There’s no greater feeling than building and finishing your own project. The work is done. The project was a success. Now you need an enclosure. Depending on the design, it can protect or ruin your build. The typical of-the-shelf project boxes can be so… cheap, uninspiring, boring. What’s the solution? Make one yourself.
Jon Hollander found himself in this exact situation. After finishing an electronics project as a gift he wanted a nice case to go with it. Instead of searching the internet for one, he came up with a simple web application to create one himself. He called it Makercase.
Makercase is a simple web-based application that allows you to create laser-cut project cases. The program runs in your browser and pulls up a blueprint for laser cutting based on the specifications you put in. The program was written in Javacript and uses jquery, three.js, and Jcanvas for the client while the serve uses node.js. All you need to do is put in the dimensions and material thickness of your case and Makercase generates a 3D model of the case that can be rotated and manipulated on the screen.
The web tool also lets you add edge joints, like finger edge joints and t-slot edges, with the click of a single button. This makes it easy to create connecting joints for your desired case. Holes and engraved text labels can also be added to any side of the box. Once the case is done, the 3D model is then flattened into a blueprint and turns it into an SVG file. It can then be sent to a laser cutter or CNC router. The application also offers advanced features to make the process easier, like taking into account the thickness of the laser beam to make easier snap-fit panels.
Makercase is a free tool and meant to be simple to use. Since it’s been up, various users have been posting their creations online, showing the wide range of what the tool can do. It’s a great idea and something different creators can use for whatever project they need. For example, LowPowerLab has a great overview of a very slick Raspberry Pi case they created. And, if you need some help writing web apps for digital fabrication, Hollander has an awesome guide available on his website.