Getting plastic stuff made question...

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KamPutty
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Getting plastic stuff made question...

Post by KamPutty » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:49 pm

Hi all!

Question, I have some pic projects that need to move from a breadboard setup to "the real thing". I need to get some covers \ cases made that house my pic, battery etc. (plastic)

Does anyone know of a good starting point that tells me what I need to provide "them" to make it.

Thanks in advance!

~Kam (^8*

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:36 pm

The best route would be to find an off the shelf case and have that painted, silkscreened, drilled etc for your product.

What is the basic shape and size limitations: Simple box with lid, handheld with LCD readout, benchtop with slope front, instrument etc. Give us some guidance and we might come up with some recommendations.

If you want a custom plastic enclosure, you need a quote from a plastic injection molding company. Best to come in with a CAD file of what you want that they can use for the quote and as a starting place for their design. They probably will need to modify your ideal design to compensate for manufacturing limitations only they know about. The up front cost will be high for the making of the mold and the NRE associated with te CAD work. Your min order may also be in the hundreds. The case and PCB need to be designed simultaniously.

If you wanted a metal case, you start with a sheet metal fabricator and they can usually hook you up with a painter and silkscreener.

Yahoogle on Electronic Enclosure for some ideas.

KamPutty
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Post by KamPutty » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Thanks for the reply. I just used the "case" as an example. I wish I could take an off the shelf and rejigger it...

I need custom parts for a CAT5e/6 connector type o'thang
I need custom parts for a lighting system
I need custom parts for a caliper system

I will look at fabrication placed locally and see where that leads!

Thanks again.

~Kam (^8*

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:28 am

In that case look at this website to get a feel for contract manufacturing

http://www.jobshop.com/

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philba
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Post by philba » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:53 pm

I select a case before I do any layout/board design. The manufacturers often have drawings on line and usually have a PCB pattern with mounting holes. You then make sure you design your board to those dimensions. some of these boxes have keypands, battery holders and so on. I learned the hard way to do a validation check with the real box, though. :(

Off the shelf is way cheaper than custom and there are some very nice looking boxes out there. Usually less than $10.

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jwax
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Post by jwax » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:35 pm

Just curious- How many cases are you looking for? Are you limited to plastic, or is metal an option?

KamPutty
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Post by KamPutty » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:58 pm

I really do not need a case, that was just an example! I need housings made that are NOT like a case (eg. not a box), but a housing to hold pcb, power etc.

also, I need to get a housing made for a custom cat5e/6 end plugs.

These would not be one off's, but how many, that depends on the sales!

But you're right, I would like to get off the shelf parts, but that may not be doable for my stuff.

I did find a company in So. Cal that does these things (I got their name from the URL haklesup provided [http://www.jobshop.com/]). Lots of info there!

~Kam (^8*

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philba
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Post by philba » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:39 pm

there are an amazing number of ots cases. look at the pactec site: http://www.pactecenclosures.com/ they will do customization of their enclosures.

another one is serpac - http://www.serpac.com/

JPKNHTP
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Post by JPKNHTP » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:44 pm

-JPKNHTP

KamPutty
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Post by KamPutty » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:44 am

JPKNHTP wrote:Are you after custom plastic parts like what an R/C car or mouse uses? By that I mean you don't just need a box you want to design anything out of plastic and have it made? I don't know of any such places but you don't seem interested in project cases but custom plastics. -JPKNHTP
Correct, I don't need a box, but parts like a cat5e/6 end tabs etc.

Gorgon
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Post by Gorgon » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:35 pm

Hi,
I suppose this is out of question, but I've seen some info on vacuum formed plastic, that seems relative cheap. You may also make this yourself, using a vacuum cleaner and a forming table/ bag.

TOK ;)
Gorgon the Caretaker - Character in a childrens TV-show from 1968. ;)

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:36 pm

Not sure where you live but this trade show is making the rounds at lots of cities.

http://www.design2partshows.com/

They have a "Plastics - Low Volume" vendor category you might want to look at.

Hopefully you can find someone with a mold they can modify for you instead of making one from scratch. Setup costs can be sky high for plastic parts.

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