Making a Case

It's time to build a rugged-looking case for your Password Vault. While you can use your Password Vault without any additional hardware other than the Circuit Playground, it's fun to make a more finished case for regular use in the field.


3D Printed Parts

You'll print four parts for the case -- a base, battery box, middle, and top. You can download the PasswordVault_files from the link below. These can be printed with most any material, such as PLA or ABS plastic. The case pictured here was printed with CPE (co-polyester) filament.

The units of the model files is millimeters. As a reality check when importing to your software or sending out to have printed online, the length of the battery box is 66.5mm.

Once printed, clean up the parts with a hobby knife to remove any excess brim material and clean up the screw and nut holes and the battery box hole.

Assemble the Case

The case can be assembled from the bottom up. First, insert the hex nuts in the four cutouts in the 3D printed base bottom. You may need to press down to get them fully seated in place.

Next, put three AAA batteries in the switched battery case, close it, and then place it face down in the base so the switch is exposed from the bottom.

Feed the battery case's JST connector wire through the hole in the 3D printed battery box, then cover the battery case, snapping the box into place on the recessed base cutout.

Place the 3D printed middle section over the base.

Plug the JST connector into the Circuit Playground and test that it turns on when the battery box switch is flipped. It's a good idea to test power switches and connections along the way as you are assembling enclosures.

Capacitive Switches

The capacitive pads on the Circuit Playground that you'll use to enter your unlock code will be easier to use when enclosed in the case if they are extended with copper tape. Cut four 1-1/2" long strips of the copper tape, then peel off their backings and press the ends to the top side of pads #1, #3, #10, #12. Be careful not to bridge any other components or connections, such as the small copper test points on the board.

Adafruit's copper tape has conductive adhesive on the back, which is a requirement or the copper pads won't electrically extend the pads. Make sure if you source your own it has conductive glue!

Fold the copper tape strips back over themselves toward the center, and then press the Circuit Playround into the 3D printed case top. It will fit snuggly inside the inner rim.

Now, fold the tape stips back over the top and stick them to the 3D printed case top. These will be the touchpads you'll use to key in your code entry.


You can now insert and tighten the four screws until they are secured in the hex nuts underneath.


Use a burnisher or your fingernail to smooth down the tape, then trim off the excess with a hobby knife.

Next, you'll use the Password Vault to enter a password on your computer.

This guide was first published on Sep 01, 2016. It was last updated on Sep 01, 2016.

This page (Build the Enclosure) was last updated on Aug 29, 2016.

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