123D Design

Our enclosure was designed in Autodesk's 123D Design. It's a great way to get into 3D modeling parts for your 3d printed electronic projects. You can download the app for free on Autodesk's website. You can download our 123D file to modify the design to fit a different micro-controller.


The 123D file has all of the individual objects that are used to boolean the 4-parts. You can modify these pieces to fit different I-O ports and micro-controllers. The trellis supports up to 8x8 tiles so you can modify the enclosure to fit a 64 button keypad!

Measuring Parts

Measuring your shapes will help you determine how well your part will fit your components. To measure the length and height of your object, select a desired outline while the object is selected. With the line selected, choose the Measure option in the top menu to pull out the measurement panel. Scroll down to see the length of your line.

Modifying Objects

To modify an object, click on the shape to select it. It should have a highlighted blue stroke around the object. While selected, click on a desired face to bring up the gear settings.
With the face selected, select the press/pull option under the gear icon. Type in a value in millimeters or drag the arrow handle to tweak the size of the shape.

Boolean Parts

Once you have made your desired modifications and measured your objects, you will need to subtract the shapes to the objects to make the parts. To do this, you will need to select the combine option in the top menu. Click on the icon to the right of the floating combine options menu and change the mode from join to subtract.
Now select the object you want to become the part first and then select the object you wish to be used to cut (subtracted) your part. You can hold down the shift key to select multiple objects. Remember, the first object that was select will be the main part, everything select after that will be subtracted from the first shape.
To accept and apply the subtract boolean operation, click on an empty area on the grid.

Save & Export

You can save and export your parts as an STL file. You can find the export STL option under the 123D Design file menu and selecting export STL. We recommend printing each piece individually so that you minimize the changes of a failed print (If you print out a set and something goes wrong, all your pieces will go bad, and thats no bueno!). To save out each part out of 123D, you can temporally delete the parts and leave one to export the STL individually outside of the set. Just remember to undo (cmd/cntrl+Z that baby!) after the export. Repeat for each part. Now onto slicing!

This guide was first published on Dec 28, 2013. It was last updated on Dec 28, 2013.

This page (Modeling) was last updated on Dec 26, 2013.

Text editor powered by tinymce.