Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

Laser cutter to open sealed plastic cases.

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TimNJ:
You can open ultrasonically welded plastic cases with an arbor press and a wedge shaped ram, if you have one. This usually cracks the weld quite well, without being too medieval.

If you have a table saw, you can also setup the fence and adjust the blade height to align with the welding line. A little bit more medieval, but not too bad.

thinkfat:
Oscillating saw?

TimNJ:
FYI

Ziggo:
I agree with TimNJ. I have opened medical devices that were ultrasonically welded in order to replace batteries. By pressing on the correct place, I was able to open them with no marks on the outside at all.

Doctorandus_P:
I have also opened some (non medical) wall warts that were ultrasonically welded by hitting them with a hammer in such a way that the weld gets most of the force and this worked remarkably well.

I could even glue the parts together again with only minor visible damage to the box.
Some kind of press to better control the applied force may work even better, but I did not have any available.

A laser cutter may also work, but the results depend a lot on the sort of plastic used. Some will release obnoxious gasses. To get a good result with a laser cutter, focus is pretty important. You can even make use of this. If the laser is out of focus inside the box, then it will produce less damage there.

Another possibility is a circular (table) saw. These are easy to set to a controlled depth to saw (almost) through the enclosure without damaging the internals.

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