About a year ago, I built a simple electronics project as a gift. Because it was a gift, I wanted to make a nice enclosure for it instead of handing over a board with a mess of spaghetti wiring. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any simple applications for designing custom cases, and it took me hours of tedious 3D modeling and 2D editing to make a suitable design. Based on that experience, I decided to create a case design application to make it easier for others to create their own custom project cases.
The goal of MakerCase is simplicity. Users only need to input the size of the case, the case material thickness, and a few other specifications, and the application automatically generates a 3D model of the case.
Different types of complicated edge joints, such as finger joint edges and t-slot edges (for connecting panels with nuts and bolts), can be added with a single button.
The user can also add holes and engraved text labels to any side of the box.
When the case design is complete, the application flattens the three-dimensional model into blueprint and generates an SVG file that can be sent directly to a laser cutter or CNC router.
MakerCase also includes some optional advanced features to make cutting easier, such as compensating for the thickness of the laser beam to make snap-fit panels.
Since releasing the app a month ago, I’ve been surprised by the variety of creative uses that people have come up with. Here’s an example of a simple custom case for a clock.
Here is a design created for a 3D printer enclosure, measuring 14" x 14" x 14".
And here is a design created for a homemade guitar effects pedal.
MakerCase is free to use, so give it a try for your next project. I’m going to be adding a project gallery, so if you make a cool case, send me a picture and I’ll add it to the site. You can also share your projects and get updates through @MakerCase on Twitter.