Customize These 3D Printed Cases

Building something, of course, requires your electronics skills. But packaging it is often an exercise in mechanics. You can buy off the shelf, of course, but sometimes it is hard to find just the right enclosure. You probably have a 3D printer, too, but sometimes 3D printing an entire case can be time consuming and isn’t always completely attractive. Enter [Johannes-Bosch] and Fusion 360. These 3D printed frames assemble into boxes and are easy to customize. The panels are aluminum, although we imagine you could substitute wood, acrylic, or even a 3D printed sheet of plastic, if you wanted to.

The video below shows some examples. If your German isn’t up to snuff, ask YouTube to automatically translate the subtitles and you’ll get the idea.

The design has multiple parameters so you can set not just the basic dimensions but other settings that customize how the box assembles including the thickness of the panels and a holder for a circuit board.

Everything is symmetrical, so you print two top and two bottom parts. All four parts go together with the panels. Oh, and don’t forget to put what you want inside, too.

If you use Fusion 360, or you’d like to, this is worth checking out. If you are more interested in OpenSCAD, we saw a similar library for that. If you want some other ideas on enclosures, we have some ideas.

27 thoughts on “Customize These 3D Printed Cases

    1. the battlecry of someone who has never made anything of value…

      industry runs on fusion360 and other “evil” for profit programs… you can keep obsessing over the “freedom” of software or you can put on your big boy pants, make things, and drive actual progress in the world

      1. Designed the odd part in FreeCAD and printed it, where is your problem?

        Maybe the industry runs on Autodesks crap right now, i learned Inventor back in school, but if you have a mindset that forbids unlicensed copies for anything but evaluation and that gives FOSS the preference, especially if the “industry leaders” ignore your OS of choice anyway, you learn the FOSS tools.

        I never used Photoshop, went from my old 90s copy of CorelDRAW to GIMP.
        I have sworn off Eagle long ago, KiCAD works like a charm.
        And before i start (API-)emulating Windows for Inventor i got my three letters up and learned FreeCAD.

        The idea was always if i ever need to use any tool professionally i don’t want to be forced to fork over money because i learned the trade on a pirated copy of something. Because thats one way how they get you, by looking the other way when you use a copy for your private project and getting you to get used to $commercialProgramm. Not with me.

        1. Oh wow, aren’t you smart and edgy for sticking it to the man like that.
          In the meantime, I’ll stick to using much better and more intuitive software, even if I have to pay a few quid to use it. Or for free, in the case of Fusion 360. Yes, it is still available for free, however you want to swing it. Free with some minor limitations but entirely useable for the average hobbyist, at least for now.

          1. If you trained using fusion360, then it will be more “intuitive.” If you trained using freecad, that will be more intuitive. If you have used a few 3D CAD packages you will have seen that the workflow of each one is _very_ different. Ditto for photoshop vs GIMP. they have differemt workflows but it’s hard to say which is “better” or more intuitive. An expert on either package will be able to do a great job in both. This is Hackaday, where we critique (in a constructuve way) the projects of others, suggest features, or in this case, advocate for doing the job with open-source software. Suggesting the use of free software on a site like this is hardly “edgy.” He was saying you had to write your own CAD package in assembler or anything.

          2. @Stu
            >at least for now.

            That’s the point. The first shot is for free but the rest will cost you. But with FOSS the code is everyones, if the original author tries something stupid, like Audacity did, folks will gladly fork.
            Or if the company who bought the rights to a project is utter garbage, there is a reason for MariaDB’s and LibreOffice’s existence.


            >Suggesting the use of free software on a site like this is hardly “edgy.”
            This. There is nothing more democratic than FOSS, and calling that edgy is a very strange move indeed.

    2. “Do the same in FREE OpenSCAD and I’ll be interested.”

      I think both sides have a point here.

      When someone makes and shared something for free there isn’t much right to complain. You didn’t pay them to make it. They can use whatever they want. They didn’t have to share it with you at all. And it does make the whole community a little richer. Even if they used some million-dollar piece of software that only runs on one particular make and model computer it’s a benefit (even if it’s a small one) with no loss.

      OTOH, the fact that we see so much in the maker community being made on proprietary platforms like Fusion 360 is a valid concern. Think of how much would be lost if Autodesk decided to eliminate the free edition and up the price beyond what most hobbyists can pay. It’s not like we have never seen such a thing happen before!

      So encouraging makers and hackers to use something more open IS a good thing. Even if whining about the free gifts others have shared is not.

      And yes, I do use OpenSCAD and I do share my designs on the internet (once they are ready).

  1. This has been done on every software around. I did it in FreeCAD. Andreis Spiess did it in Fusion and offered a github for others to share version in their favorite software, his is there, an OpenSCAD version, and my early versions for FreeCAD. But in the end I can buy a bag full of ready made boxes online for really cheap and have them waiting on the shelf. Then for most projects use a standard pcb shape that fits them. It is so much faster than waiting for the 3D printer to screw the print 2 layers from the top. Sometimes the boxes arrive in the mail before the print is done. Of course, for an odd shape this doesn’t apply, but probably the parametric box won’t work either.

  2. Oh wow… Another 3D printed project that poorly recreates something we already have. And at only 10x the cost/time/waste…hooray…

    I’m SO glad that the hacker spaces I’m a part of have rules specifically against this.

    If you tie up a printer for 5 hours instead of just walking over to drawer #6 and taking out a project box, you lose your printer privileges, and you get a penalty to your queue priority after you do get them back. (With decay over time. It’s about learning, and stopping you from wasting other people’s time/material. Not punishment.)

    Ever seen some jerk use a whole jug of optical grade clear resin to make flat, decorative windows for a model?


    1. Where do you buy your project boxes? It’s been a while for me but I remember all but the smallest and most basic ones being priced considerably higher than is reasonable for a simple container. I used to save tins and other packages things came in to use as project boxes but that just made me a horder and every project still ended up being a compromise.

      And what’s wrong with a printer being tied up for 5 hours? It’s HACK a day, not industrial-factory a day. I’m sure the majority of us are not using our printers 24/7 anyway!

    2. > If you tie up a printer for 5 hours instead of just walking over to drawer #6 and taking out a project box

      Cool. Just make sure you never need any sort of enclosure that isn’t a standard project box size. If you need something smaller or of specific dimensions you better cancel the whole project because Ian will get mad at you.

      > stopping you from wasting other people’s time/material

      Your project isn’t wasting other people’s time or material, just your own.

      > Ever seen some jerk use a whole jug of optical grade clear resin to make flat, decorative windows for a model?

      Is there a shortage of clear resin I’m not aware of, or do you just feel entitled to judge people on what materials they use for their projects? It’s not like their use is taking anything away from you.

      Let people live their lives. They might have specific requirements you’re unaware of, or maybe they just have preferences in how they do things. How would you like it if someone sat around complaining about which tools and resources you used?

  3. So this gentleman creates the file, show how he uses it, uploads to thingiverse, makes a video, ….
    and people on here take the time to criticize unbelievable really.
    I thank the person for taking the time to show how he did it.

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