3D Printable Arduino Protection Box


Introduction: 3D Printable Arduino Protection Box

About: "End of line..."

New R3 version plate and box uploaded!  Including an Ethernet shield R3 box top addition!

I've been pushing out multiple Arduino Uno builds and needed a secure plate and box combo that could keep assets safe during a fall or tumble and would allow for under plate wire runs.  I got tired of ordering and waiting for ~$10 boxes to get to me in the mail and then having to hack them up so I made my own dialed in unit for ~$0.10 each!  I ended up with a thick post base plate and box setup with an integrated Uno locking clip to keep that $30 puppy safe even on its head!

Basic 3D printer high level steps (standard for most Printers/Software suites)
1.) Design or download an "STL" file: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_(file_format)
2.) Open said "STL" file in a software suite that slices Gcode: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-code
3.) Send Gcode to printer for physical object creation

I will attempt to explain my standard workflow in creating 3D prints at home:
1.) I use 123D and/or Sketchup to design my object
2.) I make sure the object is "manifold" meaning solid with no holes into the cavity or reversed faces
3.) I export the selected object/group to a .stl file
4.) I take that .stl file and open it in ReplicatorG (free): http://replicat.org/
5.) I position the object on the virtual build platform and rotate/scale if necessary
6.) I then generate my Gcode from my specified Skeinforge settings: http://fabmetheus.crsndoo.com/wiki/index.php/Skeinforge (don't let this scare you too much, most 3D printers have templates to utilize)
7.) Once I have my Gcode I click "build" and the instructions are sent via USB to my 3D printer and it begins its extrusion process
8.) Smile knowing you are turning digital designs into actual working physical objects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a little bit deeper process you could follow to try out 3D printing for "nearly free": https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-workflow-for-3D-design-in-Sketchup-and-3D-pr/  

Arduino Protection Box Instructions:

Print the plate for sure, then decide if you need the top (guarantees board lock on clip and has durable slots for USB and power pass through.

Oh, and pro tip; to easily insert your Uno you simply insert on the hook side of the plate 1st, then swivel the board into position over the posts, push down and then insert the locking clip into the clip tower; BAM! Your loaded and ready for extreme Arduino activities!

One picture shows my logo on the lid however the attached master file contains a solid lid. 

I have uploaded the master files here: 

Legacy box: http://www.123dapp.com/skp-3D-Model/Arduino-Protection-Box/597845 
New R3 box: http://www.123dapp.com/skp-3D-Model/ArduinoUnoProtectionPlateR3/602921

If you prefer the source file in Sketchup you can nab that here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13931 

So grab it and mod to your hearts content!

Arduino On!



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    20 Discussions

    This may be a dumb question, but...

    What are the "Access Guards" guarding access to?

    I can see that they can block-off the slots, but what are the slots for, other than ventilation?

    Am I being dense?

    2 replies

    In a few of my builds I needed top access for leads but wanted to close them up on other projects that may be fixed in position where dust/particle settling was an issue.

    Ah, OK...
    The slots being at right-angles to the Arduino headers threw me...
    I really like this enclosure, the board-mounting method is so stylish and simple.
    Thanks for the reply and thanks for posting the Instructable

    After getting my R3 +Arduino Uno board I quickly found the re-located reset button invalidated my original 3D printed protection plate so,,, I quickly Sketchup'd a new one which is R3 and backwards compatible! I should have new source files and pictures up soon!

    1 reply

    I also just uploaded an extension to the box top to allow for the popular Ethernet shield!


    Can I make a request? Please, write an Instructable on how to get used to 123D.

    I learned Autodesk Inventor pretty quickly. I'm enjoying the slow intense process of learning Maya, but I'd love to have a 123 this is how you decide that 123D is the right thing to use, step by step to read.

    I thought I'd just open 123D and use it like a pro. Nothing is where I expect it to be or works like I'm expecting it to work.

    The fastest way to get in, generate a part, export it and print it challenge would be a good challenge for this site. Do you think you could get a functional project from concept to real world in under 10 minutes including print time?

    4 replies

    ZOW! The print time in under 10min would most likely be the equivalent of a small 10mm cube... Most of my prints are run at 30mm/second but you must factor for your infill (which you need to keep the shape and add rigidity) and any pre prep steps you require like homing/extruder warming/heated platform warming/ test extrusion and tip wiping.

    123D is awesome but to tell you the truth I'm still learning it too. I have put out a few projects with it but I still base most of my workflow through Sketchup. I intend to go deeper with 123D but fear I could hinder more than help. I could go snoop around through my G+ posts and see if I wrote up my Sketchup process and preferred ruby scripts if you are interested.

    Hey there, sorry I didn't stay on top of this thread. I'm taking a class on Friday morning on 123D with a bunch of other Newbies, I'm exhausted from preparing for my Kickstarter launch tomorrow at 4pm. I'm totally going to get caught up on this shortly.

    Thank you so much for all the feedback, I love the real interaction. If you're in the bay area, we should do coffee and collaborate in person as well as online.

    Talk to you soon.

    Hey ITSystem, check this out: https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-workflow-for-3D-design-in-Sketchup-and-3D-pr/ I just posted it up, thought you might like to check it out. Let me know if there are any unclear parts in it and I'll try to explain better. L8r

    Found this video while attempting a 123D write up: http://youtu.be/KGrkWFTbmQw

    Just some scraps I had lying around, and oh yeah, you'll like this part, some hot glue too! I hot glued the rails to the bases. The trick I found was to glue one down, let it cool, put the board into its track then glue the other rail down, with the board in its track. Perfect fit every time! Even if all of my boards weren't exactly the same sizes. They weren't either.

    The home 3D printers I've seen have all essentially been CNC hot glue guns to me. That ABS filament they use doesn't seem cheap to me though. $50 a roll last I looked. The rolls must be really long if your boxes only cost you 10 cents a piece.

    I probably used 10 cents worth of hot glue just running two beads.

    My hot glue gun has saved me quite a few times on projects; thanks for the usage tip!

    You are spot on with the CNC comparison; they are essentially the same beast save the active tool head (router/extruder). In fact I have seen guys retro their CNC milling machines Z access, add a hot end and successfully print decent output. There is a guy I'm following now that created a hot air funnel exturder and currently is attempting printing with chocolate!

    Filament can be a fun topic... I started buying in bulk for discount and de-spooling to smaller more manageable 2-5lbs spools for mounting under and on top of my printer (you don't want to keep to much in open air as it tends to draw in moisture). You have to beware of the eBay sellers over seas as their filament can vary horribly. I ran a batch of 1.75mm that I got a "deal" on and it continuously jammed/stripped at the extruder gear due to inconstant diameter throughout the roll. After working and working toward tight settings in Skeinforge I now print raft-less with no support and light infill in most instances making the most use from my filament. I wonder where the price of filament will eventually end up at as more vendors start their offerings and what physical form it will actually take; check this cogged stick form out: http://www.fabbster.com/material.php

    I find filament media to be a major drawback with 3D printing in its present state. It is a deciding factor keeping me from having much enthusiasm for the activity at present.

    I have to say your output looks better than what I have seen, and your overall price per part seems reasonable enough to me. For my money today CNC is where its at, and where I'm headed too.

    The guts of my Z axis, since I made this I got it to run a bit better by increasing my micro-step rate:


    I've cracked 1.7 IPS with it which is my goal.

    Filament can be painful, I hope for lower cost and more accurate products soon.

    Pfred, that's one heck of a Z stage! I would love a CNC, I'm fairly limited by physical space. I was looking at the Zenworks 7x7" or 12x12" kit to start off but there are so many DIY builds I have been looking at too. What do you recommend for a medium footprint unit? I think I would like to mill aluminum as well as wood. Thanks in advance for your 411!

    I've heard it said that one shouldn't expect one machine to do it all. The speed you need to run in order to cut wood is much different than cutting aluminum. So no matter what you go with you're going to have to convert spindles to work the two materials effectively.

    I've milled wood on my mill and it kind of sucks compared to what routers do. My mill has a top spindle speed of 2500 RPM. That is way too slow to cut wood with. Yeah it cuts it, but it is all raggy, not clean at all. My mill can eat aluminum for breakfast though. No problem! routers start at 20,000 RPM. so you're talking an order of magnitude speed difference between tools.

    That having all been said a real mill will sort of mill wood, where as routers can struggle cutting aluminum. Plus if you are ingenious you might be able to attach a router to a mill head anyways. So if you are really interested in cutting aluminum I suggest you take a good look at this:


    It'll set you back a few pennies but you'll wind up with a capable machine. The conversion is pretty straight forward. You could probably be up and running in a weekend. Other solutions are much more problematic. So that alone has to be worth something.

    There are clone knock offs of that machine, but try to find one where features match, like the square column and Z axis hand wheel. Those are what lends that machine to CNC conversion so well.

    The popular conversion seems to be a motor mount plate, some timing cogs, and a belt.

    Much more may be found here:

    Here is a pic of my printer and de-spooled rig; two 5lbs spools under and a 2-5lbs overhead on my modded Home Depot electrical cord reel:


    3D printing is a blast! You can enter the playing field ~$500 depending on your needs. Thanks for the compliment Spaceman!