Author Topic: Need help for a case design  (Read 2275 times)

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Offline corrupt

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Need help for a case design
« on: Sat, 12 December 2020, 09:16:59 »
Hello everyone,
I downloaded Fusion 360 2 days ago so that I could make a case based on the things that I like in a keyboard.
I find the simple exterior designs of the OTD 356 Mini, the GSKT-00, idb60 etc to be really appealing, so I made something that looks a bit like that, with a much simpler mouting solution (it is regular top-mount).
I do not know anything about keyboard design or industrial design in general, so I'd like you guys to give me feedback, and potentially help, because I know what I've done is probably pretty janky.

Here are two quick and dirty Fusion 360 renders :


I don't know why, but the seam between the top and bottom part is not shown on the render, but it is present.

Exploded view :



The top and bottom parts are fastened by 8 M2x5 socket head hex screws. The plate and daughterboard are secured by 9 and 4 button head hex screws respectively.
If the board were to be put together, it would be using an allen key.

The daughterboard used is the one from the unified daugtherboard project, and the pcb is the plain60. Ideally the USB-C connector that it has on the left would be removed so that I could remove the cutout I made to accomodate it.

Here are the cad file in .stp, and the plate file
* guest60.step (1156.2 kB - downloaded 16 times.)
* guest60AnsiPlate.dxf (163.49 kB - downloaded 13 times.)

Rev. 2 :
* guest60_v2.step (7131.8 kB - downloaded 10 times.)

Rev. 3 :
* guest60_v3.step (7163.3 kB - downloaded 8 times.)

Rev. 4 :
* guest60_v4.step (7110.3 kB - downloaded 11 times.)

Thanks for your time !
« Last Edit: Mon, 14 December 2020, 17:06:02 by corrupt »

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 12 December 2020, 12:07:52 »
You should explode the parts into single pieces to get a feedback on the design.
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Offline hanya

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 12 December 2020, 18:32:10 »
It looks USB daughter board conflict with the switch pins. You should put some mockup parts in your assembly and check the confliction among parts.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 12 December 2020, 20:38:46 »
You should put some mockup parts in your assembly and check the confliction among parts.

This, very, very much this.
And not just parts, you don't need to show this, but make sure you render fasteners and tool access as well.

As it stands you have no room for screw heads holding your plate to to the top.
Your controller mount has no clearance for components other than the USB port itself. That looks like crushed components and a dead short waiting to happen.
Also, your alignment pegs are going to add significant cost to this. It's a lot of extra material for the base, almost all of which needs to be removed. And on top it means an extra tool change after flipping the plate over.
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Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 05:08:31 »
You should explode the parts into single pieces to get a feedback on the design.
You are absolutely right, I will add it in the original post.


It looks USB daughter board conflict with the switch pins. You should put some mockup parts in your assembly and check the confliction among parts.

You should put some mockup parts in your assembly and check the confliction among parts.

This, very, very much this.
And not just parts, you don't need to show this, but make sure you render fasteners and tool access as well.

As it stands you have no room for screw heads holding your plate to to the top.
Your controller mount has no clearance for components other than the USB port itself. That looks like crushed components and a dead short waiting to happen.
Also, your alignment pegs are going to add significant cost to this. It's a lot of extra material for the base, almost all of which needs to be removed. And on top it means an extra tool change after flipping the plate over.


Thanks a lot, that is exactly the kind of feedback/criticism I needed. I will try to find a model of hiney's daughterboard and adjust the cutout from there.
Also I noticed the issue with the plate when I tried to add screws, but I thought the heads were just too large and that the fix would be to find some that have a smaller head.


Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 09:52:15 »
Okay so I followed your advices, and it now should be much more funtional and plausible. I will add the exploded view and the revised file in the original post. Thanks again

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 20:56:32 »
A mill doesn't do squared inner corners well, they need to be rounded, like the bits are. The tighter the corner the smaller the bit, this means more tool changes and more cuts and therefore more cost. You got the sides but missed the bottom. You would need a flat end mill to create the sharp inner edge, where a rounded bottom corner (chamfer or bevel) would allow for them to just use the same bit they used for hogging out the main chamber. This also eliminates what are called stress risers, places where stress accumulates, not that strength is really an issue here but it can also cause issues with paint and anodizing. It's inside so again, not really an issue (unless you're selling them), your biggest thing is the added expense of creating it. Doing this on the inside is good for the reasons mentions, doing it on the outside is just the opposite, it can mean another tool change and more cuts.

I didn't look at any dimensions, but don't get super precise. 6in or mm is not the same as 6.0000, 6 means if it's off by .01 it's fine, 6.0000 means that the surface finish needs to be at least that precise, which is like a mirror vs sandpaper. That means more precision, more cuts and more tool swaps. This is why so many cheaper cases are blasted and then anodized, it hides the tool marks from using lower tolerances. If you want a really nice surface finish right out of the mill, you need to pay for it, and this is how. This is also how what could be a $500 case quickly turns into a $700 case.

Also make sure your measurements are whatever is the norm in your country, if you take a metric patters to a US shop, they may send it back and ask you to convert it for them. They should be capable and their machines should be able to do it, but some machinists and their machines are still stuck in the dark ages.

Screws...
Mcmaster-carr has tons of fasteners, and the cad file for them so you can verify sizing or simply import them. Don't just assume you can find something with a smaller head. CAD doesn't work on assumptions and guesstimates, it does everything, EXACT. There is no fudging, there is no good enough or close enough. That's one thing people have trouble with, when you make something yourself if it's close and fits, it's good enough, CAD doesn't really understand that. Close enough and fix it later means you're just going to pay later.


Another thing I'd recommend is a 3d print to verify everything, especially if this is your first.
One misplaced screw hole or bad judgment means you are either breaking out a drill or Dremel or you will be paying twice and considering the cost of making one these vs the cost of getting it 3d printed or even buying a 3d printer and doing it yourself, it's a wise investment. This adds a whole new set of challenges, but can save you a lot of money. This is  actually what 3d printing was made for.

Next time you do this:
Use generalizations, okay so I lied about CAD not liking guesstimates, sort of... Take for example your USB breakout board, you don't need to render every resistor and cap, just do a plate for the pcb and another on top that represents where the resitors and caps are and need clearance for, then a third for the rear connector and 4th for the USB port. This is 4 components to render rather than 12 or whatever. Same for the keyboard pcb, you don't need every resistor just something to represent that you have clearance for them.These all still need precise measurement (so, not a lie), but it doesn't have to be visually accurate.

If you do switches, it doesn't need to be accurate in every way, it can be a box for the body, another box for the stem, and then two small boxes for pins and a circle for the stem bump on bottom. You don't need to render every angle and recess. They're only there as placeholders to check clearance.
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Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 07:18:09 »
Are you saying I should chamfer/fillet that edge here ?

If so, the size of the chamfer added would be pretty big from what I understand ?

Also yeah I paid more attention to the dimensions of the case : there were some pretty sketchy ones, and I ****ed up the distance between bottom of keycap/top of plate, so I fixed most of them.
I want to 3D print the model, but I have yet to find a printing service in my area :/
And regarding the mockups/parts I have added, they are detailed because I picked up models that are readily available on the internet, which is even more simple and accurate to me than making my own.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge, that is really helpful. I am an absolute novice at this as you probably figured.
If you want to take a look at the updated file, here it is :
* guest60_v3.step (7163.3 kB - downloaded 7 times.)

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 07:51:24 »
Are you saying I should chamfer/fillet that edge here ?
Not just there. You need to round every right angle on the inner sides, and that means the blockers on the top half as well. Bear in mind that fillets mean less removed material and, therefore, less gained space. You might wanna triple check the space you need around blockers and on the inside in general.
Rather than 3D printing I would suggest milling your test model out of a soft material, say wood or plastic, which should be as accurate but surely less expensive.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 08:57:07 »
Ok got you. Do you think a 0,2 mm chamfer would be enough or should I go bigger ?

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 11:31:29 »
Ok got you. Do you think a 0,2 mm chamfer would be enough or should I go bigger ?
Can't tell for sure, you should check with your manufacturer. I usually go for 1mm because it's also aesthetically appealing.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 17:01:56 »
Yet again, I have made some changes to the file, and it should be pretty much ready to machine now. Feel free to check.
Most of them were to try (emphasis on try) to keep machining costs low. I'll link all the iterations of the file at the bottom of the original post.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 23:15:30 »
You forgot to do the controller pocket.

You will need to check switch/pin clearance. I also have concerns about your usb board to pcb wiring clearances, though that will depend on the connectors.

Don't be surprised that you need quite a few changes once you have a prototype in hand, it's very different looking at something on a screen vs holding it in your hand, that goes double if you are new to all this.

Good luck and keep us informed on what it cost and how it worked out.
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Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 15 December 2020, 03:28:48 »
What exactly do you mean by controller pocket ?

Judging from this side view, the clearances should be good, except for the USB-C connector on the mainboard that I'll remove anyway :

The daughterboard will be connected to the main pcb using a 4-pin JST cable, so I think it's good.

Yeah knowing me there will probably be a few hickups, but that is all part of the fun :).

I'll see if I can get the proto printed during christmas holidays, and I'll be sure to post updates.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 15 December 2020, 04:46:26 »
What exactly do you mean by controller pocket ?
You didn't chamfer the pocket.
Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum w/62g Zilents/39g springs
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Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 15 December 2020, 04:50:58 »
Oh, yeah right. It is now fixed.

Offline moxie keyboards

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 22 December 2020, 17:09:22 »
Awesome work so far! I have learned a lot from this. Best of luck!

Offline corrupt

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Re: Need help for a case design
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 24 December 2020, 10:44:15 »
Hey man, thanks ! Thatís cool if this trial and error process can be useful to someone else :)