3D Printing An Enclosure
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Notanon's Avatar
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    Default 3D Printing An Enclosure

    Hi all,

    Still in the design phase of a custom controller to pair up with my X1 Mk2 and investigating the possibility of 3D printing the case for it. At the moment, looking at roughly 300mmX250mmX80mm for the size (yes it's big, but the X1 Mk2 will sit in the middle of it), so will be a bit of a struggle for the smaller-sized printers available at the moment, unless I can chop it into two or more separate parts to put together, but would rather avoid that if possible. I'm looking at using selective laser sintering of ABS plastic for the process, mainly as it will be somewhat U-shaped and fused deposit modelling which is fairly common at the moment might not be suited to that, unless I break it up into about four segments or so, which I don't really want to have to do.

    Just thought I'd ask if anyone else has had a go at making their own enclosure using this method and get some advice about it. I've estimated the required thickness to be 1mm, going off standard smaller enclosures for electronics and for mounting a USB 2.0 type B female connector to the back of it, though I might need to make some adjustments as research continues.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notanon
    3D Printing An Enclosure
    That's the future, right tharr...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor deathy's Avatar
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    That plus completely custom controllers... the perfect controller for you will be completely different than the perfect controller for me, and that will be absolutely brilliant.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notanon View Post
    Hi all,

    Still in the design phase of a custom controller to pair up with my X1 Mk2 and investigating the possibility of 3D printing the case for it. At the moment, looking at roughly 300mmX250mmX80mm for the size (yes it's big, but the X1 Mk2 will sit in the middle of it), so will be a bit of a struggle for the smaller-sized printers available at the moment, unless I can chop it into two or more separate parts to put together, but would rather avoid that if possible. I'm looking at using selective laser sintering of ABS plastic for the process, mainly as it will be somewhat U-shaped and fused deposit modelling which is fairly common at the moment might not be suited to that, unless I break it up into about four segments or so, which I don't really want to have to do.

    Just thought I'd ask if anyone else has had a go at making their own enclosure using this method and get some advice about it. I've estimated the required thickness to be 1mm, going off standard smaller enclosures for electronics and for mounting a USB 2.0 type B female connector to the back of it, though I might need to make some adjustments as research continues.
    Why don't you just buy an enclosure and laser cut the slits and holes you need? Should be way cheaper.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Notanon's Avatar
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    ^No enclosures that I have found so far match the required dimensions, especially considering it will be U-shaped as a 130mmX300mmX30mm section will be extruded from the top in the centre so that the X1 Mk2 can sit flush with the control banks on either side of it. If it was a normal, rectangular cube design, then I would have gone with your suggested approach instead. Could try and join several enclosures together if desperate, but want to try and keep it all one-piece if possible (aside from the bottom part which will be the access point for the inside parts, held in by about 10 or so screws and have the MIDI board mounted on it).

  6. #6
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    Ah, I was confused about the u-shaped thing.

    3D printing is just so expensive. You shouldn't have an issue printing it though. It's not THAT big. Most are around 12"x12"x12" at the least.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Notanon's Avatar
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    Yeah, bit harder to find a printer that size in Australia, unfortunately. Plenty of the 8"x8"x8" printers kicking about, not so many of the bigger ones and they have long turnaround times at the moment, according to a separate forum. Might just print it in quarters sans the bottom panel, then screw or pres/snap-fit them together, then get a one-piece bottom panel laser-cut with screw holes, PCB-mounts, etc.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor safefire's Avatar
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    Sure, it could probably be done.
    The question, though, is if it is worth it?

    SLS printed ABS is fairly durable, but not so much so as a sheet of acrylic.

    My two cents? Buy some sheets of 5mm acrylic and have somebody laser-cut and assemble an enclosure for you.
    Cheaper and stronger, unless you want a really weird enclosure.

    EDIT: I'm trying, and probably failing, not to sound like a total jerk. However, unless you are using steel, 1mm is far to thin for an enclosure of that size.
    Last edited by safefire; 09-18-2014 at 07:17 AM.
    Fixing stuff that isn't broken.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Notanon's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm revising a few things at the moment, such as thickness and so forth. I might just start off with a small module similar in proportion and dimensions to the X1 Mk2 to sit alongside it when playing out, then print off the U-shaped version as printing sizes increase and costs drop enough to warrant it. The other idea I have at the moment is printing the frame in sections (about 5mm thick minimum) and bolting them together, then screw in laser cut panels to suit the gaps as suggested earlier, so could probably use fused deposit modelling instead of SLS with PLA instead of ABS for the frame. I'll have to grab the relevant material data for each and crunch the shear force calculations to work this out (I'm studying mechanical engineering, hence I deal with this a fair bit). I did look into acrylic, but was mainly concerned about its brittle nature, particularly if it got knocked while being transported to a gig. 1mm was a ballpark figure based off some enclosure figures for electronics, as well, had a feeling I would need to make it a bit thicker. All will depend on the components I end up using.

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