NEW PROTOTYPE: Sick of Beige basic case v1

Basic case version 1 is a laser cut acrylic case that demonstrates Sick of Beige standard PCB sizes. A handy Eagle template library gives your board the right case dimensions with no hassle.

Version 1 of the basic case is simple, cheap, easy to assemble, and fits our Sick of Beige standard PCB sizes.

The PCB is sandwiched between two laser cut acrylic sheets, and the assembly is held together with screws and standoffs. Sheets extrude 2mm on each side of the PCB they enclose so there’s plenty of reinforcement for the screw holes.

The bottom sheet is usually generic, while the top sheet can be custom cut to fit a specific project.

Seeed has the DP6037 Bus Pirate v3.6 case on sale, as well as the DP6037 blank case for only $3. We hope to have Sick of Beige cases for all our projects soon.

More about the SoB basic case v1 below.

PCB templates
PCB templates make it super easy to fit your project to a case. Drop a Sick of Beige PCB template on an Eagle schematic and you get an optimized board in the right shape and size to fit the basic case. Effortless case fits that work the first time.

Grab a library with the template for Cadsoft Eagle below, other formats coming soon.

Assembly

See a full size assembly image.

The case is a sandwich with a tasty circuit board in the middle. This is how to assemble the basic Sick of Beige case v1, custom project cases might be slightly different:

  1. Screw the longer 12mm bolts and the smaller 5mm standoffs to the bottom acrylic sheet through the four corner holes
  2. Place the PCB on the exposed bottom screw
  3. Screw the longer 6mm standoff to the remaining bit of screw
  4. Put the top plate on the standoffs and screw the shorter 6mm bolts through the holes in the four corners and into the 6mm standoffs

Partlist

Laser cut acrylic sheets

SoB v1 sheets were knocked up in the readily-accessible Google SketchUp, so anyone can customize a case with minimal effort.

Prototypes are laser cut from acrylic by  Seeed Studio’s laser cutting service. They accept SVG files, which we summonsed from SketchUp with SVG plugin for SketchUp.

Seeed’s laser cutting is way more affordable than anything we’ve used in the past. It would have cost 100s to develop using our former favorite Pololu, but we got 5 pieces of each design for only $15 at Seeed.

Downloads
SketchUp models and the SVG files download:

Get one
Latest available Sick of Beige cases are listed here.

Join the Conversation

7 Comments

  1. how about instead of aluminium stand off-s you use a 2-5mm layer of acrylic going around the whole board? it would solve the problem of stuff entering your project from the sides and one can chose to use only the 2-3mm “RING” on the bottom to protect garbage from shorting stuff and standoffs on top (for side connectors, jumpers, pinheaders…) or to use 2-3mm bottom and 5mm top “RING” to fully cover the project… Cutting the top ring with a simple saw is easy for anyone to create cuttoffs for the usb or similar connectors ..

      1. It’s not mine invention, those boxes are very common for those who often use laser cutter (just like the T slots are very common for screws but they are really nasty little buggers as acrylic cracks too easy).

        One hint btw, ppl in electronics, especially in USA use a lot of IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to clean stuff. Cleaning acrylic with IPA will very fast lead acrylic to develop cracks and look very ugly. Use mild glass cleaning liquid (find those spray on stuff for cleaning lcd screen) and clean it, do not use IPA. Other hint, many types of lock-tight will “rotten” the acrylic. A simple drop is enough to make a whole part become weak and to break apart.. so if you wanna glue acrylic make sure you test it on a part you are willing to throw away. If you wanna glue acrylic use real acrylic cement / liquid acrylic. The stuff actually does chemical welding so the two pieces will become one.

      2. Reply to ARHI’s comment isopropanol causing cracks in acrylic (PMMA)- so true. Standard solvent for acrylic is chloroform (trichloromethane) which is a clear and fairly labile solvent like acetone but with a different odour. Straight chloroform will wick into joint of two layers of acrylic glueing them but the join area will be cloudy. You can dissolve thin shavings and acrylic ‘sawdust’ in chloroform to create a slurry or gel type glue. There is another clear gel type glue that can be used to gap-fill and is UV cured, very expensive. Used for fixing cracked aircraft canopies, don’t ask how I know. Once the crack is filled you can polish with successively finer grits to get optically clear result.

  2. There are a couple alternative schemes discussed in the SoB forum thread if you want an enclosure with sides.

    One scheme proposed by tayken uses slots in the top / bottom windows and tabs in the side windows.
    Metal hardware or SchemeG holds the top / windows together trapping the sides in position.

    Another proposed scheme uses 3D printed sides that hold transparent top / bottom windows in position. The 3D printed sides are secured with neodymium magnets. This scheme is less than 1/2 the cost of the 3D printed cases we’ve discussed before.

    1. Do you talk about those with side panels and T slots? I have very bad experience with T slots and Chinese acrylic, also even without T slots and using only pressure to keep side panels in place it is terribly hard to make a proper opening in a panel while it’s dead easy to cut open a slot in a ring, not to mention – ring should be cheaper.

      Printed stuff are always cool but if I’m gonna print a box, I’ll design a custom one each time, not a big issue… with all the buttons, openings etc etc .. ’cause there’s no price reduction with volume, making “universal” box does not make sense apart from having a “universal template” in some sw everyone use, unfortunately there is no standard for 3d templates like there is for other stuff nor a multiplatform 3d tool everyone assume is a standard (and STL is not really a template format)

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