Alternatives to 3d printing

Hi all,

I'm looking for a cheaper alternative to 3d printing to obtain a plastic case.

I mean a way to obtain a complete object (essentially a plastic box 30x10x5 cm with 0.5 cm of thickness) and not a set of glued sheets of plexyglass (that is my option for now).

Thanks in advance

(deleted)

You can take a stock project box from any of various manufacturers and fab out the holes you need. Although, those dimensions are very long and narrow, not typical of off-the-shelf boxes.

https://www.velleman.eu/products/list/?country=es&lang=en&id=344197&page=3&page_count=50

There are also websites that provide 3d prints if toy send them the files if you really need your specific size.

3D printing and CNC are the cheapest options for one-off manufacturing.

Gluing pieces of plexiglass together is the next cheaper option...

I have to thank you all for the nice ideas, but I was thinking some process giving me the final product without glueing all the sides of a box, like plastic injection (that is out of range for a normal person).

wvmarle:
3D printing and CNC are the cheapest options for one-off manufacturing.

Gluing pieces of plexiglass together is the next cheaper option...

With CNC I can reach that height? I think that CNC can be an alternative to make the sides of the box but then I still have to glue them.

Bringamosa:
344197 ENCLOSURES – Velleman – Wholesaler and developer of electronics

There are also websites that provide 3d prints if toy send them the files if you really need your specific size.

This could be an idea, I should see if they make the exact dimensions I'm looking for

essentially a plastic box 30x10x5 cm with 0.5 cm of thickness

5mm thick is "very thick" - I don't think you'll find anything in standard boxes.

In general, that's a pretty big box to make (inexpensively) using any sort of additive or subtractive process, I think. What's wrong with your current "glued sheets" (six walls, not "stacks", right?) method? Presumably a plastics fabricator (like "Tap Plastics" could do that; probably cheaper than printing; definitely cheaper than milling.) Maybe something creative with two U-shaped sections that are bent, rather than glued.

Bjack795:
Hi all,
I'm looking for a cheaper alternative to 3d printing to obtain a plastic case.
I mean a way to obtain a complete object (essentially a plastic box 30x10x5 cm with 0.5 cm of thickness) and not a set of glued sheets of plexyglass (that is my option for now).
Thanks in advance

Do you need a fully enclosed box or do you need some sort of top on the box?
It would take my 3D printer almost 30 hours to print an open top box with your dimensions, and 400grams of material.

oldvetteguy:
Do you need a fully enclosed box or do you need some sort of top on the box?
It would take my 3D printer almost 30 hours to print an open top box with your dimensions, and 400grams of material.

In practise I should have two of those pieces (I'm now defining properly all the dimensions) one for the keyboard insertion, so I will cup it with an holed plate and one for the boards and the screen, so cupped with another holed plate.

Essentially that is the time and the weight, 1 Kg of PLA is 20€ here in italy so 0.02€/grams so material cost is 8 € and in all the places online and in shop they ask least 400€.

Do you have a 3d printer allowing 30 cm of printing? I've only found some limited to 25 cm

30 hours of printing time on high-end 3D printers and labour cost for setting up the printer (designs usually need work to make them 3D-printable) and you quickly get to that price.

Indeed you may find that in the end the part is printed in pieces, which are then glued together.

wvmarle:
30 hours of printing time on high-end 3D printers and labour cost for setting up the printer (designs usually need work to make them 3D-printable) and you quickly get to that price.

Indeed you may find that in the end the part is printed in pieces, which are then glued together.

I know that keeping occupied a machine for 30 hours costs a lot but 400-8 = 392€ of machine and labour?

I’m a civil engineer and neither to build a bridge we have this proportion ahahahaha

Anyway something similar to the real product should be like the .jpg I attached, I have to modify the standoffs but the idea is that.

Depends on the labour they charge - that's often the big part.

Though it's of course a bit silly to 3D print such a simple shape, cost is normally based on your typical complex shape which needs a lot more work to get it print ready.

wvmarle:
Depends on the labour they charge - that's often the big part.

Though it's of course a bit silly to 3D print such a simple shape, cost is normally based on your typical complex shape which needs a lot more work to get it print ready.

That's why I am asking for alternatives, but since i should be a finished product I don't want to make it dirty and imprecise cutting and glueing edges

Acrylic can be cut and glued to the extent that you can barely if at all see the seams. I've done so myself for a much larger container. Bought the pieces of acrylic cut to size (using a proper saw, meant for the job), and laser-cut holes. Some acrylic glue and it looks perfectly.

wvmarle:
Acrylic can be cut and glued to the extent that you can barely if at all see the seams. I've done so myself for a much larger container. Bought the pieces of acrylic cut to size (using a proper saw, meant for the job), and laser-cut holes. Some acrylic glue and it looks perfectly.

Yup but I'm not so good at doing this stuff to make a "finished product" work.
Either I don't have laser-cut and the proper saw.

I would like to know what 3d printer has @oldvetteguy

So, 3d printing or cnc, or lasercut yourself will be to expensive since you will have to purchase the machine.

Diy cutting is not your thing, it will not look good

Having a shop print it is to expensive.

Guess you'll be buying some project cases/boxes....

Bringamosa:
So, 3d printing or cnc, or lasercut yourself will be to expensive since you will have to purchase the machine.

Diy cutting is not your thing, it will not look good

Having a shop print it is to expensive.

Guess you'll be buying some project cases/boxes....

Nothing is too expensive, is just not the right price, ahahah.
I will buy a project box or a 3d printer, the Anet E12 is 100€ less expensive than printing two cases and has the capability of (30x30x40)

I don't know if I want to spend so much money but surely not for two pieces of plastic.

Well if you had a 3d printer in mind already this is the right moment to decide and get one :wink:

2 projectboxes are cheaper than any 3d printer in the end :wink:

Bringamosa:
Well if you had a 3d printer in mind already this is the right moment to decide and get one :wink:

2 projectboxes are cheaper than any 3d printer in the end :wink:

I have to sit and think about it, anyway thank you!

Bjack795:
Nothing is too expensive, is just not the right price, ahahah.
I will buy a project box or a 3d printer, the Anet E12 is 100€ less expensive than printing two cases and has the capability of (30x30x40)

I don’t know if I want to spend so much money but surely not for two pieces of plastic.

earlier in the thread, you mentioned injection molding. Injection molding must be done on a very large scale to offset the capital cost. Even if you don’t buy an injection molding machine with a dryer, take-out robot, end-of-arm tooling, conveyor etc… Just the mold alone can easily run $50,000.00.
Vacuum forming is taking sheet plastic and drawing it over a mold. tooling for this can be less than 1000, but still out of the ballpark for a single unit. If you are doing any volume, but not enough to justify injection molding, vacuum forming might be the way to go.
For small runs, 1-1000 units, 3D printing requires no molds, just programming. This is why it’s cost effective to make products of high quality in small batches. Beyond 100 units, fabrication time, and material cost might make vacuum forming the way to go.