Plastic Enclosure

August 30, 2009

Bad news:  the top half of the enclosure is too thin for it to be properly machined out of plastic.  When the piece was in the vice, it starts to bend and therefore it can’t be tooled properly.  At least that’s what I’m told.  The aluminum always looks much more professional anyway, and I can’t wait until I receive the sample!

I still haven’t found the screws that I’m going to purchase so we’ll have to see what happens with regards to that.

That’s all for today, just a quick update.


Enclosure Update – Aluminum

August 27, 2009

Last night I got an email from the guy who is CNC machining my parts.  He said that the aluminum sample piece was complete!  There are some small errors on it, such as how the smaller cutouts don’t line up, but that isn’t a big deal for a prototype piece anyway.

Here are the two pictures of the enclosure that he sent me.

Enclosure Opened

Enclosure Opened

Enclosure Closed

Enclosure Closed

Beautiful, aren’t they!  The plastic parts should be done really soon as well and I’ll post those as soon as possible.

Enclosure Designed

August 21, 2009

Today I finally finished my enclosure design!  I exported an image of it and copied it below.  It is a two-part enclosure, the top half is shown in blue and the bottom half is gray:

SolidWorks 3D Assembly

SolidWorks 3D Assembly

I decided to make the final enclosure 3″ by 3″ by (I think) 0.66″.  The material (plastic or aluminum) is 1/8″ thick all around with cutouts on each side.  The bottom side and the two sides each have one long cut out for 4 connectors while the top side (in the picture) has 1 cut out for power and 1 cut out for USB.  The top piece (the blue one) has an engraving that measures 2″ by 2″ for a sticker with a barcode and product information.  It also contains 4 screw holes.  The screws that I used are #4 – 40 black anodized, flat top, hex socket screws.  The screws are half an inch long and will go from the top, through the circuit board inside, and into the bottom piece to hold it all together.

I am actually really excited to get these made.  Once I get my samples, I can start to see my product coming together!  Then I’ll have to order the screws and make the stickers and order the circuit boards and the parts to go inside them.

The next step is to re-design the circuit board.  I completely forgot about doing the circuit board for inside.  This should be interesting.  I’ll have to wait and see what the manufacturer says about my enclosure design before I get too excited about designing the PCB around it.  I hope it fits.


August 17, 2009

All the local shops wanted a ton of money to get the enclosures done, money that I can’t afford to fork out right now.  I posted a request on a CNC forum requesting offers.  The best offer I got so far is $12.50 for plastic enclosures and $15.00 for aluminum (not anodized).  This also includes a free sample of each piece before I purchase anything!  I also found the perfect screws to use, about $9 for 100, plus shipping.  They are already anodized black and should never actually be seen, but since theyre not too expensive I might as well just get them.  If I cheap out at the last minute, it’s only $4.50 for the silver ones.

The new case dimensions are about 3.0″ x 3.0″ x 0.75″ because I can’t fit the electronics in an enclosure that’s only 0.50″ tall!  The PCB itself takes up 0.063″ and then I have to fit components on the top and bottom.

First Post!

August 11, 2009

I really don’t know much about the blogging scene, but I’ve decided to give it a try!  It’s much easier to document progress on one of these blogs instead of using forums or whatnot.

This blog is for any hardware products that are created from Nilok Productions, which is run by myself, Colin.  Currently I am looking into a USB 2.0 IO board that I am creating based on the Microchip PIC18F4455.   I am looking for a cool case to get things moving along so I can form the PCB to the case.

The one product I really do like is the Logic by Saleae LLC.  Joe Garrison did an excellent job of designing the product and that’s what I hope to base mine after.  I am going to contact him regarding his cases and the cost of his enclosures.  Hopefully in the future I can have something just as professional looking and productive!

Wish me luck!