Energy & Sustainability
Thinify Your Project Enclosure Using Layers of PCB

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Enclosure design can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, it is a task that nearly every project will require. A forum user at the EEVblog has taken a very elegant approach to his enclosure design by constructing the entire thing from PCB. One possible benefit from this design is that getting PCB milled might be much cheaper for short runs than tooling up for injection molding. Of course, at a certain quantity those scales would tip and constructing every unit from PCB would become inefficient. Surely that is a problem he would hope to have!

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the case is made on that 2.5mm Aluminium metal core PCB for the power components then there are two spacers or 1.6mm FR4 followed by the main board with all the smaller parts then another two FR4 1.6mm spacers and on top the front PCB with the capacitive buttons and cut out for the LCD.

In case you’re curious just what exactly this device is, it is a battery management system for solar panels. There is currently a kickstarter happening or this project.

 

If you want more details on his process, you can follow the forum thread at the EEVblog.

 

5 thoughts on “Thinify Your Project Enclosure Using Layers of PCB

  1. I should point out to anyone planning to mill, saw, or abrade FR-4 epoxy-glass material, that the dust from these operations is not healthy to breathe, since it contains small glass fibers. I would be worried about any exposure and long term lung hazards.

    It also tends to get stuck in your skin like fiberglass insulation. It is, in general, a nasty material to work with at home. Best to work with it in a facility with excellent dust collection systems.

    And it’s tough on tools, too.

    1. Other than wood, I’m not comfortable breathing anything milled or sawed. I mean anything synthetic should ultimately be combined with a respirator or facemask at least. But do I like the smell of sawed wood.

      1. If you do much woodworking at all, best to not breathe that, either. Dust from some wood species is actually toxic and/or an irritant, and dust from the rest is particles you really don’t want in your lungs.

        While it’s not quite as good as a full-on mask or (better) respirator, I quite like the Dust Bee Gone mask (http://www.rockler.com/dust-bee-gone-mask). It’s comfortable and washable. As they say, the safety equipment you actually use/wear is better than the one sitting in the cabinet…

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at caleb@make.co

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