Nov.22, 2012

How to design and print your own electronics enclosures? Landon Cox from Inhald 3D made a series of articles showing how to create a clam-shell style enclosure using ViaCAD 3D CAD tool and 3D printing.

I want something that is a custom enclosure, but I don't want to pay injection molding or sheet metal prices – for many things I simply don't have the volume to justify the manufacturing expense. It doesn't have to look like a design gallery piece or iPhone, but I don't want it to look like I hacked up something and wedged it in, either.


A 3D printer is the first device available to make a single unit, custom electronic enclosure without breaking the bank. Even now, you don't have to look far to get access to a 3D printer. High schools and hackerspaces have them. They're becoming affordable in the same way that the first laser printers became affordable for home use. Finally, you can always ship your designs off to Shapeways and have them printed and sent to you.

In his articles Landon Cox focused on the basic CAD skills designs to master in order to help you to start with your first simple enclosures. He provided step by step instructions on how to get it designed and printed. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, and you can then use it as a starting point for more advanced enclosures.

These parts were printed with a layer height of 0.4mm, ABS plastic filament, 2.89mm diameter (what's referred to as 3mm filament.)

(Images credit: Landon Cox)

As part of the tutorial Landon Cox made the following two videos to take you all the way from a blank page to an actual 3D printed object so you can follow the whole process.

Video 1: How to create a clam shell enclosure using ViaCAD.

Video 2: a time-lapse video of the enclosure being 3D printed on a LulzBot AO-100 3D printer.


All the source files are available on Thingiverse to download for free.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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