Building custom enclosures
Updated: Jan 1, 2023
Some clients come to us for custom enclosures for their electronics and other components. Generally, these are for user testing but sometimes we do them for mass manufacturing. Through our global network, we can produce anywhere from one piece to one thousand pieces (or more).
Here is what we go through together to ensure you get the best.
We work to confirm your requirements.
Sometimes you just need a one-off 3d printed case for demonstration purposes and sometimes we are hired to tie up the final look and feel of your product. We ask a lot of questions and ensure we know everything about your plans and how the product will be used. We will also use this time to ensure we know who the main decision makers and stakeholders are.
A big part of what we can do for you depends on your timeline and your budget. While we try to work within most budgets, this is not always feasible.
Our fees are broken down into two main parts - Design Fees and Fabrication Fees.
This is what you pay us for our expertise. Designers and engineers must come together to ensure your enclosure looks good, feels good and works well. We will use fabrication techniques available in-house to fabricate and test your enclosure.
This is what you pay to manufacture your prototypes and run your production.
We separate our fees in order to avoid any misunderstandings. This also allows us to do our best with your design as we are not thinking about our profit margins. For example, if we had previously budgeted for laser cutting (much cheaper) and we realise that your product is better served with MJF 3D Printing(way more expensive), a separation of the fees allows to present both ideas to you so that you can make the best decision.
We will create sketches and CAD models and continually keep in communication with you to ensure we are all on the same page. You will have to communicate with your stakeholders and let us know their inputs. This is usually the longest phase of any engagement. We should tread carefully to ensure our designs work for all interested parties.
Low fidelity models.
We use our in-house equipment to create low fidelity models to get the dimensions and "feel" of the product right. This also gives us a chance to identify any unknowns within the design. For example, we might need some additional clearance around a port to ensure that a cable can be connected. We might also find that creating certain shapes and cutouts may help with ergonomics.
Costs for low-fidelity models are included in our design fees. We reserve the right to charge for additional models requested by the client.
Verification and approval in final materials.
We work with our manufacturing partner to deliver at least one sample piece for final approval.
There may be some small additional changes before production but these are usually minor.
You will have to pay separately for this. Costs are not included in our design fees.
We set you up with a manufacturing partner who already has an existing agreement with us. This means that they are able to work with your design and order quantities. All you would have to do is ensure they are paid on time. Communication is easy via email or WhatsApp. We also use on-demand manufacturing platforms such as Factorem and Fast Radius to make it easy to you to re-order and get your parts.
If you are more interested in the technical details of building an enclosure for yourself, read this by Digikey.
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