Pre-fabbed ABS plastic enclosures don’t get much attention these days – especially since folks can 3D print a case. But for prototyping or even small (< 1000 piece) runs, these cases can make your product or project look really good. These ‘soap’ size cases feel good in the hand, with nice bevels. They come with removable end panels – you can use these for panel-mount switches, knobs or LEDs by drilling with any floor drill or CNC. You can also pick up extra panels if you need extras while you work out the design. Then the front can take a sticker and be machined or hand-cut as well. Note that they cannot be laser cut since they are made of ABS.
These off-the-shelf boxes have really improved in the years since we’ve used them – for example these come with nifty mounting plates that hold the enclosure, and cable gland pieces that can replace the end-panels to make a fancy user-control-box.
Hammond’s 1552 series of handheld ABS plastic enclosures offer elegant, modern style and comfort, while a range of accessories adds capabilities for a host of common applications. Comfort in the hand allows 1552 enclosures to be used for long periods with minimal fatigue in applications, such as machine or electric hoist control. Both end plates are removable for easy machining and are swappable with an integrated TPU cord-grip end panel, which provides input/output and strain relief solutions for cables. The integral cable clamp keeps internally routed cables firmly in place without damage. When device storage is required for applications such as medical instrumentation, a wall-mounted holder is available as an accessory. The 1552 series enclosures fit snugly into the holders, which are also fully compatible with cord-grip end panel kits.
We particularly like the look of the 1552C3BK which is about 4″ long, 2″ wide and almost 1″ deep. For the best experience, you’ll want to design the PCB that fits inside so that it’s less than 95mm x 45mm and has four mounting holes to match the internal bosses. Hammond has tons of great resources such as 2D and 3D STEP files – and they can customize the enclosure with pad printing and/or cutouts so you have a nice in-between option that is faster and nicer than 3D printing but not as expensive as a custom injection mold.
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