Step 4: Making the Case

So how's it made? I used Adobe Illustrator to edit and design the case. I then converted it to the necessary format (I've done this already for you and included it at the bottom) and sent it to Ponoko to be lasercut. Unlike many lasercut cases, I decided not to use the typical tabbed edge design. Instead I used multiple layers of frames with the middle sections removed and just four simple holes in the corners for screws. This method creates more excess scrap when finished, but I find it more attractive than the tabs. I included images of what the various layers and side panels look like, but the real files look much more plain.

Back Plate Design:

The LCD mounts into back plate flush as it too (from the top of it's PCB) is only 1/8" thick. The sides also have very long slots into which the side panels mount.

Middle Plate Design:

The middle plate serves as a retaining frame for the polycarbonate sheet along it's edges, and also provides the sides slots for the panels as well.

Cover Plate Design:
Just to make everything more aesthetically pleasing, I wanted the cover plate to look nice. Its functional purpose is  to retain the polycarbonate sheet in place and provide holes for the knobs to attach to. The inner hols for the screen and speaker are wider than the heads of the screws themselves, so the screws will appear to be "counter-sunk" into the case. Nothin' much else to say, the speaker cover is a tiny little Vault-Tec logo and there are a few symbols etched near the rotary encoders to mark their future purpose as input knobs.

If you're going to use Ponoko to make your case you'll first need to make an account. Once you've properly registered, log into your account and go to My Designs. Upload the files I've provided. The project uses a single sheet of P3 (15"x30") 3mm glossy hardboard. You can use whatever material you like so long as it's 1/8" thick, but I preferred the hardboard as it's the cheapest option :P

If you received your case from Ponoko, you'll first have to remove the adhesive paper that covers both sides. The cardboard flap that the board is shipped in makes a wonderful spray painting surface, so that's what I used.

Front and back plate construction:

1. Sand until the hardboard is no longer glossy. Wipe off excess dust.
2. Take the boards to a well ventilated area for painting.
3. Spray a nice even layer of primer. Allow to set according to the instructions on the can.
4. Spray the first coat of regular paint. Allow to set
5. Spray three more additional coats from alternating directions each time. (top->bottom, right->left etc.)
6. Allow to dry.

I don't have any shots of the final painted plain sheets, but just feel free to paint until you achieve the desired color.

<p>Hi I was wondering Im not that great at building things like this but I am willing to purchuse one. How much would you be willing to sell it for?</p>
Awsome pip boy! Id love to see an instructable of a wristbound one! Id make it
<p>Thank you very much. It's long in the works, but it is in the works! The next one will be cheaper, more game accurate, and easier to build.</p>
<p>is there a radio added in the 3000 and when will the post be here? No offense, but i really want to make a pip boy myself but i dont know how :(</p>
<p>I wanted to make this but I am unable to print the case. When I submit the design the website denies it saying that the line colors aren't right. Anything you could do to fix this would be apreciated</p>
<p>note: the pip boy 2000 was hand held. the 3000, or some modified versions of the 2500 were wrist mounted. that's about all i know about the older pip boys.</p><p>(or the bling boy 3 billion.)</p>
<p>Hey, do you remember what the cost was to make this? I would LOVE to make one myself.</p>
<p>will you ever put up a page about the wrist mounted version?</p>
I know talking about the game files is touchy, but did you ever have trouble with extracting them, only to get a blank square picture?
Scratch that, I was covering them to jpg instead of png for the alpha channel. ... dur. But I am wondering how you were able to see them to arrange them in visigenie? it still just shows up as a white square
I did have trouble with some of the raw images from the game as they were in a format that is uncommon to most consumers. I made this without visigenie. Do they show up in the image conversion tool?
<p>I've got them converted to .png, and opening them in a photoviewer i can see the images with a &quot;transparent&quot; background. I'm using visigenie has i have about 0 knowledge of coding. But, when i load the images to my project, i just have a white square, because the transparent isn't showing up as transparent. As you can imagine, this presents a problem when trying place 20+ images on say, the STATS screen.</p>
<p>I cant find the 4d sowtware thing, what doi do</p>
<p>cool! :D i think this will be a great and cool thing.</p>
<p>How close are you to a 3000? I really would like to see that.</p>
<p>Ponoko is saying there seems to be a problem with you're line colors when I try to upload the .eps for the case.</p>
<p>I sent Ponoko the .eps for the case and they that there was a white line in the center of the radiation symbol. They said it was an easy fix so they revised it for me.</p>
<p>What are the dimensions for the case?</p>
<p>It is a roughly 6 x 6 x 3 inch box</p>
<p>Hello ,</p><p>It is a cool .</p><p>I don't understand how to copy the images from the game.</p><p>I have the computer version.</p><p>Many thanks</p>
I was actually using this instructable for a school project because i fell in love with the design, but i'm personally not very good at coding
Did you ever update the code to incorporate the other rotary encoders?
<p>I didn't. I scrapped this prototype a few weeks after I built it for the parts.</p>
Also as an idea: how bout adding a clock?
<p>I've got the real-time clock, but didn't implement it. Definitely a necessary feature though!</p>
Do you have a kick starter account, because I believe you could get the money for a 3d printer and supplies needed to put your device into a pipboy case and make it cheaper and lighter from there, o know tons of people, myself included, that would love to see that happen, and you could probably sell some of them off too, after you have the three d printer, the biggest expense will be gone, and if you keep the programming from the earlier ones, it shouldn't be too hard to do, especially having the experience with the other ones also you could add variable colors
<p>I've recently had the good fortune of getting an amazing job. I've got a little 3D printer on my desk at work right now :) Let's see how this goes!</p>
So how is your project going these days? Any where near a 3000 yet?
<p>Nearer-er :) I have had other priorities lately, but I'm getting my yearly Fallout tech itch!</p>
How much would it be to buy one from you fully assembled?
<p>This model was really just a prototype. The design is temporary and can be improved a lot. I'm currently working on a more reproduce-able model 3000.</p>
Wouldn't it be cool to load the a songs and radio dialogue to a small SD and having it play?
<p>Yeah! I've since become very familiar with some nifty audio playback chips from 4D Systems. Also, Adafruit has some really great and affordable audio playback modules with built-in amplifiers too!</p>
<p>Hello i plan on doing something similar but trying to simulate a working 3000 model. I dont want to do this as a simple program, no i want a fully functioning model. I'm not going to work down from the game model but work from scratch using it for ideas. We may work together or against eachother but considering i am going for a rist mounted computer imediatly and your doing... that, i think working togeted will be mutcualy satisfactury!</p>
<p>Go for it! You should start an instructable as a project log!</p>
<p>Hey, out of curiosity, I saw a more recent video of an updated pipboy which seems to have some software updates. Are the links you provided above up to date with the latest sketches?</p>
<p>The more game accurate model that I made uses a smaller screen, so the UI is visually similar, but the code is only handles the game screens (no sensors etc.)</p>
<p>Well if you only had their funding.....</p><p>http://www.tweaktown.com/news/37347/a-working-pip-boy-3000-has-been-thanks-to-nasa-s-spaceapps-challenge/index.html</p>
<p>This is a really cool project! Funding would be quite great :) I'd love to see it as a standalone device however. With all the sensors external, it's a bit harder to use.</p>
<p>Is it possible to add the option to put in the &quot;player name and age like in the fallout games?</p>
<p>Not through the UI as is, but that data is just a couple of strings in the program and can be easily rewritten to be whatever name+status you'd like.</p>
<p>one of my suggetions below number 2 u should make a thing like this guy im gooing to try to put this in my version some how http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Audio-Transmitter/</p>
<p>Radio transmission would be super sweet. I do have a little FM transmitter module that I picked up from Sparkfun a while back, maybe it's time I played around with tit again.</p>
<p>This is way to cool! Nice work :)</p>
<p>say i decided to use a raspberry pi instead of an arduino. would that work?</p>
<p>these are some things i wanna implement</p><p>radio, GPS, cassette player (or CD player), movie watching, a built in jet-pack so i can have connection anywhere, movie playing, pedometer, being able to call people, a offline map of the world, reminders, perks would be included by putting them in yourself, note-pad, and more. also, PLEASE MAKE AN INSTRUCTABLE FOR THE ARM MOUNTED ONE.</p>
<p>Those would all be awesome features! I was a bit confused about the jet pack initially haha, but an internet connection would be very useful. The arm mounted one has been in the making for a long time, but it is coming!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is DJ and I previously made electronic whatsits, 3D-printed thingamabobs, and laser-cut kajiggers for the Instructables Design Studio; now I build and repair ... More »
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