Straw poll for home print cardboard case: What printer do you have?


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by E » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:33 pm
I'm working on a design for a cardboard (and possibly thin plastic sheet) case that can be printed off at home on a standard A4 printer. Problem is, max media thickness wise, there's no such thing as a standard printer, so I was wondering (and would greatly appreciate :)  ) if people could give me some idea of the model printers they have? Obviously the thickness of card I can use has a big impact on the design of flaps and tabs etc..

Thank you :)
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by mahjongg » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:08 pm
SiR said:


I'm working on a design for a cardboard (and possibly thin plastic sheet) case that can be printed off at home on a standard A4 printer. Problem is, max media thickness wise, there's no such thing as a standard printer, so I was wondering (and would greatly appreciate :)  ) if people could give me some idea of the model printers they have? Obviously the thickness of card I can use has a big impact on the design of flaps and tabs etc..

Thank you :)


I think you make this too difficult! Just make something that prints on normal copy paper, so the user can cut it out, and use it as a template for his building material. I realize that depending on the thickness of the material it would change the dimensions of the template, but you can simply solve that by creating several templates for different material thicknesses, leaving some tolerance around the connector holes etc. Almost nobody will have a printer that can print on cardboard or thick foil, so printing a template on normal paper is the only practical solution.

Also, some people might want to line the inside of the box with aluminum foil for shielding, that will only work if the ends of the aluminum overlap (and touch) to form a closed "faraday cage". You might want to adapt your design to make that possible.
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by rurwin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:16 pm
Both the HP8500 I have now and the Brother laser I had before, support up to 200g/m2.
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by mahjongg » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:56 pm
200g/m2 is for simple photo paper, and yes many printers do support printing on photo paper.

But photo paper is typically 7 mils or 10mils max (0.25mm), so about as thick as a stack of three sheets of normal paper. Not really thick enough for a stable enclosure I think, it would result in a quite flimsy enclosure but that is just my opinion.

When thinking of cardboard, I'm thinking more about something of about 0.5 to 0.8mm thick.
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by E » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:54 pm
Thanks rurwin :)

If that's how it pans out, then yes I probably will go the paper template route. I'm just concerned about potentially adding another step to the process and extra inaccuracies in cutting. Or I might end up using double thickness if I went with 200g/m2. As it's mostly people on this forum that would want it, it just seemed sensible to get a rough idea of what printing ability they had. Thanks for the heads up on the foil - I will indeed try and do that. In fact if anyone has any other requests please do say and I'll try my best to accommodate them.
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by ringz » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:57 pm
What about printing out a template, making it up into a box, then using layers of PVA glue and kitchen roll paper to reinforce it.

Put on a few layers, sand it down, paint it and you have a nice solid case.

Very Art Attack :)

Martyn.
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by redman684 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:31 am
I can print on CD's using a special tray.

A CD is probably not big enough to make a case in one go, but 2 interlocking U-shaped pieces will probably do nicely.

I challenge you to make a case out of CD's :) That would make one creative case (DVD's are also acceptable)
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by SN » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:15 pm
The paper case has been done already
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by E » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:18 pm
I'm liking the Art attack idea. I'd do it that way myself, but I'm not sure how everyone gets on with papier mache?

Challenge accepted redman684, I'll get back to you on the when though ;)
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by E » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:22 pm
SN said:


The paper case has been done already


Surely there is room for more than one paper/card case? There's lots of different plastic ones.
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by pygmy_giant » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:35 pm
I have no ideas of my own but I think this one is fab – cheap computer – cheap case. I have an HP officejet 6310. In my experience printers wait until your back is turned and then jam just to get attention. Stiff paper templates / mache could be the way forward…? I like the idea of mixing high and low tech.
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by mahjongg » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:34 am
Yes, even with simple photo paper, a smartly folded one could have the mechanical strength needed, if you use a bit of basic engineering. Just start experimenting what you can do to make something with photo paper strong enough.
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by E » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:50 pm
Thanks pygmy_giant and mahjongg :)

I'm still experimenting, but hopefully will have a template up by this weekend. My aim is to make it a durable and easy to access case - I'm using the principles of corrugated cardboard for strengthening.
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by pygmy_giant » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:14 pm
Sometimes you get beautifuly decorated and laquered papier mache boxes on the Antiques Roadshow so I guess it could be a thing of beauty.
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by pygmy_giant » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:38 pm
Ostendo ignarus addo scientia.
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by E » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:34 pm
Quick update. I've not got a PDF template up yet as I've been having format conversion issues, but here's a screen grab of the design in Sketchup.

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by tech_monkey » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:29 pm
why not use the Pepakura model designer. I have used it to prototype a din mount case for a project. Worked quite well after some initial tweaking.  The 3D model was actually designed in Sketchup then exported as a KMZ and import into Pepkura.

The software isn't that expensive either.
http://www.casatech.eu
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by E » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:04 am
tech_monkey said:


why not use the Pepakura model designer. I have used it to prototype a din mount case for a project. Worked quite well after some initial tweaking.  The 3D model was actually designed in Sketchup then exported as a KMZ and import into Pepkura.

The software isn't that expensive either.


Thanks - I'd read about Pepakura a while ago but completely forgot about it! I'm using the free .svg exporter and loading it into Inkscape atm, which is working ok apart from 1 glitch that I hope is fairly easily solvable, but I will give Pepakura a try if not.
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by surpher » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:42 am
After designing my cardboard case in SketchUp, I redrew it in DraftSight and exported to PDF.
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by E » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:27 pm
surpher said:


After designing my cardboard case in SketchUp, I redrew it in DraftSight and exported to PDF.


I have ViaCAD, but have been meaning to learn Sketchup for a while, which was also partly why I was trying to stick with it, but thanks for the suggestion. I like your 'wrap' case - it's a very elegant bit of design.

Here's a few quick pics of a rough first prototype version. I was experimenting with a recessed section for the Ethernet port, but I don't think it's durable enough, so it's on to plan B.





Note the *cough* deliberate mistake - I printed it out mirrored!
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by Ogoshi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:00 pm
That looks great! Will be interesting to see what designs people come up with to print onto the card too.
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by E » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:01 pm
Ogoshi said:


That looks great! Will be interesting to see what designs people come up with to print onto the card too.


Thanks!
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by pygmy_giant » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:41 pm
Good work. One could reinforce with papier-mâché and varnish. Paper combusts at about 451 degrees Farenheit or 232 celcius so should be safe - see this: http://sivantoledotech.wordpre.....enclosure/

http://sivantoledotech.wordpre.....enclosure/
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by E » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:43 pm
pygmy_giant said:


Good work. One could reinforce with papier-mâché and varnish. Paper combusts at about 451 degrees Farenheit or 232 celcius so should be safe - see this: http://sivantoledotech.wordpre.....enclosure/

http://sivantoledotech.wordpre.....enclosure/


Yes, certainly if you wanted to, though I'm aiming for it to be durable enough as it is.
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by lesliew » Mon May 07, 2012 9:41 pm
One product you might like to try is a clearview presentation cover, GBC is the brand I am most familiar with but maybe sold under other names, its a bit like an acetate sheet but is frosted and about 15mil thick. You won't be able to print on it with an inkjet but can run it through a laser printer to produce the template.

It has excellent memory so holds a 90 degree fold very well and is quite rigid.  It is also easy to cut with scissors or a art knife.  We buy it by the box but a few sheets from a local copyshop won't be too costly.
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