (I am not sure if I am using the correct term - by "snap together" I mean fit together like the lid on a Tupperware container).
I want to make something with two parts that can be pushed together so that they fit together and stay semi locked in contact, but can also be pulled apart by sliding them horizontally (as opposed to the vertical pushing together).
I have included a sketch to illustrate in case my clumsy description is too unclear. As you can see, there ia a "male" part and "female" part. My question is this - is there a general rule of thumb when designing parts like this related to how wide the female part should be in relation to the male part? Obviously, if the female part is too narrow, the parts won't fit together, and too wide they won't reliably stay together. The parts are both plastic, but I am not sure what kind of plastic just yet. Can you give me some advice on how wide to make the highlighted dimension of the female part?
Your guidance would be greatly appreciated!
You wont be able to accomplish what you are looking for with the provided design.
It is not clear to me how often these parts need to come apart during a given time, and what is more important to you, coming apart easy or to stay together firmly or both, can they have play or not, these are kind of factors that may affect the design in general, the tolerance will come to play at the end.