To be honest: Planning, designing and printing the enclosure took some evenings. And then a few more… and nights…. and days and then evenings again.
I’ve never designed anything as complex as the Marta housing in CAD. The enclosure is not even that elaborate but the level of difficulty was perfect for me. All components had to fit inside the housing in a space consuming way. Actually, the design process influenced the choice of electronic components and vice versa.
Continue reading “3 – 3D Printed Plastic Enclosure”
I totally forgot the holes for the general purpose aviation plug connectors.
The main body is by far the largest 3D printed part. It’s essentially an octagon with walls. These walls have some cavities for the speakers as well as for the four arcade buttons. The same applies to the bottom side of the enclosure where we have holes for screws, buttons and lights.
Continue reading “3.1 – Main Body and PCB Holder”
The light ring is printed almost transparently. For me it worked fine to just print the whole thing upside down and add some support structure which was removed afterwards. The ring sits tightly on top of the main body.
Continue reading “3.2 – Light Ring”
The main user interface is a simple small orange plate.
In the top plate’s center there is a little orange piece of plastic holding the RFID reader’s antenna. The thickness is reduced where the antenna operates so that tags may be detected reliably. Magnets arranged in the corner of the antenna will hold the tags in position. Magnets with a diameter of 8mm will fit in perfectly. The number of magnets can be changed without printing a new part as they are held by screws.
Continue reading “3.3 – RFID Reader Holder and Top Plate”
Right from the start the kids had over 50 different tags available. Nowadays the number grew to almost 100.
It took a few design and print iterations to find a good thickness and form factor for the RFID tag enclosure. Because each of these plastic parts is pretty small and can be printed within minutes, that phase was rapid prototyping at its best.
Continue reading “3.4 – RFID tags”