Seeking Injection Molded Enclosure

The company for which I work is in need of a gateway to our BLE devices, and we’re looking at the Boron. Essentially all we need is an enclosure that holds the Boron, antenna, small LiPo battery, and exposes the LED and buttons, with a hole for the MicroUSB plug. We’d prefer to use an existing enclosure that’s white-labeled if possible rather than devote resources to designing and creating an injection mold for this product. Does anyone have an enclosure for a product already? As an alternative, we’ve used Polycase in the past for other customized enclosure in low volumes. Is there an existing enclosure that has worked well for others?

Would a 3D printed case be OK? There are various designs on the Adafruit site and since the Boron uses the feather format it will work. https://learn.adafruit.com/3d-printed-case-for-adafruit-feather?view=all#overview

Hi @bobbaddeley -

As Injection moulding in South Africa comes with numerous challenges, I reverted to Plex Glass (Acrylic). I design he cases in 5mm layers to keep the costs down and speed up production time. You can see some om there enclosures I have done in these two projects.

Maybe you can do something similar? Hope this helps.

Regards
Friedl.

Thanks, both. I’m looking for something that will work in quantities of thousands for a market that is so uncomfortable with technology that they need a gateway because they don’t have their own smartphones.

Hi @bobbaddeley -

Sounds like IM is definitely what you need yes. I have not really come across such custom enclosure “open files” other than pretty standard things which you can also buy off the shelf. Doubtful though that anybody else’s custom design will match exactly what you need in terms of LED’s, buttons ect.

I know some IM companies that will work with you, assisting in the design of the enclosure but will then hold you to MOQ’s per order. Is this something that can work for you? I can see if I can hold of the contact information of one such company for you.

Best of luck!!
Friedl

Thanks. We have an injection molding company we work with; our hope was that since this is a pretty common PCB layout that there would be existing injection molded enclosures off the shelf or that could be white-labeled. Such a thing exists for the Raspberry Pi (https://www.polycase.com/techtalk/category/raspberry-pi), we’re just looking for one for the Feather/Boron.

HI @bobbaddeley -

I see, actually have one of those :slight_smile:

In my humble opinion, I would suggest looking at the Adafruit products as mentioned by @armor as they have products where the footprint closely resembles that of some Particle products. Maybe even look at some Arduino sites?

Regards, Friedl.

There are other 3D print designs out there but if you are looking at quantities of 000’s then that is is a completely different requirement and maybe you could justify the cost of a custom injection mould.

Another route which I have used is milled, folded and glued acrylic sheet - have a look at this company www.cdt123.com

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As @armor said as well; The acrylic option works well if you don’t want to spend too much time on design for injection moulding enclosure, this is basically what I have been doing. You can get some fairly nice designs done this way, it’s inexpensive and you should be able to draw up something in ±24 hours.

Having said this, I suspect that if I was going to make 1000’s of a specific enclosure, I recon IM would be my course of action. Time to production might be bit longer, but your product cost per unit will be lower. Production might also be faster once you have signed off on the prototype which will usually be a 3D printed version.

Best of luck.

Hi there, we have an injection moulded enclosure.

It fits the Boron (and any other feather form factor)

We also have 3way base board with:

  • MPPT Solar for 12V solar panels,
  • 2x external LIPO batteries (8.4V Nominal)
  • Battery health monitoring.
  • 2x 16Bit I2C ADC
  • 5x DI
  • 4x DO
  • 4x LEDS
  • WDT
  • PWR OFF Jumper
  • Debug Header
  • Load Current Monitoring
  • Input current montoring
  • flexible jumpering to TX/RX and SPI cross overs,
  • 5VDC regulator
  • Operation to 24VDC.
  • Batteries fit in the box, or can external.

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I use Takachi enclosures - http://www.takachi-enclosure.com/. They have an incredible range and are cheap. For a modest fee they do screen printing and penetrations too.

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@Acrop YES. These are great! Thank you!

Thanks for sharing this. Any pricing and minimum quantity info you can share? Cheap is a relative term. :slight_smile:

Any pricing and minimum quantity info you can share?

To give you an idea, the TWN7-3-13W (130x 65x25mm) in qty 50, was US$2.15 ea + shipping of US$65. For printing they quoted me US$2.42 ea + setup of US$25.

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Perfect. Thank you. When I get my design finalized I’ll definitely be contacting them. It looks like they have several that could be modified to work with my device, and that’s about the price target I was looking for.

You say “we” is there shop/company where I can source these?