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Stacked Plexiglass Enclosure Case using OpenSCAD

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It all started the other day when I had to stay home with my kids on a school snow day.  Seemed like half the neighborhood ended up at our house!  Anyway, was a real good excuse for my to learn something new that day.

This instructable will show you how to make a stacked Plexiglas enclosure using OpenSCAD.  The enclosures I've built so far have used three pieces of 3/16" Plexiglas for the core slices.  The two cover pieces were made out of 1/8" Plexiglas.  Once assembled, the enclosure is really really rugged and tough.  Could run over the darn thing with a truck!

OpenSCAD is a kinda strange, in that, the model is built using a Python like language.  Kinda like Python but not really.  There are a bunch of strange restrictions like all variables are defined at compile-time.  Seemed strange to me.  There is no provision to edit the model using a GUI interface.  The GUI interface is just for viewing the model after it has been generated.

On the upside, OpenSCAD lets you whip around models by changing variables in your script.  Once variables have been updated, just save the file and OpenSCAD will regenerate the new model.  Basically, parametric modeling on steroids.

Once the model's source code parameters have been adjusted to your liking, OpenSCAD can be used to make a 2D "projection" of each piece onto the X/Y plane.  With the 2D projection done, a menu option can be used to save the 2D part outline to a DXF file.  Once saved as DXF, the DXF part file can be used on a laser cutter to actually cut the part.
 
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