Most electronic devices need enclosures to safeguard the components. However, these enclosures can be complex and simple, and sometimes off-the-counter options might not be the best fit. If you find one that does not serve its purpose, it is best to consider a custom design. Custom enclosures can be built in-house, but most businesses are not adequately prepared. If you are one of these businesses, here is a guide to direct you on making your custom electronic enclosures.
There are multiple materials for a custom enclosure box for electronics, but aluminum remains the best material. Machining aluminum is easier, and it can be anodized to give a protective finish and allows for colorful dyeing to give a professional look. In addition, anodization can be selectively laser engraved to give dimensionless labels and artistic flares.
Factors to Consider When Building an Electronic Closure
Electronics Enclosure Design
The custom enclosure design can run the gamut from building complex to simple box contraptions. Some minor details to consider include size, shape, and how components will fit in place to ensure access to power and sensors.
The design box should not only offer visual context or direct the user on the functionality and usability of the product. It must also convey a message that identifies the case. There are various graphic design elements and principles to guide you.
Space and Routing
When building aluminum enclosures for electronics, you must consider how big or small they will be. Place all your components on a flat surface and arrange them compactly until you achieve a sensible configuration. Next, calculate how much clearance you can get above and below the PCB to calculate the exterior dimensions.
Even with a bigger capacitor from the board, you can adjust the box volume when the design is still flexible. If you are considering panel-mounted lights and switches, think of arranging them on the case walls and how to keep cable lengths at a minimum by adjusting the position of components.
Even though the electronics in the circuit are eager to find the path of resistance, they must take a specific route. Electronic enclosure manufacturers use this route to protect components from shorting or moving within the enclosure. Any exposed wires and connections should be insulated and all components secured to withstand any motion after housing.
The mounting should also survive through wear and tear from the user. You will have to screw down flat components into the enclosure or use standoffs and threat inserts for secure contact points. To minimize vibration, add locking nuts, O-rings, and special washers to preload screws and prevent them from wiggling.
Accessibility is a great consideration of how components will be placed and replaced. If the device uses a battery, ask whether the battery is rechargeable or uses a USB power cable. Consider how the enclosure parts will be accessed. Mount electronics in one internal plate or surface that can easily detach.
With this basic information, you can finally find a way to build your electronic enclosure. However, if you still feel like you are not well-equipped for the job, consider getting an electronic enclosure manufacturer to build a custom one.
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