Often when you build a cheap electronic kit they don't come with a box, if you have access to a 3d printer, and a laser cutter here is a simple way to make a custom enclosure that looks cool and fits right.
In this example Ill show you how to make a laser cut and 3D printed Enclosure for the 4 bits clock kit as featured in the bomb proof clock instructable , but you could adapted it to almost any size PCB or electronic kit.
This project came about as I had a few students who like the clock but are a bit scared of the welder...
As well a 3D printer and laser cutter you will need a CAD program. I use Prodesktop it's old but good.
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Step 1: Mesure Your Circuit Board
Before you start it can be useful to measure everything and write it down, or even do a rough sketch so that once you start in CAD and "get in the zone" you don't have to stop to measure stuff, well it works for me.....
The main measurements you will need are the size of the PCB, and the space of the buttons from the side and bottom. I got some rather odd measurement as it was obviously drawn in Inches, It would be easy enough to draw the box in inches, but as I live in a metric country, and my CAD program is set up in metric and it would likely confuse some of my students, Ive just stuck with the metric system.
Step 2: CAD Drawing of the PCB
It is helpful if you have a CAD drawing of the PCB then draw your box around it. the pictures all have notes so click on the first one and use your arrow keys to follow along.
Step 3: Dawing the 3D Printed Sides
Next we need to draw the sides and screw holes. Sometimes the round corners can cause issues, but click on the pictures and follow along and ill will show you how to fix it.
Step 4: Drawing the Back and Front for the Laser Cutter
Now we have to make a DXF file for the laser cutter, also don't forget to save your engineering drawing so you can modify it later if you want.
Step 5: Finishing the Sides
Next we have extrude and export the drawing to an STL file. Click on the first picture and follow along.
Step 6: Assembling Your Project.
After painting you can assemble your project, and as long as it has been drawn accurately it should all fit perfectly. You can use small screws for buttons or 3D print them also.
The Camo paint turned out really well and is easy to do
Step 7: Files for Clock Enclosure
Now if you have that 4bits clock kit you could just cheat and use the files here.... If you can't show me your CAD drawings Ill know you cheated!
Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016