Luke Cyca .com

I joined Vancouver Hack Space last fall and one of my first projects was to build a Bus Pirate v3.6. The Bus Pirate is a Swiss Army knife for electronics hobbyists. It connects to your computer with USB and provides pins that can be used for Serial/UART, SPI, I2C, or even a poor-man’s logic analyzer.

I’ve been using it for everything and so it tumbles around my workbench and my backpack. It’s pretty light so it never stays put when I’m attaching the wires to things. I needed a case!

Vancouver Hack Space has a laser cutter and a bunch of scraps of acrylic, so here’s how I made a case.

1. Design

Boxmaker is a simple webapp that draws patterns for boxes. You enter your dimensions and it generates a drawing for each panel, with nice DOVETAIL joints to fit them together.

I added cutouts for the connectors and bolts.

Download (.ai)

2. Cutting

I cut these out in 3mm clear acrylic on the laser cutter at the hackspace.

3. Welding

Acrylic can be welded with a variety of other substances. I used acetone since I had it on hand and it’s not too scary to work with. Using a qtip, I applied some on all joints except the front panel. By putting the panels together and dabbing the qtip on the joint, the acetone gets wicked into the seams. There are other substances that are probably way stronger. I had to go over the joints a few times to get a solid joint.

4. Assembly

I rummaged around the hackspace and found these little bolt sets to hold it all together. The bolts are quite a bit too long. Maybe I’ll grind them down.

Luke Cyca .com