Introduction: Electronic Foldable Prototyping Workbench
When making prototype at home, you need either a dedicated space for your experiments or some kind of space to organize your materials one you're finished.
In my case I don't have a dedicated space so I needed a way to organize my Arduino work while keeping it safe from my children.
I decided to design something small, convenient, allowing some storage and able to be easily folded after my work.
As you know I love working with cardboard, so there is cardboard in there ;-)
Let's see what I ended with!
What you will need
- Utility knife
- Cardboard (I used my new printer box in this I'ble)
- A shoe box (mine is about 32x26x10cm)
- Another box (mine is an electronic delivery box I had when ordering some parts for my on-going ARDUINO prototype)
- glue gun with hot glue
Note: Your own design will highly depend on the boxes you will find.
Let's make it!
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Step 1: General Organisation
I will organize my workbench with two levels:
- Lower level ==> storage of electronic components, on the left-hand side, the large components (motors, screens...), on the right-hand side, small components (leds...)
- Higher level ==> the protoyping workbench with breadboard and electronic boards (in my case arduino) on the left-hand side, another storage area on the right-hand side to store the cables etc...
The main aim is to have all my electronic prototypes and tools organize, stored and safe.
Step 2: Lower Level Organisation
First you have to determine the way you would like to organize the lower level. As I already told you, I would like to store the electronic components on the right while larger elements will be on the left, eventually under the prototyping area.
My shoe box is 10 cm high so I decided that my first level would be 5 cm. Thus I have cut bands of cardboard that are 5 cm high. According to my storage strategy I have:
- 2 bands of 32cm,
- 1 of 26cm,
- 2 of 10cm,
- 1 of 6cm.
Once cut, position the notches on the 32 and 26 cm bands in order to connect them.
Hot glue the 10 cm and 6 cm band on the 32cm ones to create the storage areas.
Connect the 26cm using the notches. Your lower level organizing structure is done.
Position it into the shoe box to validate your work.
You can fix it using hot glue if you like but I would rather wait until all designs are validated. However it could help you to go faster later on.
Step 3: Prototyping Area (upper Level)
As your prototyping area will top the left side of the storage area, you have bands running under.
Report the position of the bands using your pen on the electronic box. Remove the cardboard in order to obtain a hole that will allow the box to top this area. I cut the sides with a little angle to ease the folding.
My electronic box is 13x32 so I cut a sheet of cardboard of 10x32 cm to top the right-hand side.
Using a water bottle stopper, report a circle on both the sheet and the prototyping area. This will be the grabbing holes. Those holes are made to ease the use of those parts.
Take a ruler and a pen and determine the middle height of the prototyping area. Use the tape that is under most breadboard to glue it right in the middle of this area.
I used foam to support my electronic boards (Arduino). Once the foam glued on the top of the area, I sand just a little the cardboard to eliminate all remaining rough edges.
Use the given screws to position your board on the prototyping area, not to far from the breadboard but not too close neither.
We are done with the prototyping area.
Step 4: Final Result
Ready to prototype?
All my electronic components are now safely stored in the box. I can pack and unpack it quickly without dismantling my mock-up.
The storage area is convenient while the prototyping area allows me to work fast and easy.*
Thanks for reading!
Let me know what you think about it.