Acrylic Enclosure – Bus Pirate

There are many custom enclosures for Bus Pirate, must be a very popular product (we at LAWICEL AB knows this of course). We sell the Sparkfun version (TOL-09544). The original version was made by Ian Lesnet of Dangerous Prototypes. After looking arround on enclosures for this product we decided to make our own version since we have in house an Epilog 35W laser cutter. We like using 3mm Acrylic and have many colors availible, one is a neon yellow/green see through acrylic. Can be bought in our webshop here.

After experimenting a bit we came up with this idéa, we hate to use screws that are connected all way through and leaves screw and nut outside the acrylic, it should be a nice touch with small screws. So we used 8mm long nylon standoffs which has an outer diameter of 6mm and has M3 inside. Since the enclosure is made of 5 layers of 3mm acrylic, the 3 inner layers will be 9mm, so when tightening the screws it will hold the enclosure perfectly tight.

The Sparkfun version of the Bus Pirate has no mounting holes, so we needed to come up with something that hold the board in place and by using smaller area for the 3rd and 4th layer from bottom the PCB can only move about 1.4mm up/down, plus in the 4th layer we made support for the USB connector which makes it tight. For screws we used M3*6mm torque since we found them with small heads. The top and bottom layer was also drilled down so the nut of the screw is below surface.

Below is a picture showing the diffrent layers. The numbers in order refer from the bottom layer (#1) up to the top layer (#5). Layer #1 is the bottom, attach standoffs with the 4 screws, then add layer #2 and then the PCB (Bus Pirate), it will align perfectly in the square cut out and have room for USB connector, then add later #3, note it has a small notch at the bottom left corner, just big enough to hold the PCB in place by the IDC connector, the other 3 corners has a 5mm radius so the PCB can’t pop out there. Then add layer #4, note that the layer has a bigger notch for the USB connector pushing the board to the bottom layer. Then finally add layer #5 and the screws, you can now tighten well since we use the standsoffs and do not rely on weak acryllic.

Of course this is just a sample for Bus Pirate and could be implemented for any similar design, using the standoffs and these type of screws you get a very nice and smooth finnish and the enclosure will rest nice on the table. Of course you can add small rubber feets just covering the screws on the bottom side.

There is also a similar post in our Swedish section (Swedish Only).

Please note that pictures may not be used unless you refer to this original post or have a written aproval from LAWICEL AB. The idéa is of course free to use without any permissions.