Saturday, December 08, 2012

Print me an enclosure

Picture from
Jason, NT7S has just posted an article entitled "3D Printed Enclosures" on his blog. As a ham with a drawer full of unboxed projects who has often spent hours searching for suitable enclosures for a project and only finding ones that are either a wee bit too small or miles too big, the idea of being able to make my own custom enclosures is very appealing.

I had heard about 3D printing before, but thought it was either an April Fool spoof gone wild or one of those blue sky ideas that never become reality. My (admittedly cursory) searching has so far failed to turn up any articles that explain how it works, who makes 3D printers or what they cost. (However the site from which the picture was taken,, looks like a good place to start.)


Anonymous said...

3D printint is quite real:

Just Google "HaveBlue 3D" for more details.

John AE5X

Peter Scovell said...


See current issue of CQ Magazine pp66-70 for an article on 3D printing focused on the ham radio community.



James said...

Julian, 3D printing is not only real but it's been around in hobbyist markets for awhile now. I'm thinking I've read stuff about it as far back as 2006 at least. Follow and Both sites dedicated to diy electronics and very much in the spirit of Ham Radio. Makezine sells a MakerBot 3d printer. There are also completely DIY versions such as the reprap. Those work by extruding plastic through a heated nozzle onto a platform. The nozzle is usually moved on the xy axis and the platform is moved on the z axis. The other main type of 3d printing is resin based. I think there's a DIY version of that too. The resin is expensive but you get a pool of it. Then I think you use a DLP projector to expose it to light in patterns which causes some resin to harden. Then you lower a platform so a new layer can form on the top of the existing one. This method can be high enough resolution to 3d print records: