In our efforts to make projects more accessible we’ve been focusing on using low-cost materials to make enclosures for electronics. We recently got a hold of a vinyl cutter (Cricut Express Air 2) and have been experimenting with different types of chipboard. This is a type of particle board made from reclaimed paper that is generally used as backing for notepads, photos and prints. It’s also used to create cereal boxes and other type of packaging.
Creating foldable boxes out of a one piece cutout with no glue makes assembly much easier than having to laser cut or 3D print. There’s no toxic fumes to worry about or nozzles clogging. Obviously this isn’t as durable, but for quick prototypes paper is an ideal material. To design these type of boxes in Fusion 360 we decided to take advantage of the sheet metal tools. We put together a simple foldable box that houses a circuit playground express, micro servo and 3xAAA battery pack. The CPX is mounted on the outside while the wires and battery are hidden inside. Having a “pull tab” allows us to easily open and close the box. A series of flaps and fold make the box sturdy. Although there’s more limitations with cutting paper than 3d printing plastics, we might be able to produce things that are even more accessible than before.
Using sheet metal tools in Fusion 360 to make foldable boxes that can be used to house electrics or other products.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.