How to expose a push-button so it can be depressed outside of an enclosure?

In most electronics I've seen, the device is enclosed in an enclosure with holes cut out for a piece of plastic that can be depressed to make contact with a push-button. That piece of plastic must contain some sort of shoulder/lip so that it doesn't fall through the enclosure hole.

Because I don't know the industry term for that piece of plastic, I'll refer to it as the "push button physical interface" (PBPI).

Brainstorming, I only know of 3 ways to make a PBPI:

  1. 3D Print it: Most versatile but I'm going to have to dish out $$$-$$$$ just to print out push buttons! (Also, it's out of my budget atm)

  2. Cut to length a piece of 1/4" wooden dowel and glue a square piece of wood (or something the size of the button) to one of the wooden dowel ends. A person pressing on the button from outside the enclosure would depress the end without the square padding which is the thing that actually pushes the pushbutton

  3. Hot-melt glue another push button to the enclosure and make solder connections between the push button on the circuit and the pushbutton on the enclosure.

What ways do you know of to solve this problem?

is a panel mount switch not an option?

What are you trying to do? Access a reset button on an Arduino board?


I'm trying to design an enclosure around an HDMI display controller board and screen like the one listed on this page.

Look at the enclosure I bought from my digital oscilloscope. It uses several pieces to access the buttons by trapping them between two acrylic plastic. You could cut out the top layer to access the touch screen.

The button pushers work fine and do not bind and have no way to escape from the box.