It took me a while, but in the end I decided to go with the crate that Frank suggested I do, while still implementing my own design. It will not look necessarily like the one below, but close enough.

 

So I started blocking the crate, starting with a basic cube and then beveling the edges. Sadly, I got so much into the creation of the crate that I forgot to take screenshots of the blocked model or even duplicate it.  I do have infinite saves in Maya, but at this point I’d have to go so far back in time that it would take far less to finish the entire crate.

Anyway, after blocking it I actually split it in half, so I can work on halves, rather than the full thing. Unfortunately my design doesn’t work for working on quads, but that isn’t a problem. This is what I have so far

It is composed of several different components. The base of the crate adds most of the detail and is actually one large part. In retrospect I could have maybe made some of the extrusions as a separate object, but I can always separate them at the end.

On the front is a panel with buttons. I actually pan on making the buttons a bit more interesting than just squares

On the sides there are 2 locks

On the top there is a handle, which was made using a CV curve and extruding a face along it

And on the back there are a couple of hinges, which is just a couple of rectangles and a cylinder.

Then I remember those plates probably need something to attach them to the crate, so I made some futuristic screws, or at least the heads

And last, but not least, I added some vents on the sides for aesthetic purposes

I think, in total, this took me about 3-4 hours. I didn’t bother keeping count of the time. Also, this was made with nothing but bevels, edge loop insertions and extrusions. The only “complicated” part was the handle, where I used a CV curve, but that is only because I wanted a more natural look to the handle and less symmetrical.