Making a Controller Housing

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I had a project that required a custom housing and I decided to use my laser to cut the plastic.  My luck (and that is EXACTLY what it is) with constructing items from Lexan has been poor at best.  The laser has greatly improved things and I can actually build stuff that looks good...

The project at hand was to enclose an Arduino Mega with a touch screen module and then mount it on the front of the little oven.

Items that needed to be neatly mounted included the Processor/Display assembly, a SD Card reader module and a USB B socket.


SD Card Reader     Cardboard Mockup

The micro SD Card reader had to be modified by grinding away the circuit board (ground plane only in this area) so the card would stick out far enough to access it when installed in the faceplate.  On the right is the layout mocked up in cardboard and cut in the laser.  All the openings with the exception of the oval for the USB socket are correct in size.  The oval is just a place holder as the bolt in socket had not arrived.


Mockup Backside      Panel Face Final


The backside of the face plate needed a ring to keep the processor/display assembly in location.  On the right we have the completed faceplate.  I solvent welded a tab to the faceplate to which the SD Card reader will be attached with 3M grey foam tape.  The card reader is a nice snug fit into the slot on the panel.


Disply/Processor attachment    Display/Processor mounted

I solvent welded a couple of parts that were laser cut and tapped a hole for a screw.  The bar across the back holds the assembly firmly in place.  An extremely short panel mount USB B extension has been installed.  I elected to use a screw terminal breakout that sandwiches in between the display and the Arduino Mega board to facilitate making connections.  A rib with holes (not shown here) was added to allow the wiring to be zip tied into place.


Housing Rear View I     Housing Rear View II

Two views of the housing after side panels and the back and bottom covers were installed.  Wiring has not been completed at this time.  The mounted SD Card reader can be seen in the left picture.  I used clear plastic for the back and bottom because it is cheaper and I had much more of it.  After some leads were attached the assembly is ready to install.



Completed Housing

Here is the completed housing replete with fingerprints on the screen.


Installing the Housing     Installed Housing

The housing in the process of being installed and wired and the nearly finished product on the right (waiting for Amazon to deliver the pilot lights).  I elected to mount the housing on an aluminum plate to simplify installing the unit as there were two large holes to cover up...