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Old 05-01-2009, 05:51 PM   #1113 (permalink)
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Weight loss / efficient use of material

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPaulHolmes View Post
For the car I'm estimating:

12"x8"x0.25" (bottom of controller)
12"x5"x0.25" (top. It will need room for heatsink, but I don't have that yet.)
12"x4"x0.25" (side)
12"x4"x0.25" (side)
8"x4"x0.5" (back)
8"x4"x0.5" (front)

I can cut it later once I get my mill.

I was thinking of drilling all the sides into the front and back, so I put 0.5" thick for front and back, to give more room for screws to go in. Do you think 0.25" would be OK for putting small screws in? If so, back and front could be 0.25" as well.
Forgive the late post but I just found this site and thread. I worked for 13 years in the aircraft repair / fabrication industry so I have a little experience with what you are working on as far as the heat sink and enclosure go.

If you just double up the 1/4" material at the fastener locations and glue it together you can get the thicker material only where needed and keep the weight and material cost down. Lexan is pretty pricey in thicker chunks. 1/2" is more than twice the cost of 1/4".

You may be able to even use 1/8" material with reinforced corner joints in some of the areas like the top and sides.

It is also possible to glue threaded inserts into the clear sheet material to give it some strength. They make threaded inserts that go in like rivets too that would be quick and easy to install with no adhesive required.

You can also heat the material and bend it into the shape you desire to eliminate many of the corner joints.

A local place for you to get the stuff in small pieces is onlinemetals.com

They sell small quantities of metals and plastics that may get you what you need.

Hope this helps,
Mike
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