Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Procuring or designing custom sheet metal enclosures.

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Ahhh, got it.

Yeah, they were... I suppose you wouldn't be able to refund the NRE anyway, but, delivering an article that's grossly out from the reference? You literally didn't pay for that...

For stuff like ventilation, it probably helps to add a note to the effect of, "perforations in [highlighted] area, acceptable patterns: grid/checkerboard/polar; holes: round/oval/slot/diamond/etc.; other sizes/options by approval; maximum opening width/diameter: [finger-safe dimension [meets IEC 60529 something, etc.]]" and so on.  Also probably something about omitting vs. truncating the openings on the boundary of the region, or if they should be aligned to anything in particular (X, Y offset and pitch, centers, top/bottom/length, axis angle, etc.).  Just to fully describe and constrain the feature.

If they're laser cut, it probably doesn't matter what the holes are like, or, a slight preference for slots (fewer plunge + lead-in cuts?); for punched, whatever dies they have should be fine, but beware warpage due to all the working, it can end up domed; drilled is probably out for being slower overall, but, Idunno, maybe it can be done pretty fast in aluminum anyway, nice high spindle speed and a CNC, maybe questionable in steel depending on thickness (since you can't really drill large holes in thin stock, and thick stock will take longer compared to Al).  Or, can call up and ask if they have a preference, or, kinda sorta worst case, just make all the drawing variants yourself and quote them all -- the spaghetti strategy might be a tedious one, but... yeh.

And there's always I guess, solutions like cutting a big gaping hole and using a filler panel of perforated stock or expanded mesh, but that likely won't look as good here.  (The best case would probably be like, cut a disc barely undersize of the hole, and spot-weld joining tabs on the backside to mount it. The face can then be flush, but a seam is left (and probably burrs) that probably won't feel good, bare; it might fill in alright with powder coating or something, though.)

It is unfortunately hard to put "no particular requirements, just make it usable and look good" on a proper drawing.  It can perhaps be explained in order notes, or in person, but it takes a good fab to really understand that.


I've found that its much easier to get good quotes on a very specific enclosure.  I'd model the whole thing in fusion 360 or solid works and send the flat pattern and drawings to people. Try some local shops and International ones.  I find very few smaller sheet metal places here do much with punching and mostly do lasers for smaller numbers.  You pay more for lots of holes as piercing is slow. If you've got mesh vents it'll be faster on a punch. I switched from cnc router,  to fiber laser and then to turret punch.  There are places that do online sheet metal if you've got all the drawings with almost instant quotes.

see the old ready made aluminum BUD Industries electronic enclosures.

Used these many times.


Perhaps you can adapt.


TLDR. Need a box / enclosure company? Contact Jenny - have used this company for 2-3 custom enclosures and did a plant visit (Shenzhen) last October. Excellent products with laser markings - we sourced extruded aluminum enclosures. They are the real deal and have MANY capabilities and enclosures. We are reviewing them now for a pseudo-custom rackmount enclosure.


--- Quote ---Jenny Zhang (Sales manager)
Add: A1-A2 Building, Xiufeng Industrial City, Buji Subdistrict
        Longgang District, Shenzhen, China 518112
T: +86 (755) 82579946    Email: sales002@hfjxkt.com
Whatsapp/Wechat +8613602582716
Web:  www.hfjxkt.com (products show) 
--- End quote ---


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