Potting, Injection Molding, and Macromelt: Electronic Housing Options Explained by @Mindtribe
Here’s a simple and simply great read by Andrew Dupree for Mindtribe on ‘The Landscape of Electronic Housings,’ with potting, injection molding, and macromelt explained, including a really interesting feature comparison matrix.
Housings are the unsung heroes of consumer electronics. The electronics might pass all tests, and the embedded software might be bug free, but to put your product in the wild it will need a sturdy mechanical housing to keep everything together.
Like any other facet of product development, housings are surprisingly complex beasts. There are several different ways you can go about developing a secure home for your circuits, bits, and bytes. Which you employ will depend on your anticipated manufacturing volume, cost constraints, aesthetic needs, time constraints, and more. And though the following list isn’t exhaustive, some of the most useful technologies for developing mechanical housings are potting, injection molding (clamshell and insert), and Macromelt.
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It looks like the fine article is suggesting a cost of $60-$100 ea quantity 50 for potting, which can’t possibly be right. Given the other listed costs, I’m guessing that something is wrong with the cost table.
3D printing is a good option for very small quantities, and probably should be discussed here.