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Old 01-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Clear Acrylic Case for Motor Controllers

*NOTE: Some photos are missing from this thread. The evil photo-hosting service just decided they weren't hosting any more and just plain stopped. With SOME of my photos, I had already started switching over to only posting through my own domain. I'll try to update old, broken photo links as I can.*


Hi everyone,

While I think the Open ReVolt project has been fantastic, I've always wanted a case for it that was just a little bit cooler-looking.

I just saw a recent blog entry by somebody who is a member of the same workshop co-op as I that I thought would work perfect for this!

Here's his blog entry - BoxMaker | Milwaukee Makerspace

http://milwaukeemakerspace.org/wp-co...12/01/box3.jpg

In this case, he was just making a box, but if I applied the same idea to make a box that was just missing the bottom, and cut square holes in the ends for the bus-bars, it would make a great case for a controller! (It would be fun to show off the guts, and much easier to see the trouble-shooting LEDs!)

This box was made with the tabs accidentally too big. Since I have access to a laser cutter (I still don't know how to use it!) I could perhaps do the work to design a case and THEN MAKE SURE I SAVE MY WORK! I could make extras to sell as a low-cost kit and/or share the file so that other people could download that and make it themselves on their local laser.

I was also thinking that it would be VERY cool to have the Open ReVolt logo laser etched on the top of the case!

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Last edited by bennelson; 07-19-2012 at 10:29 AM.. Reason: photo disclaimer
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Something like this?
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yep, very similar!
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I recently got to use the laser cutter at the Milwaukee Makerspace! Man, is that thing cool!

After just a few minutes of training, I imported the vector art of the Open ReVolt logo and started etching on some scrap plexiglass!

I also figured out how to CUT with the laser cutter. It's not all that powerful, so cutting takes a few passes, but comes out so perfectly clean, with a nice smooth edge!

I made two different versions of Open ReVolt tokens. Just the logo cut out in a round shape. Could be used as a keychain or something I suppose! (I even added a little hole at the top for that!)




The clear plexiglass was "top-etched" - the side you are looking at is the front. I figured that when I actually do the lid of the motor controller case, I want the logo cut from behind, so the top is smooth, and doesn't get dirt and gunk in the engraved logo. For the orange token, I mirrored the logo art, so that you look THROUGH the smooth side and the logo is cut on the back.



I ended up having to go back to the Makerspace this morning (I left my laptop there last night!) I had my travel coffee mug with me, and started wondering if I could laser etch my name on it.

Sure enough, I can. I just had to make sure it wouldn't roll while the laser etched it.



I also grabbed the lightning bolt from the Open ReVolt logo and used it on the back side of the coffee cup.



A friend of mine there has been doing some work carving plexiglass and edge lighting it with LEDs. It's very similar to what I would like to do with the controller case.



I still have to figure out the boxmaker software, choose the material, learn how to power a string of green LEDs, but THEN I can make a really awesome controller case! (Don't worry, I'll be sure to post all the files when I'm done!)
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Love this ben!!! Neat.......
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I still have to figure out the boxmaker software, choose the material, learn how to power a string of green LEDs, but THEN I can make a really awesome controller case! (Don't worry, I'll be sure to post all the files when I'm done!)
LED series parallel array wizard easy as pie. Just need a DC voltage to start with.

Oh, and I design my circuits to be 10mA current or less. Most LEDs are rated for 20mA and underdriving them is a good way to prolong them. When I use superbrights, I use 6mA or less.

-Jay
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips Jay!
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For the AC boards I'm just about to send in, It's going to darn near require a clear case. It's got crap sticking out the top, and 2 of the sides. haha.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
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Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
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Might not be as much progress in the near future on this project as I would like.

I broke my ankle this weekend, so I might have to switch over to building a cyborg leg for a while. When I'm done with that, I'll finish up the clear case.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
Might not be as much progress in the near future on this project as I would like.

I broke my ankle this weekend, so I might have to switch over to building a cyborg leg for a while. When I'm done with that, I'll finish up the clear case.



Ben, now there must be more of a story here.
How did this happen?

Eric

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