All of the buildings, all of those cars
were once just a dream
in somebody's head
Mercy Street - Peter Gabriel


2 minutes read

Pic 1

For the enclosure I wanted something special and not some boring metal or 3D printed box most projects end up in (if at all). For this I found inspiration with DIY Perks on YouTube.

First job is making a mold. Luckily, having a CNC mill, this is easily done (once you’ve decided how big you want to have the enclosure). Otherwise, it will take a bit of manual effort to saw the pieces to measure.

The needed pieces conveniently milled by the CNC mill.

Then I needed some plastic to make the curves of the mold. The best plastic I could find for this is what is typically used to laminate e.g. photo’s, cards, etc.).

Mold wrapped in plastic for the curves.

Then we need to make sure everything stays at its place. With duct tape of course.

Securing the mold.

Next is preparing enough cement. I found some ready to use cement in a local DIY store. That spared me the trouble finding out the right mix of cement and sand. Just add some water and stir (don’t shake).

Preparing a small batch of cement.

Now just fill up the mold with the cement. Every now and then tap slightly on the mold to make sure that any air bubbles that might be trapped can escape.

The mold filled with cement.

Then give it enough time to dry out and then gently remove the mold.

And voila.
Temporarily placing the LED matrix to see if the dimensions are as expected.

One small mistake I might have made is using a bit too much water in the cement. After 24 hours, the cement had dried out enough to be removed from the mold and the surface was perfectly flat. However, the cement keeps drying for the next few weeks and in my case, the surface was getting slightly uneven. Not enough that you can see it. Only when you swipe your finger over the surface you would notice it. Using a bit less water might have prevented this. But the enclosure was perfectly usable regardless.

Recent posts

See more