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Ponoko panda2 case


I’ve been looking around for a simple clear (or tinted) plastic housing for the Panda II. Architect pointed me to his design on the wiki . I experimented with this using a scroll saw and some plexi. I soon found I couldn’t cut a straight (enough) line, let alone a circle, on my antique scroll saw!

Then I found Ponoko, a spinoff of Sparkfun. I’m going to tweak Architect’s design slightly to work with the Panda II, and see what it costs to have some made. They have some flouro colors in acrylic that look super cool when you shine a small LED through them.

Anybody ever use Ponoko? Design suggestions also are appreciated.


count me in for one set and let me know if you need my help


I do have one design issue as a result of my first attempt with the saw… what to do about the SD card slot. I ended up cutting a chunk completely out of the top layer, but that leaves an annoying little (easy to loose) piece for the screw on that corner. I might be able to carve out enough to leave room for the card and keep it in one piece, but the card would then not be removable without unscrewing the whole thing. It would be easier to explain with it in front of me. Maybe a G+ video chat (aka hangout) is in order? I need to figure out InkScape first, so it will be a week or two.


The only solution that comes to mind right away is 4 layers.
bottom 3 layers are 3mil plexi. topmost can be thinner.

That way you can glue together layer 3 (your current top layer) and layer 4.

I see if I have enough materials left and can do a prototype.


Good idea. Are there any adhesives that remain “invisible” when applied to acrylic? That is, have the same refractive index and don’t discolor or haze it? I could also add another layer without glue, as the bolt/screw should hold it in place. A fourth layer would also give it a nicer finished look.

What size were the hex bolts (or screws?) you used? Is there a standard size for pcb boards like the Panda? I’ve seen 4-40 used quite a bit, and found these charts for diameters:

I’m thinking of using matte black for the first batch, as it doesn’t smear up with fingerprints as most acrylics do. I’ll be fondling these quite a bit :wink: Let me know if you have a preference for another color. They’ve got a nice tinted dark red that would look great with a Panda II. And those flouros would be great to show off at your local hackerspace!

TIA for the info.

[edit] JPG of the design file posted.


I think epoxy is good for acrylic. It is always a good idea to try any glue on a scrap piece before using it on final product.

[quote]What size were the hex bolts (or screws?) you used?[/quote] I don’t remember the exact size, but 4-40 sounds about right. Obviously, for 4 layers case you’ll need longer screws. I just went to Home Depot and chose them right there (I had my case with me).


There are special adhesives made just for acrylic. If the pieces are perfectly mated you can use the type that is water thin, it creeps into the joint and produces a nearly invisible bond. For items that are not so perfect there is a thicker version. Check out Tap Plastics: I have used the IPS-3 and IPS-16 that they sell.


Alrighty, the first 2 prototypes are ordered in 3mil red tint acrylic. It was $8.60 for one (not including shipping). I shared the design files as ‘FEZ Panda 2D Mount’ in SVG format, which anybody can download and tweak from Ponoko. I’ll post pictures when they arrive.

@ Architect - one of those is for you.

@ Jeff_Birt - thanks for the glue tip.


Thank you! Let me know how much I owe you with shipping and your paypal.


Finally got my first ponoko laser cut acrylic enclosure. The only mod I had to make was to bend down and resolder the barrel jack (fat) pins on the back of the board so it would lay absolutely flat on the bottom layer. Otherwise, it fit perfectly. The Ponoko experience was good, with my only gripe being it took too long to get here! I may have to crank up the bling factor by replacing the nylon bolts with shiny stainless 8) A big thanks goes to Architect for the original design.

Check out this Pimped Panda II Enclosure


@ Architect - send me a shipping address. Also, no worries on reimbursement. They were very reasonably priced and your forum input is payment enough :clap:

A diffuse red LED underneath really makes it pop. You can see the traces through the board.


Design files are available here If you use/tweak the design, let me know.


Looking great!


Awesome! Love it!

P.S. Thanks for the set. Address is in the email.


I was up late trying to get the best red glow with a couple LEDs. There’s enough acrylic left for some vertically mounted flames 8) I’m not very good with the scroll saw, though… maybe for v2. Also, you can’t tell from these pics, but there is a SD card slot. A “special tool” of your choosing is required to insert/extract the card, as it does not extend past the case. Small plastic tweezers worked for me.

@ Architect - going in snail mail today.


Great! Thanks again!


Now just make one for the Cobra with an LCD bezel!


@ chris - don’t have a cobra. next on the list is a domino, and hopefully I’ll soon have a spider to do the same for…


Maybe these are great to add some glowing effect.


@ ericsan500 - I did notice adafruit just added a lot of EL bling to their catalog. I really need to increase my electronic fun budget.

You think micro case modding could take off like it did for the auto industry? Custom tricked out enclosures for your favorite uC, anybody? :smiley: