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A51 - Case
When I was contemplating the parts to make this display work, it seemed to me a shame that most of the innards were very thin, but the batteries and board set were thick. The obvious solution to this problem was to make a sort of bump or bulge to accomodate the thicker parts, with the main case being extremely thin. I hadn't tried it before, but I thought I could probably heat bend the acrylic to a limited extent and still be able to work it into a case.

The case was built according to the principles of the acrylic case-building tutorial available here.

The main departure is in the dual thickness design. For that feature, I just designed a second level core piece which could glue on top of the primary core piece. The back plate is made a touch longer, in order to make the bend but still match up to the cores.

I bought an acrylic bender from McMaster Carr, which is basically a round cartridge heater in a metal housing which heats up a roughly 10mm wide strip on anything that is placed on top of it. With the aid of some jigs this process can be made to work ok, though it is not without its issues and still requires a lot of fiddling to get a decent result.

The other added element is side plates over the area of the bend. This way the bend area can look pretty smooth from the outside without requiring shaping of the secondary core piece.

Overall I think this turned out extremely well. These cases are not easy to make, but they look pretty sweet.The thickness could be even less if I used laser or waterjet cut titanium for the front, back, or both plates. Using it for both would cut about 1mm from the total thickness. Bending would be a bit harder though, and the core piece would get much more complicated if I still wanted to maintain a rounded edge. Also I have to send out for that service, which takes cash and time.

Back View - Edge

Back View - Top

How Thick is it?

Reading the Instructions

Design partially original and partially ripped off from other websites
by Holly Gates