Virtual engineering with Fusion 360
Last night I worked way into the wee small hours, tinkering with AutoDesk Fusion 360. Besides this whole 3D printing of a custom enclosure for the TaNC field units, I'm also looking into off-the-shelf or custom metal enclosures - just to hedge my bets.
I found a likely candidate from a Japanese manufacturer, and the dimensions of their standard profiles are really close to what I'm looking for. To avoid unnecessary and potentially costly mistakes, I tried to "fit" a 3D model of the motherboard I intend to use inside a 3D extrusion of the Japanese enclosure - straight from the CAD drawing thy helpfully posted. And... it fits! Including internal standoffs and mounting screws.
Today I contacted a regional reseller to get a price estimate for this enclosure, reduced in length to match my motherboard.
As an alternative, I've also contacted a local aluminum profile manufacturer to determine the cost of producing my own (adapted) version of this enclosure. This would only make sense in larger numbers: engineering the extrusion die is one thing, but the minimal extrusion order is by weight - ca. 1000 kg of material, enough for 8000 enclosures!
Oh well, let's just dream about the time I manage to sell 8k TaNC units...
More 3D filaments
After some discussions with Jones, I ordered more filaments for the production of the custom enclosures, as well as the special presentation stand.
This came in via UPS this morning:
Two reels of Ultramarine Blue PLA/PHA for the enclosures, one reel of special "copper fill" for the presentation stand and some samples of brass and bronze, for Jonas to experiment.
Apparently these metal-filled filaments can be used to print structures which can be polished to a shine!
By the way, all these filaments are produced in The Netherlands so the material mileage is lower than those cases from Japan.