Intro to Fab- Enclosure Fun Times

This week we were tasked with creating an enclosure for a project we’re working on. An obvious, but natural, fit is the circuit I’m working on using my Arduino for PComp.

Tom asked us this week to “hide our circuits”, so I was grateful having just gone through panel-mounting lights and switches. To get inspired, I made my maiden voyage to Tinkersphere in the East Village.

While being serenaded with midi versions of Elton John songs (hello, heaven), I poked around and grabbed a few gems.

I booked some time with my new bff (just kidding), the laser cutter. I used my digital caliper to measure my panel-mount items, and my standoffs that I ordered from McMaster. Illustrator makes it super easy to make shapes a specific size, so the layout wasn’t too much trouble.

The underside of the enclosure was where I lamented, “WHY DIDN’T I MAKE A PROTOTYPE?!” I kicked myself, because having my Arduino-mounted wooden board fit flush with the acrylic was a challenge, but one that could be easily avoided if I’d prototyped. I’d print one and either forget holes for the wooden feet or the screws. Or, I’d have all the correct shapes drawn, but the holes would be slightly off in size or placement. Let’s just say I wasted a lot of acrylic and felt very guilty about the environment. Oy vey.

I was so excited when my McMaster delivery appeared less than 24 HOURS after I ordered. I was relieved that the assembly went relatively smoothly.

The wooden feet fit nicely in the slots!

I ordered some 4-40 wing nuts on Prime and they fit nicely.

I even grabbed some little rubber feet, as suggested, to make my enclosure look fancy even if the circuit wasn’t working!

I chuckled when people assumed that my set up was some super sophisticated project, when it was just an Arduino between two pieces of acrylic. So, I think I’m beginning to understand the importance of enclosures…

One thought on “Intro to Fab- Enclosure Fun Times

  1. Ben Light says:

    Nice work. I’m still not sure why you even have the wooden plate in the enclosure (because the breadboard is attached?). Why not just screw down the Arduino to 4 holes in the bottom acrylic plate? That way you don’t have to worry about fitting the wooden feet. If you need the wooden plate in your enclosure, I’d find a way to attach it to the bottom acrylic plate. Maybe a screw or two.

    If you’re going forward with the circuit that I saw the other day, I’d like to see either a panel mount buzzer or holes for the sound to escape.

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