Recently we have been busy working on new stylish case for Luminardo project. The challenge is to design something which would cost reasonable price and at the same time have modern look. Making cases of acrylic panels by laser cutting them is relatively inexpensive but all cases look kinda the same – like ugly boxes. On the other hand, 3D-printed parts may potentially have any shape but this technique is still rather expensive. In addition, it is very problematic to make 3D printed surface as shiny and polished as acrylic panels. Besides, it is impossible to mare transparent 3D-printed parts. But what if we combine acrylic and 3D-printed elements in one assembly? The we still should be able achieve stylish look and bring down the overall cost. There are the following prerequisites for this particular project:
a) Front panel has to be transparent (or as a minimum has to have a viewport). This is required not only by the VFD display itself but by light sensor, IR receiver and RGB LED;
b) Rear panel need to have multiple cut offs for numerous connectors (by the way, most of them are optional). The panel can be opaque but having it made of acrylic would let us achieve more dramatic look;
c) As a whole the outer shell should look… streamlined if it is possible to say. Like a pebble.
And here is what we have come up with. Variant “1” is shown below. The shell is visibly bigger than the PCBAs and therefore requires more material. At the same time, it looks like all the prerequisites are taken care of.
Variant “2” is shown below. It uses an acrylic inset which works like a feet and as an element of design – it glows as it is illuminated by the RGB LED. On the other end of the case there are two small feet which gives the unit asymmetric and unusual look. However, it is not clear whether the IR receiver would be able to work through the thickness of the inset. And the VFD viewport must extent more to the left in order for the light sensor to be functional.
All in all, it is still work in progress. We are waiting for comments and more ideas!