Today's Hardware Friday project really is pretty different and while there's no real hardware and there's no source, there is something that I thought all you hardware geeks might find pretty useful.
So you're a .Net Gadgeteer builder. Your project is coming together and now you want to build a case, cover, fitting or something. To build it just right you need the given hardware pieces, the buttons, boards, etc, so you can measure and fit it. But you don't want to use the actual hardware for that (since it's already assembled and all that)... What you need is something that is just like the hardware, same size and all, a real life model of the hardware pieces. Maybe even something you could 3D print yourself?
Today we are contributing a large number of 3D models of .NET Gadgeteer-compatible hardware modules to the Gadgeteer Codeplex project.
The files make it easy to design custom enclosures for Gadgeteer devices – we call these shells. You can import these files into the 3D design tool of your choice (such as 123D, SolidWorks, Inventor or Alibre) and use the models as reference in your shell design. This saves you the trouble of having to measure each module individually, and improves the likelihood that everything will fit nicely inside your shell once it is actually manufactured.
Once you have designed a shell you can 3D-print it. If you don’t have direct access to a 3D printer, you can upload it to one of several online 3D printing services (such as Ponoko, Shapeways or iMaterialise). Today we are contributing models of many of the currently available Gadgeteer modules. Not every module is included - new modules are being released faster than we can model them! Over the coming months we will continue to add new models, and will be publishing some guidelines for others to contribute their own. We are also planning to release some ready-to-print shell designs. Below is a preview of the first one – a design for a Gadgeteer plant-moisture sensor.
Here's a snap of the current 44 designs;
I grabbed 123D and it's able to open most of these with no problems.