Customizing Sick of Beige cases for laser cutting

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==Overview==
==Overview==
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[[Image:SoB_LC_OverviewTUT.jpg]]
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[[Image:Sob-cases-v1.jpg|600px]]
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Dangerous Prototypes are moving to new [http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Sick_of_Beige_standard_PCB_sizes_v1.0 standard sized PCBs] for which we have designed [http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Sick_of_Beige Sick of Beige cases]. These cases are simple laser cut acrylic sheets that are connected with bolts and standoffs.
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Laser cut acrylic cases are super popular because they look cool, they're easy to customize, and cheap to make. This tutorial shows how customize our simple [http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Sick_of_Beige Sick of Beige case design] to fit your own project. If you start with our [http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Sick_of_Beige_standard_PCB_sizes_v1.0 standard PCB templates] you can get your project into a case with minimal hassle.
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In this tutorial we will cover how you can customize our [http://dangerous-prototypes-open-hardware.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Sick_of_Beige/SU%20Templates/ Sick of Beige case files] for your own projects
+
Not everyone has a laser cutter, but there's cheap online services and your local hackerspace might have one. We'll show you what we do to order laser cut acrylic from [http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/laser-cutting-service-p-1009.html?cPath=185 Seeed Studio].
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==Download and install the SVG export plugin==
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==Before you start==
 +
You'll need to have Google SketchUp installed. See our [[Build 3D models from Eagle files|introduction to SketchUp]].
-
Download and unzip the export [http://code.google.com/p/sketchup-svg-outline-plugin/wiki/InstallPlugin SVG plugin for SketchUp] in the SketchUp plugins directory.
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===Download and install the SVG export plugin===
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==Download the Sick of Beige template==
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We'll use Seeed Studio's laser cutting service, they take SVG formatted files. Grab the [http://code.google.com/p/sketchup-svg-outline-plugin/wiki/InstallPlugin SVG plugin for SketchUp] to save in this format. Put it in the SketchUp plugins directory.
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Download the [http://dangerous-prototypes-open-hardware.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Sick_of_Beige/SU%20Templates/ Sick of Beige SketchUp template] that corespondes to the standard size board you want to design a case for.
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===Download the case template===
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==Open your project and the template==
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[http://dangerous-prototypes-open-hardware.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Sick_of_Beige/SU%20Templates/ Download the Sick of Beige simple case template SketchUp project] that fits the standard size PCB you used.
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Open the PCB design file of your project, and the SketchUp template design. This tutorial uses Cadsoft Eagle for the PCB design, as it's the tool we use for our PCBs, and we have standard size PCB library for it.
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Didn't use a [http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Sick_of_Beige_standard_PCB_sizes_v1.0 standard PCB template] for your project? It's gonna be a little more work, but you can still follow along.
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==Match the PCB coordinate center on the template coordinate center==
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==Position the PCB footprint at Eagle coordinate center==
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_coorC.jpg|600px]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_coorC.jpg|600px]]
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Our templates are positioned so the bottom-right corner of where the PCB is positioned inside the case (standard size PCB relative center in Eagle) is at the SU coordinate center. So if in your PCB design files the standard size PCB's relative coordinate center is at the Eagle coordinate center coordinate in Eagle will mirror in SketchUp.
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Open the PCB file in Eagle, and the case template in SketchUp .
 +
 
 +
The origin marker of the standard size PCB footprint in Eagle should be positioned at the Eagle coordinate center. Origin markers are something every Eagle footprint has, it is identifiable as a white + marker.
 +
 
 +
We positioned our SketchUp Template so the coordinate centers in Eagle and SketchUp match. Any location on the board relative to the Eagle coordinate center is should match the template in SkectchUp. The intersection of Red, Green, and Blue guidelines shows the corresponding SketchUp center point.
==Adding hole shapes for extruding parts==
==Adding hole shapes for extruding parts==
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===Find the relative center of the component in your PCB design file===
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===Find the part's origin point location relative to the coordinate center===
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_grid.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_grid.jpg]]
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First change the grid in Eagle to millimeters, in the 'View/Grid' menu option.
+
Next we find the origins of parts that need cuts in the acrylic. Keep in mind that the origin coordinates in Eagle are relative to Eagle's coordinate center.
 +
 
 +
First change the grid in Eagle to millimeters, found in the 'View/Grid' menu.
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_relcc.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_relcc.jpg]]
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Next right click on the component and select 'properties'. The 'Position' attribute is the coordinate center of the component relative to the Eagle's coordinate center, which should be the same for the SU. The left panel is the X-axis, while the right is the Y-axis.
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Right click on the component and select 'properties':
 +
*The 'Position' attribute is the origin's location. We will use these values to design the cuts in SketchUp
 +
*The left panel is the X-axis, while the right is the Y-axis
===Using guide lines in SketchUp===
===Using guide lines in SketchUp===
-
 
-
Once you have the location of the component draw guide lines in SU.
 
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guidce21.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guidce21.jpg]]
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For X-axis click on the [http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=2458211&parent=2458210&ctx=topic 'Tape Measure tool'], then click on the any point on the 'Green' coordinate line and drag the guideline to any point on the template. now left click on that point.
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Once you have the location of the component draw guide lines in SketchUp.
 +
 
 +
#For X-axis click on the [http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=2458211&parent=2458210&ctx=topic 'Tape Measure tool']
 +
#Click on any point on the 'Green' coordinate line
 +
#Drag the guideline to any point on the template and left click on that point
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guide2.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guide2.jpg]]
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Right after you click on that point, type in the numbers of the X coordinate. For example, if the location is 51.5mm from the coordinate center in the X axis, just type in '51.5' and hit 'Enter'. The guideline will be positioned at exactly 51.5mm.
+
Now we'll precisely position the guideline to match the X-coordinate in Eagle using the keyboard input method.
 +
 
 +
#Right after you click on the point, type in the numbers of the X coordinate
 +
#For example, if the location is 51.5mm from the coordinate center in the X axis, just type in '51.5' and hit 'Enter'
 +
#The guideline will be positioned at exactly 51.5mm
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guide3.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_guide3.jpg]]
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Repeat the above for the Y-axis only now using a point on the 'RED' axis line as the starting point. Now you have guidelines pinpointing the exact location of the components center on the template.
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Once you're done with the X-axis guideline it's time to draw the Y-axis guideline.
 +
 
 +
#Use a point on the 'RED' axis line as the starting point and then enter the Y axis value
 +
#Now you have guidelines pinpointing the exact location of the components center on the template
===Draw the hole shape for the part===
===Draw the hole shape for the part===
Line 56: Line 74:
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_hole.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_hole.jpg]]
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Once you have the coordinate center point location on your template, simply draw the outline of the hole you want to cut out, using the component's datasheet, and additional guidelines. Leave 0.5-1m of clearance for manufacturing defects.
+
Once you have the part's origin location on your template, simply draw the outline of the hole you want to cut out.
 +
 
 +
Draw additional guidelines as needed, and refer to the component's datasheet for precise dimensions. Be sure to leave 0.5-1m of clearance for manufacturing defects.
===Repeat for all extruding parts===
===Repeat for all extruding parts===
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Repeat the above for all the holes you'd like to cut out on your case. Keep in mind that the Guidelines are your friend, and pretty much any shape can be made with their help. They are really easy to use, and after a couple of minutes you'll get the hang of them. Here is a [http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=2458211&parent=2458210&ctx=topic manual to the 'Tape Measure tool'].
+
Repeat the above for all the holes you'd like to cut out on your case. We use the 'Tape Measure tool' (guidelines) often. It simplifies the sketching, and fully control the location and dimension of the line.
 +
 
 +
The Tape Measure tool is really easy to use, and after a couple of minutes you'll be a pro. Here is a [http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=2458211&parent=2458210&ctx=topic manual for the 'Tape Measure tool'] if you need some more help.
==Export the shape to the SVG file==
==Export the shape to the SVG file==
Line 66: Line 88:
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_expSVG1.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_expSVG1.jpg]]
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Simply double click on the template. All the lines on the template, and the face surface should be highlighted. Now right click on any highlighted area, and select 'Export to SVG file'.
+
Now that our case design is done, we'll export the files for the laser cutting service.
 +
 
 +
#Double click on the template. All lines and the face surface should be highlighted
 +
#Right click on any highlighted area, and select 'Export to SVG file'
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_expSVG3.jpg]]
[[Image:SoB_LC_TUT_expSVG3.jpg]]
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The Export Plugin menu will open up. Fill it in as shown above, with the exception of the Output file pane, where you should enter the filename you want it to export to.
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#The Export Plugin menu will open up
 +
#Fill it in as shown above
 +
#Replace the output file name with the one you want it to export to
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Once you've set all the options up, simply click 'Ok'. The plugin will let you know the file has been exported and you are finished.
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Once everything is setup click 'Ok'. The plugin will let you know the file has been exported.
==Send for Laser Cutting at Seeed==
==Send for Laser Cutting at Seeed==
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The SVG files are used as a standard for laser cutting, so any laser cutting service should work with them without problems. Here we will describe how we send our designs to [http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/laser-cutting-service-p-1009.html?cPath=185 Seeed's cheap Laser cutting service]. You can find frther instuctions at Seeed's laser cutting service page.
+
[[Image:Sob-cases-v1.jpg|600px]]
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*Select the quantity, material, and the dimension options, based on your project.
+
There's several online laser cutting services. Some have an online interface for ordering, others need time to prepare a quote.
-
*For job difficulty, you need to estimate the overall length of the laser cutting lines. These include the template lines, as well as the hole lines. You can get specific parameters from SketchUp by double clicking on the model, and then holding down shift, and clicking once over the highlighted area to deselect it, while keeping all the lines selected. Now right-click on any highlighted line and select 'Entity info'. Under 'Length' is the over all laser cutting line. Of it's below 600mm your job difficulty is Easy, if it's between 600mm and 1800mm it's Normal, and anything over 1800mm is Hard.
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We send our designs to [http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/laser-cutting-service-p-1009.html?cPath=185 Seeed Studio's cheap Laser cutting service]. It starts at $7 total for 5 copies of a design. Seeed's low-cost international shipping saves us $50 or more over an order with our previous favorite supplier.
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*Once you selected all the options as per your specifications, buy the service. Once you do, you will receive a order number. Now compress your SVG file into an archive called L<order number>.rar, L123456.rar, for an order number 123456 for example.
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You can find further instructions at Seeed's laser cutting service page, but this is roughly what's involved:
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*Now simply send an email to Laser(at)seeedstudio.com with the file attached.
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Select the quantity, material, and the dimension options that suit your project.
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Example mail:
+
-
Subject: Files for order# 123456
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For job difficulty, you need to estimate the overall length of the laser cutting lines. These include the template lines, as well as the hole lines. You can get specific parameters from SketchUp:
 +
#Double click on the model
 +
#Hold shift and click once over the highlighted area to deselect it, while keeping all the lines selected
 +
#Right-click on any highlighted line and select 'Entity info'
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Text:
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Under 'Length' is the over all laser cutting length.
 +
*Below 600mm is Easy
 +
*600mm to 1800mm is Normal
 +
*over 1800mm is Hard
-
Hi,
+
Once you buy the cuts you will receive a order number. Compress your SVG file into an archive called L<order number>.rar (e.g. L123456.rar) and email it to Seeed.
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Please find attached files for order# 123456
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Tip: If you're on a budget or making your first prototype, just send the top custom panel and use one of the extras for the bottom too.
==Feel free to ask for help==
==Feel free to ask for help==
-
If you get stuck on something feel free to ask us [http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/ via the forum], or the [http://dangerousprototypes.com/contact contact form]. Well be happy to help in any way we can.
+
Stuck on something? Ask us [http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/ in the forum].
==Share your designs==
==Share your designs==
-
Our PCB files, and Laser cutting templates are open source and licensed under CC-0, meaning they are free for you to use in any way you like including commercial projects.
+
Case templates are open source and licensed under Creative Commons 0. They are free to use in any way you like, including commercial projects.
 +
 
 +
If you make something new please share your designs with us [http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum in the forum].
 +
 
-
If you feel like it share your designs with us, [http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum in the forum], or the [http://dangerousprototypes.com/contact contact form]. It will be greatly appreciated, and it will help us design even better cases, with your consent.
+
[[Category: Tutorials]]
 +
[[Category:3D Rendering]]

Latest revision as of 09:47, 4 October 2012

Contents

Overview

Sob-cases-v1.jpg

Laser cut acrylic cases are super popular because they look cool, they're easy to customize, and cheap to make. This tutorial shows how customize our simple Sick of Beige case design to fit your own project. If you start with our standard PCB templates you can get your project into a case with minimal hassle.

Not everyone has a laser cutter, but there's cheap online services and your local hackerspace might have one. We'll show you what we do to order laser cut acrylic from Seeed Studio.

Before you start

You'll need to have Google SketchUp installed. See our introduction to SketchUp.

Download and install the SVG export plugin

We'll use Seeed Studio's laser cutting service, they take SVG formatted files. Grab the SVG plugin for SketchUp to save in this format. Put it in the SketchUp plugins directory.

Download the case template

Download the Sick of Beige simple case template SketchUp project that fits the standard size PCB you used.

Didn't use a standard PCB template for your project? It's gonna be a little more work, but you can still follow along.

Position the PCB footprint at Eagle coordinate center

SoB LC TUT coorC.jpg

Open the PCB file in Eagle, and the case template in SketchUp .

The origin marker of the standard size PCB footprint in Eagle should be positioned at the Eagle coordinate center. Origin markers are something every Eagle footprint has, it is identifiable as a white + marker.

We positioned our SketchUp Template so the coordinate centers in Eagle and SketchUp match. Any location on the board relative to the Eagle coordinate center is should match the template in SkectchUp. The intersection of Red, Green, and Blue guidelines shows the corresponding SketchUp center point.

Adding hole shapes for extruding parts

Find the part's origin point location relative to the coordinate center

SoB LC TUT grid.jpg

Next we find the origins of parts that need cuts in the acrylic. Keep in mind that the origin coordinates in Eagle are relative to Eagle's coordinate center.

First change the grid in Eagle to millimeters, found in the 'View/Grid' menu.

SoB LC TUT relcc.jpg

Right click on the component and select 'properties':

  • The 'Position' attribute is the origin's location. We will use these values to design the cuts in SketchUp
  • The left panel is the X-axis, while the right is the Y-axis

Using guide lines in SketchUp

SoB LC TUT guidce21.jpg

Once you have the location of the component draw guide lines in SketchUp.

  1. For X-axis click on the 'Tape Measure tool'
  2. Click on any point on the 'Green' coordinate line
  3. Drag the guideline to any point on the template and left click on that point

SoB LC TUT guide2.jpg

Now we'll precisely position the guideline to match the X-coordinate in Eagle using the keyboard input method.

  1. Right after you click on the point, type in the numbers of the X coordinate
  2. For example, if the location is 51.5mm from the coordinate center in the X axis, just type in '51.5' and hit 'Enter'
  3. The guideline will be positioned at exactly 51.5mm

SoB LC TUT guide3.jpg

Once you're done with the X-axis guideline it's time to draw the Y-axis guideline.

  1. Use a point on the 'RED' axis line as the starting point and then enter the Y axis value
  2. Now you have guidelines pinpointing the exact location of the components center on the template

Draw the hole shape for the part

SoB LC TUT hole.jpg

Once you have the part's origin location on your template, simply draw the outline of the hole you want to cut out.

Draw additional guidelines as needed, and refer to the component's datasheet for precise dimensions. Be sure to leave 0.5-1m of clearance for manufacturing defects.

Repeat for all extruding parts

Repeat the above for all the holes you'd like to cut out on your case. We use the 'Tape Measure tool' (guidelines) often. It simplifies the sketching, and fully control the location and dimension of the line.

The Tape Measure tool is really easy to use, and after a couple of minutes you'll be a pro. Here is a manual for the 'Tape Measure tool' if you need some more help.

Export the shape to the SVG file

SoB LC TUT expSVG1.jpg

Now that our case design is done, we'll export the files for the laser cutting service.

  1. Double click on the template. All lines and the face surface should be highlighted
  2. Right click on any highlighted area, and select 'Export to SVG file'

SoB LC TUT expSVG3.jpg

  1. The Export Plugin menu will open up
  2. Fill it in as shown above
  3. Replace the output file name with the one you want it to export to

Once everything is setup click 'Ok'. The plugin will let you know the file has been exported.

Send for Laser Cutting at Seeed

Sob-cases-v1.jpg

There's several online laser cutting services. Some have an online interface for ordering, others need time to prepare a quote.

We send our designs to Seeed Studio's cheap Laser cutting service. It starts at $7 total for 5 copies of a design. Seeed's low-cost international shipping saves us $50 or more over an order with our previous favorite supplier.

You can find further instructions at Seeed's laser cutting service page, but this is roughly what's involved:

Select the quantity, material, and the dimension options that suit your project.

For job difficulty, you need to estimate the overall length of the laser cutting lines. These include the template lines, as well as the hole lines. You can get specific parameters from SketchUp:

  1. Double click on the model
  2. Hold shift and click once over the highlighted area to deselect it, while keeping all the lines selected
  3. Right-click on any highlighted line and select 'Entity info'

Under 'Length' is the over all laser cutting length.

  • Below 600mm is Easy
  • 600mm to 1800mm is Normal
  • over 1800mm is Hard

Once you buy the cuts you will receive a order number. Compress your SVG file into an archive called L<order number>.rar (e.g. L123456.rar) and email it to Seeed.

Tip: If you're on a budget or making your first prototype, just send the top custom panel and use one of the extras for the bottom too.

Feel free to ask for help

Stuck on something? Ask us in the forum.

Share your designs

Case templates are open source and licensed under Creative Commons 0. They are free to use in any way you like, including commercial projects.

If you make something new please share your designs with us in the forum.