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How do you finish your projects? Answered

Whenever you want to finish a prototype, what kind of checklist do you go thru?
things like:
How do you decide what case design to use, what materials for that same case, how to solder everything up, what makes you decide if you "lock" the Arduino on that project forever by soldering everything around it. If you decide to make it modular, what techniques do yo use.

What kind of material do you use to attach everything together: Hot glue? close everything down with screws, nails,  staples (...)?

How would you make it water-proof or resistant to the weather (if it was something to be outside for a long time).

If you have to use a lot of cable, do you solder everything up with heat shrink tubing? When do you use connectors and what kind of connecters do you use?

I would love to see a video tutorial on how to properly finish up a project, and make it look beautiful inside a case.


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Best Answer 10 years ago

You're looking for a lot of ideas here, rather than a single "right" answer.

I suggest you re-ask this in the forums.


10 years ago

well my projects usually dont look as good as many other peoples, I usually
A. Decide if I really want to keep the project, and if so
B. Start working on a finished design, and move it from a breadboard to a perfboard. Alternately i might etch a PCB for it (but Im personally not ready for that yet)
C. If im going to display something, or need an enclosure for it, I gusstimate basic measurements (which helps determine how big of a perfboard to use) and place the biggest parts in the enclosure to make sure they fit.
D. Find enclosure. Whatever fits a project good, but If im going to use it a lot, probably something pretty nice looking (An Altoids tin works for most projects, or some small plastic box). If it uses speakers, has a nice looking circuit board, or has an LCD or LED display, I (personally) like to use acrylic (plexiglass) for the enclosure. It might not look as nice as a laser-cut or custom made one, but I can usually pull it off
E. Solder on components. If im going to use a perfboard, I'd use an IC holder for my chips so I can replace/program them for something else later if I wanted
F. Make sure it works, then route power and other cables to necessary things. Since you can program Arduino chips using 2 lines (and 2 more for power and ground), I'd leave a connector for those two, so I could program it without removing it.
G. Seal it up, and have a couple tests

As to your other questions, I usually do not make my projects modular, but some people do. Makes for an easy replacement if something breaks.

I usually use hot glue for just hard-attaching things, but alternates are Electrical tape, screws, zip ties (for that bunch of unruly cables) etc.
Don't know about weather proofing, because I havn't had to do it yet.

I try to keep all my connections from potentially shorting out. This means electrical tape and lots of heat shrink. I don't have a favorite connector, but I've done with USB jacks and random connectors from 'victims' before said project. I like to use headers for internal connection, but thats just me.

I actually might post an 'ible in a few weeks showing how to cut your acrylic *semi* nicely. It looks better depending if you have the right tools, but also in your handling of it etc.. Good luck!