Design case for your own hardware

I have a finished product of some sorts. Now I want to incorporate my PCB into a custom made casing. The casing needs a place where I can put in one AA battery, it needs round hole where the lens of a PIR sensor can stick through.

What software can I use to design this? Where can I then get this manufactured?

I couldn't really find any information about this specifically.

Case design is harder than it looks. It is best to buy a case that is close and cut holes where you need.

Maybe buy one with a transparent lid and then make a sticker with the round window you want.

Anything can be a case. An old biscuit tin. A block of wood hollowed out from the back.

There are services that will build a case for you. They have a simple library of things that slot together so they can build in quantity of 1.

If you have access to a 3D printer then you can design something totally custom in your favourite CAD program. This is more time-consuming than you expect.

Also check out the "Product Design" sub-forum here.

^ ditto on everything mentioned above.

That being said.. maybe try out FUSION360 and 3D model your own case.. (learning curve for not only the 3D software.. but also 'case design' in of itself!)

Then you can either go to your local makerspace and have it 3D printed.. or use Shapeways or something if you want better quality.

It is much easier to design your circuit board to fit an available case than the other way around. PCB design is 2-dimensional, with software having only a somewhat steep learning curve, and the manufacturing is very cheap (assembly not so much still). Case design is 3-dimensional, with software that is more difficult to learn.

Yes, I forgot that step. Find a box that works and make the PCB fit.

3D design is not easy - I'm using FreeCAD for this. Took me maybe a week of full time hard work and serious frustrations to get started in this, I must be a fast learner. It's a major learning curve. But you can of course do really cool things with it, then import the models into Blender and make great renderings of your project.

I've had a few such parts made in China. CNC still gives better surface finish than 3D printing and with a week between order and receipt it's not that much slower than trying to 3D print it. It's still quite expensive of course.

Much easier and much less work overall is indeed to use existing cases (there are lots of them out there), MUCH cheaper than custom cases. Really, a fraction of the cost, and those you can get waterproof as well, and depending on the material used and the frequency of your PIR it may very well read right through the lid.