My First Enclosure

This is my first time creating a prototype for an enclosure. To do this, I walked around my local 99 cent store to find some inspiration. Luckily, I was able to find something that sparked my curiosity pretty quickly. I found a sunglass case that is perfect for this project. It is made out a semi-soft material, and I’ve never played around with that material before. No time like the present to try new things!

My general idea is to create a controller-like device that can house components on the inside. I want buttons that can be pressed comfortably when the device is held with both hands.

The first thing I did was to remove the strap and the zipper head to make the case more streamlined.

Strap and zipper head removed

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Sadly, sometimes when you order lemons online, it comes in late. I had ordered a variety of buttons from Adafruit that was supposed to arrive on Sunday, September 29th. However, the delivery gods decided otherwise, and my package still hasn’t arrived today (Tuesday, October 1st). Thankfully, my angel of a friend Lanni gracefully lent me two of her buttons so that I can (sort of) do this project in time.

Buttons from Lanni

I started with creating cutouts for the buttons on the sides of the enclosure. Dealing with this semi-soft material is quite different than wood. It somewhat easier in the sense that I can just cut it with a sharp knife. Though it is also harder in the sense that I can’t really use a drill to make a hole, so I have to do all my work manually.

Cutouts cut using a knife

After creating the cutouts, I mounted the two buttons that I had on the holes. I also made a slit on the other side so that I can pass a cable through. After that, I was pretty much done, since I ran out of things to mount.

All components mounted
The final product, it looks like a lizard
A picture of a picture of a picture of a picture of a picture of the controller
Controller in action

If there’s one key thing I can take from this experience, it is to always have a backup plan. I was lucky enough to find someone kind to lend me her buttons, next time I might not be so lucky. But I guess it’s better to learn this early on rather than later.

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