Making the case for cool project enclosures

luna_mod_case

Quite often, we see project boxes that seem to be constructed more as an afterthought than anything else. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with stuffing your latest creation into a nondescript black box, or even cardboard if it happens to fit your needs. Sometimes however, an enclosure embodies the spirit of a project, making it all that much cooler.

[Adam] recently picked up a copy of Make magazine and decided to build their “Luna Mod”, a sound effects generator and looper based on a PICAXE-08M. Aside from the micro controller the Luna Mod includes a couple of pots, a switch, and a few LEDs – nothing incredibly striking. Once he had everything assembled on a strip of protoboard, he started working on his enclosure.

The enclosure is made from an old record, which after some trial and error, [Adam] got just right. The record was heated and cut, then bent into shape. While it’s not necessarily a hack, we think it looks pretty slick. It really fits the theme of the Luna Mod and is far more attractive than a plain plastic box.

Stick around to see his sound generator in action.

Comments

  1. Rick says:

    At first glance, I thought the case was just a CD on top of a black box.

    I don’t think that bending the record to become a black box adds much over a normal black box decorated with stickers, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Perhaps the box looks better in person. In the photo, you can barely see the grooves.

  2. Aaron says:

    Uh, was this a case that really needed to be made? Who’s seriously down on people putting effort into making something look nifty at the same time it works well?

  3. Aaron says:

    That said, the case pictured in the post *definitely* needed to be made.

  4. haybales says:

    @Rick –
    You must need glasses.

  5. svofski says:

    Very cool enclosure!

  6. George says:

    Come to think of it, I bet you could shoehorn a pretty nice portable three-channel headphone amplifier into an 8-track shell…

    BRB, off to the thrift store. :)

  7. zool says:

    ok but he doesn’t really describe it too well on his site
    would be better if he went through the steps on how to do it
    only problems: there’s no back, always a hole in the middle and not too sturdy

  8. Mark says:

    I agree — the enclosure makes the project (or a bad one can ruin it). In fact my current project is stuck until I find something cool to re-purpose as a case for it.

  9. StacyD says:

    George – the 8-track Idea is awesome and would work.

    The LP melting technique is a simple one and there are a ton of instructions online. Please do not put a tube Amp in this or on this though!!!! Remember that Vinyl in records shatters rather than bends.
    That being said, old scratched up records are awesome Popcorn Bowls and record covers make for fun decor on any wall or under a tabletop. In fact. I ikea hacked their glass kitchen table set by inserting the cage underneath in reverse so it could store record covers under there and i would not have to look at ugly feet!

  10. Meinaart says:

    Really nice idea :). I like it :), I was thinking about trying to fit the Luna Mod into an Altoids tin but something like that has been done 100 times before :P.

  11. blue carbuncle says:

    WHEW!!! I saw the small photo and thought it was one of these snakeoil Acoustic Revival CD Demagnetizers:
    http://www.gcaudio.com/cgi-bin/store/showProduct.cgi?id=190 lol. At 450 a pop.

    Then I read the article and was thoroughly relieved and impressed to see your skills with vinyl :)
    Also thanks for hippin me to Luna Mod as I’m not a Make reader :) Gonna look into that this weekend!
    Thanks!

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