We print the simplest case for a homemade device

Printing a suitable housing for your device is probably the most popular thought when introducing any inventor to 3D printing technology. But in practice, everything turns out to be not so simple as in advertising a 3D printer, and under the cut, I’ll tell you a little more in detail what conclusions I came up with in trying to compose a convenient housing design.

With 3D printing, everything is fine - it's just a magic wand for the master, with the exception that most can only afford lower printers. And after taking possession of the 3D printer, most, like me, will encounter the imperfection of the budget 3D printing technology, namely the FDM technology (layering - uses most of the available printers), regardless of whether you assembled the printer yourself or bought it in a store. The main problems are the shrinkage of the material after cooling, which is the cause of deformations and inaccurate linear dimensions of the printed parts. If you came up with some kind of unbelievable design similar to the cases of serial equipment, then the case of your device will be generously saturated with neat chamfers, holes or latches exactly in size for ease of assembly ... even being a professional in modeling and taking into account the above printing problems, you will get tired of reducing all these sizes and deciding in which position it is better to print each part so that nothing bends during shrinkage, as is often the case . Shrinkage is evil, especially it upsets and takes time when your design has many sizes that you need to accurately withstand for assembly and a beautiful look. But not everything is so bad and this is not a reason to retreat). which must be precisely maintained for assembly and a beautiful view. But not everything is so bad and this is not a reason to retreat). which must be precisely maintained for assembly and a beautiful view. But not everything is so bad and this is not a reason to retreat).

Based on my printing experience, I came up with a simple box design for device prototypes, which will be convenient to print on any fdm printer and suitable for many projects.


The design consists of two parts: the chassis - on which we will mount the parts, and the casing itself - which will hide all the shame that we soldered) One is easily inserted into the other and is fixed with a single screw behind the case for reliability.


The chassis is printed horizontally to easily withstand the horizontal dimensions of the footprints for installing components. Then I just glue them in the corners with droplets of hot glue, so it’s faster and easier to disassemble later if necessary.


I recommend to generously tear out the chassis from the bottom and sides to save material, less deformation during shrinkage and simplify tearing from the table. Just squeezing circles, remember what is a bubble?)


And I print the casing vertically. In this position, you can make thin even walls and the texture on almost the entire visible part of the body is obtained in one direction, it looks neat. If necessary, you can finish mounting ears or legs.


Even if you can’t precisely keep the size right the first time and you have to sharpen the edges of the chassis a bit with a file, no traces of processing will be visible from the outside of the device.

The conical legs on the bottom of the case are printed without supports, which eliminates the need for further processing and saves material / time.
If you print on adhesive tape or glue, the surface that sticks to the table is usually not smooth and requires processing. With this approach, it will be on the back side of the case (on the side of the interface connectors), which one FIG usually nobody sees.


I printed this case from PLA plastic with a 0.3 mm nozzle on a Russian-made printer MZ3D-256 with the following structure settings: wall thickness 0.6 mm, filling 23%, without printing substrate.
The case size in my example allows you to place inside the arduino uno, a pair of relays, a stepper motor driver, a voltage converter, various communication sockets and control / indication elements.


Of course, you will draw the chassis of the required size for your modules, if only the print area of ​​the printer is enough to print the whole casing. In my opinion, such a design will be the simplest and most convenient.


The benefit from the case is obvious) The design does not fall apart, the wires do not stick out of the device, it does not look like a bomb, no one knows that it works on arduino and is not ashamed to show it at the exhibition or give it to programmers to write the firmware.   


I hope this information was useful to someone, thanks for your attention.

PS In the pictures, not an audio amplifier, but a watering controller, just the audio connectors are very convenient for connecting low-current loads.

UPD Thank you UFO for taking on board the community and all the participants for a warm welcome :)
And of course the files , I save time for inventors)

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