3D Printed Case

We have designed a 3D printable faceplate and circular frame that features an optional hanger for hanging the clock on the wall or a stand for sitting it on a table. Of course you are free to use these electronics and programs and files with whatever kind of case you might want to design for yourself. You could use wood, metal, cardboard or whatever materials you want.

The frame is just over 239 mm in diameter so it will not fit on many normal size 3D printers. We were able to print ours in a single piece on a PrintrBot Metal Plus with a 254 x 254 x 254 build area. We have provided alternate parts that are split into more manageable size but we have not test printed these parts so you may need to play with the tolerances a bit. We have provided Fusion 360 files that you can modify yourself as well as a complete set of STL files that you can print directly.

The faceplate has 60 holes for the NeoPixels to shine through as well as 2 holes for the IR receiver and the photocell. We found it a bit difficult to print the first layer with all of these tiny holes so we provide the STL files with the holes filled in on the first layer. You can then take a drill or a Dremel Tool to drill them out. If you have especially good bed adhesion you might be able to print with the holes already cleaned out. We will show you how to modify the Fusion 360 model to clean out the holes. We will also show you how to modify the Fusion 360 model to either split the pieces or print them as one unit.

Although we have shown the renderings with a white faceplate so that is easier to see the details, we actually printed ours in black PLA. We printed the circular frame in white PLA and then spray-painted it with a copper color spray-paint.

All of the files for 3D printing are in the "3D_models" folder that you downloaded with the software for this project. We will also make them available on Thingiverse at this link https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3025771.

The faceplate comes in five pieces. A center, top, left, right, and bottom. The joint between each piece has a dovetail notch. Print all five pieces and then assemble them on a flat surface. We recommend gluing them together with superglue or other adhesives. Similarly the frame ring comes in 4 pieces and are tied together with dovetail notches. When printing the ring you will have to flip the orientation of the STL files 180° so that the flat surface is on your print bed. The top and bottom pieces of the ring have notches cut in them so that you can later slide in the wall hanger or the table stand. You may need to use support material to print these notches successfully. We also provide STL files for the complete faceplate as a single piece and the complete ring as a single piece if your 3D printer has a large enough build surface. The hanger can print in its original orientation. You will have to rotate the stand 90° so that it's under surface is flat on the print bed.

The image below shows the four printed parts as we printed them with the faceplate and ring as solid pieces. We printed with 2 bottom layers, 3 top layers, 2 shells with 30% infill using PLA.

This guide was first published on Jul 30, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 30, 2018. This page (3D Printed Case) was last updated on May 21, 2019.