3D Print a Robotic Tank camera enclosure

1  First step know your measurements.

I had purchased a USB “camera on a board” and could not find a suitable enclosure to I decided to build one myself base upon the sizing in the diagram to the right.  This was not going to be easy so I started to take a serious look into 3D printing.  I spent days looking at printers and reading how to construct a 3D object from scratch to finish. image

2. Required hardware – at this stage I decided to use a local 3D printing company to print my first effort.  I am still investigating printers and am just not ready to buy at this time. The local company I used (RPS) utilized  3D printers which measure about 6’ X 4’ X 6’ and run about $120,000 each.  Not exactly a desktop.  I was amazed with the results.  Not sure what kind of results you would get with a desktop machine but would like to find out.  Until I try I won’t know.  But regardless of whether you print the object or have someone else do it the path to getting an object to print remains the same.  This is what follows:

3.  Required software.  T hese are the packages I used.  There are others in each of the 4 categories but these were in a book I read which made my decision to use them fairly straight forward.  I will provide steps within each product where applicable to help you use them.  This will happen later.

    • CAD software-many to choose from.  I used Sketchup – free trial period then it reverts to a free scaled down version which is find.  It is fairly intuitive and therefore easy to use.
    • netfabb – one of many programs to check the results of your CAD produced file.  Ensures that your exported “.stl” file is error free and ready for slicing
    • slicr3 – a package to slice you error free CAD file and generate g-code for the printer.
    • replicatorg – allow you to add into it “slicr3” noted above and then to generate the g-code and print the object.
Based upon the measurements of my card here are the printed results of the CAD generated file.  The pictures to the left show the basic PCB camera from different perspectives. IMG_0717IMG_0718IMG_0719
Here is the finished 3D print with the camera inserted.  Not bad for the first time.  It has been a learning experience.  Note that I used metal standoffs to mount the camera.  The design of the enclosure could have had the “designed in”. IMG_0726IMG_0729IMG_0727IMG_0728IMG_0731IMG_0732IMG_0720IMG_0721IMG_0724
Putting it all together – sort of.  Lots more to do. IMG_0740IMG_0741IMG_0736IMG_0739

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