We were exposed in class to a number of ways to make an enclosure. From buying something from the Container Store and modifying it to laser cutting panels and using stand-offs with them. I decided I’d use corner brackets, shown here.


Corner bracket.


I began by designing a box to hold a long breadboard for a project for another class. Midway into the design I changed my mind to use a different set of Arduino and breadboard inside the box.

My box was designed to hold three arcade-style buttons at the top, and holes for wires to come out the back.


Wires coming out of acrylic box.


Each panel has carefully placed screw holes for fastening the box together.

The hole measurement is the diameter of the screw, in millimeters, plus a little room for slack so the screw doesn’t come in too tight. The holes must each be a specified distance from the edge of the material, including room for any outer walls, plus the space on the brackets before the screw holes. 

I realized in mid design that I should also not place the edge of the hole on the panels at exactly the distances I measured. I must also include a little wiggle room between the edge of the panel and the edge of the screw hole to avoid things being too tight, and not fitting. I moved every screw hole towards the edge of the material both vertically and horizontally by half of the slack distance in the screw hole.

I feel I should give an example here for this technique to be fully understood. Here is an example not using my actual numbers.

Suppose a screw is 4 mm. in diameter, and I give it 1 mm. extra space for wiggle room. In this case, I’d move the screw hole towards the edge of the material by .5 mm. which is half of the wiggle room.

In the end, when I had acquired all of the materials and laser cut everything, the box fit together satisfyingly.


View of acrylic box, includes breadboard and buttons.bb

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