Building pro small enclosures

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intellijel
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Building pro small enclosures

Post by intellijel » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:27 pm

I have had experience making panels using lasercutting, punching and metalphoto. So far they have worked out really well.

What I have not done yet is make a custom metal enclosure with screen printing on multiple sides.

I want to make a custom metal (or plastic) enclosure that has cnc cut holes on multiple sides for jacks and buttons. It would need to be made of two pieces so that it can be dissembled.

If I wanted to make a relatively small run of something like this (say 50 or so) what is the best way to go about doing this? Should I use a ready made enclosure and have it machined? custom folded sheet metal?

Just trying to figure out where to start....

quick googling shows there are lot's of places that do this kind of thing. I am betting a premade enclosure with custom insert panel/machining will do the trick.

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meridic
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Post by meridic » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:56 am

Almost always you will get a higher quality case if you go ready made given equalish pricing.

50 is a low number for custom metal work, not enough to justify setting up a machine to do the work, so someone has to stand in front of a break all day bending metal.

But if the case is planed out right it can be done cheaply. Metal shops charge by the bend/cut + materials, so you need to figure out how to get the most out of every bend/cut. Say you want a case that 6"x6"x1". Have the metal shop bend a 6' pice of sheet stock into a C shape, with the long side 6" and the4 short sides 1". Thats 4 bends and one chop of the shear, then they band saw or chop saw that into 6" wide blocks. So thats 24 cases for next to nothing. Slap some wood end cheeks on it and flat sheet stock for the bottom, cost you next to nothing and you get the vintage look for less then the ready made. Takes about an hour for all those 24 cases, maybe two if its a bad day. You can also save some money if you give them a ridiculous amount of time to get it done. 50 is a small job after all.

Most of the vintage look is cheapness in reality. The wooden end cheeks mean fewer bends, fewer cuts and simpler bends/cuts. Drastic decrease in man hours.

By the way, I was out with the flu for abit so everything fell behind, I will be in touch in a few days with news.

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