Making Your Own Laser Cut PSU

[Csaba] and his friend bought a 600W switching lab-style power supply unit off eBay a while ago, and after about a year of tangled wires and mess, finally decided to enclose it in a fancy box.

The PSU itself required some modification as it was just a controller and a power board — so they added a dedicated mains transformer, and a buffer capacitor. The housing is made out of 3mm plywood which they designed and laser cut specifically for the PSU — and it looks fantastic.

It includes a cooling fan, a small digital display and a whole bunch of controls for finely tuning your electronics power requirement — take a look at the demonstration video after the break.

Don’t have access to a laser cutter? Why not build a PSU enclosure out of a breadbox? No, seriously. Though we have to admit our all-time favorite power supply is still the AT-ATX Star Wars themed PSU.

26 thoughts on “Making Your Own Laser Cut PSU

      1. Of course I’m chilled out.

        Hard to get excited by a box.

        Oh, all right then.

        Far out man, it’s a box. A groovy box like we’ve never seen before. A box from another dimension (well, two before it was cut out), how neat daddy-o. I shall compose an ode and recite it when the moon is full.

        Box.

        Wood box.

        How much wood would a box box if a box would box wood box?

    1. This box may not make the world a better place, but it could still win the HaD Prize best product category; they could spend 6 months in the lab getting this box ready for market!

  1. RTFA = LOLZ.

    “Even owning the permission the publication of the content in a MODIFIED form is PROHIBITED!”

    Funny way to say open source. Must be one of those evil ‘da plans iz ourz!’ commie sites that Had-It’s-Day disapproves of.

    (Hell, it’s under an hour’s work in CAD. Less if you’ve a decent parts library)

      1. I own fours lasers, I make a lot of boxes like that.

        (I’ve got all the usual woodworking tools as well, but lasers are better for this stuff.)

        Here’s a boring example from a couple of years ago: http://www.dropbox.com/s/uhza84c08z0wx31/B1.JPG?dl=0, http://www.dropbox.com/s/ff79u3snlcjogla/B2.JPG?dl=0, https://www.dropbox.com/s/qfmcpue9smkj01s/B3.JPG?dl=0.

        Drawer inserts. I’ll submit it as a hack as well even though anyone with the slightest experience could do it themselves.

        I don’t seem to have any more box type photos online, mainly because they’re not very interesting. Plus I rarely take photos.

        To make this PSU case, download Inkscape and then head over to http://boxmaker.connectionlab.org/. That’s your carcase sorted.

        In Inskcape add the various holes (mostly simple circles or squares) and the text. Things like that fan hole are a bit of pain to draw, hit Google for a vector of that.

        Head over to your local friendly laser-equipped hackerspace, and hit ‘Print’.

        Done.

        Or cut it out manually; tablesaw, scrollsaw / jigsaw / fretsaw & drill. (Finger joints the hard bit there.)

        Yeah it’ll take a complete noob a few days, the second one will be a pushover.

        To counter, anyone who doesn’t realise how simple this really is doesn’t make anything.

        1. So no hacks and projects should be published here at all right? I am sure that anyone publishes anything here there can be someone who is more professional in that topic, and it means that the original post is useless.

          I also make projects professionally, but I don’t look down on the hobby projects. I can get ideas from everything. If it is not true for you, you should not browse the hacks. There are many things on the net that I don’t read, because that is boring for me. I suggest this for you.

          Er… The drawer inserts are good… maybe I will use the idea.

  2. It looks nice but I would recommend a metal box to keep the RF it generates out of your projects. It could be a plain metal box inside the pretty wood one or another option might be to just line the inside of the wood box with copper foil.

    1. Or to keep the RF in your workshop out of your PSU. I have a bench amplifier (audio) that picked up a rhythmic buzzing sound that turned out to be from a DECT cordless phone nearby. I lined the wooden case with foil, grounded it and all was well.

    1. They’re could be using it to power an Arduino.

      I’d say that counts as a hack. You won’t find a power supply for an Arduino just laying around anywhere, you know.

  3. The point is not that it is a complicated project. It is published to show that a very cheap and high power PSU kit is on the market that has many useful features for a bench power supply. Since it is only PCBs it is also shown that this is a very simple and cheap way to make it a mechanically and aesthetically acceptable housing.

    My transformer is about 5kg. I don’t have the possibility to work with sheet metal. I can not bend and cut it. With my tools that would be ugly.

    As Tony said it is a really simple design. For me it took only five minutes. But if someone is not such an absolute ace in CAD design, or has no Laser cutter machine in the garage (as it is expected from anyone posting here!) the work can last up to 2 hours…

    If the above is not true, and anyone is interested in the details, I can send the CAD files or the Laser cutter guys availability. Also the availability or the type of the PSU used.

    What you find on my site is free to download and to use for your own purposes. If you want to publish put a link on my site. Publishing in a modified way I feel like violates my artistic freedom. Make a picture for yourself if you want. That is your own. Don’t use my picture to advertise your design. I could point at commercial sites who does this…

    I don’t really worry about the noise. Don’t forget, that in the beginning it was a pile of “tangled wires and mess” and I had no problem with it. If you use special noise sensitive things you may have trouble with this PSU anyway. :-)

    RHMK is not GGF, but if WSPL, than get W’ilZ.

    1. HID of course ignored the PSU itself, and got all excited by a few bits of wood. Maybe plywood is a new concept to them.

      …there’s a joke in there (aside from the childish HID = Had-It’s-Day).

        1. Yeah I have.

          I got a lame ‘hack’ (even the creator stated it’s not really that bit a deal) attract more comments than it really should have.

          More comments = more advert eyeballs = meet KPI = more $. You don’t think Had-It’s-Day is funded by MooltiPass sales, do you?

  4. Nice tutorial on how to burn down your house while saving a few dollars for a real PSU or some aluminium for a real case. Maybe there’s a reason why all comercial high power PSUs use a metal case

    1. 80’s TV never had 600W high current cables inside. Ever repaired a HP 626x/627x PSU where the crowbar circuit malfunctioned and the load dump resistor got toasted? I’m quite happy that HP PSUs are in metal boxes, because if this happens in a wooden box, the chances of it catching fire are quite high. Different strokes for different folks, but I value my house and equipment too much to risk burning it down using a crappy PSU box or other unsafe cases, because these contain the damage if something goes wrong inside

      1. The 600W is not inside. The efficiency is about 80%, and mine works up to 300W, so about 60W is the absolute maximum inside. But I would compare these things based on the current and voltage. I have mains voltage, the TV had 20kV. I have 10A, the TV I suppose had about 1-5A. Both are protected with a fuse for fatal errors. I don’t find it so dangerous.

        Additionally… my house is built of stone. :-)

  5. Carpentry seems to be a weak skill now days. Of course in the age of particle, pressboard, and plastics it’s not taught much. Take those turn of the last century tech devices in walnut and oak with base plinths and molded edges. Pure elegance.
    The ugly is beautiful is has replaced design. Interlocked crenelated burnt edges showing plywood is ugly.
    I just discovered that a modern plastic POS floor vac I was using had a problem. Having to bend over to pick up the cord off of the floor every time I had to back up. The cord must come out of the top of the handle not the bottom. The switch is on the bottom not on the handle and then there is the compulsive obsessive must, the reeling cord. It comes out all coiled up instead of laying flat and being easy to move about and staying put. Worse yet it’s brake button don’t work, the cord creeps back in whilst in use. I plugged something into the hole to stop the creep. Now it’s time for duck tape and living with 3 feet less of the cord length.
    Back to living on Earth the ultimate hack that HaD is all over. Wood is great, it grows on trees in most places on Earth worth living on. Cattle and goats have destroyed more than Man. It can be formed in to so many things with very low tech.

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