Author Topic: Manufacturing a metal enclosure for my DIY full size?  (Read 437 times)

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Offline RichardH

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Manufacturing a metal enclosure for my DIY full size?
« on: Fri, 20 November 2020, 13:50:46 »
I'm looking to create an enclosure for my DIY board, but I'm not sure where to start. I have cad drawings made in stl and it looks like I just want to manufacture the top half in Aluminum. Since the board is bluetooth, I'll likely have to leave the bottom part as 3d printed plastic. It's a bit of a complex design, needing machining on the top and bottom. 

My questions are:
* Where's a good place to manufacture something like this?
* What are some of the gotchas that I can avoid in my design? I'm a bit worried it's too complex
* Any ideas on price range?
* Can manufacturers use the STL files directly so I don't mess up using a 2d/dxf view?

Here's an idea of the part I want to make:


256215-0


-Rich

Offline Rayndalf

  • Posts: 406
Re: Manufacturing a metal enclosure for my DIY full size?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 20 November 2020, 15:04:08 »
I highly recommend 3D printing the top and bottom shell and checking plate and PCB fitment. 3D printing isn't sexy but it is an invaluable prototyping tool to ensure things fit how you expect them to.

As for machining, I don't know if manufacturers take STLs, I was under the impression that those where only for 3D printing.

Check out the files posted here, but I have no idea what files are usually sent off for machining.
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=106268.0

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2401
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Re: Manufacturing a metal enclosure for my DIY full size?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 21 November 2020, 03:54:11 »
I have cad drawings made in stl

Can manufacturers use the STL files directly so I don't mess up using a 2d/dxf view?
Usually CNC machinists, in my personal experience, prefer/require STEP files. Fusion 360 can handle that. Also you need to specify holes and threads in a PDF file and, again, Fusion 360 can do that too.

Since the board is bluetooth, I'll likely have to leave the bottom part as 3d printed plastic. It's a bit of a complex design, needing machining on the top and bottom.
Perhaps you can make three parts with aluminum top and bottom and and a acrylic middle section that should not interfere with radio signals.

Where's a good place to manufacture something like this?
There are plenty of manufacturers in Eastern Asia with reasonable prices. I had my case manufactured at Ulitemech for around 300,00 but my case was much smaller than yours.

What are some of the gotchas that I can avoid in my design? I'm a bit worried it's too complex
Double check holes and alignments. Make sure chamfers and fillets don't reduce your openings dimensions because you may end up with an unusuable plate.
For the bottom predispose four round recesses for plastic feet otherwise they might slip out of position if you drag your heavy board on the desktop.
Keep in mind that any engraving may increase the price dramatically. I decided against them for that reason. Same should be said for weights.

Any ideas on price range?
Such a big case might end up costing up to 500,00 in my opinion but asking quotes is free.

If you want I can send you my case model so you can have an idea on how I drew it.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff