Meshtastic

Overengineered 3D Print Case for T-Beam v1.1 (IPEX)

Hi all,
i read about Meshtastic a couple of weeks ago and ordered a (third) T-Beam, this time one with an IPEX connector, to make it more “usable” than the T-shaped models.

Being the nerd that i am, over the past couple of days i designed a quite overengineered case with the goal of making it as sturdy as possible (which means printing it in PETG, and not having a wonky lid that comes off by itself).
It uses a brace under the board that locks into place on two “mounts” left and right of the battery holder, and a spacer on top to keep the right distance between the board/screen and the lid.

Have a look at this animation of the near-final design, and let me know what you think!

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I think it is class, well done, love that you have integrated the buttons into the casing

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The sliding mechanism is great! My case posted above* isn’t engineered to open it more often than let’s say 8 times. What i am missing in your design is a window or something to protect the LCD screen.

*in the 3d printed cases thread :wink:

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Thanks! I designed something similar for a previous project and thought i’d try to adapt the same concept for this one, because this is the only way i’d know how to create a lid that doesn’t bulge and have gaps.

Regarding the screen, i’m still not done with the placement and may add a recess where you can glue in something flat and clear (somewhat similar to some other case i saw here, maybe it was yours?).

Currently i’m trying to add that requested thin wall above the GPS antenna, which i read about a couple of minutes ago.

And labels for the buttons…

And finally do a print of all the parts to check their fitment, so far it has just been iterations over iterations on parts that interface with other parts, but no complete print in the current state :wink:

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@jangrewe Awesome work. I have a few T-shaped T-Beams on the way. Did you create something similiar for them?

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Beautiful design.
Can’t wait to have the STL file :grin:

@chucknitro: Unfortunately not, as the antenna connector would interfere with the sliding mechanism. I do have a couple of T-shaped ones, though, so maybe i’ll refactor the design a bit for a snap-on lid.

@TitanTronics: I just assembled the final version and i’m very happy with how it turned out. I’ll put them on Thingiverse in a second.

Done! :blush: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4619981

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@jangrewe Super thanks, tomorrow I warm up my 3D printer.
I am impressed with the quality of the work you have done.
Next project maybe with the 1.3 OLED display? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I actually got a couple of those on the way, and i’ll try to adapt the design when i get them.
You’ll probably need to print a new Spacer and Lid part then - definitely a new Lid :wink:

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I see nothing wrong with this. In fact I think it is pretty awesome to see more designs to house the controller. I too have been working on one in my free time and will post images and files soon.

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Here are some prints in progress :yum::heart_eyes:

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Fantastic design!!
Is that some rubber material? Which software do you use for modelling?

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Thanks!
I’ve printed it in PETG. While not a rubber, it is a bit more flexible (and robust) than PLA.
I used Fusion 360 for that. It’s a steep learning curve if you come from other tools, because it’s very 2D/sketch focused for the actual designs, but i’ve come to love how precise and predictable you can work with it.

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I see! I have some experience from Microstation but never tried making things for 3D printing. Would be nice to learn though!

I have an idea for a design inspired from a speaker I have. A sort of rubber “casing” surrounding and also a squared rubber piece with a push button in the middle. This could be glued on to make it water resistant.

Do you know if such details are possible to print in rubber without being expensive?

Sure, there’s flexible filament that can be used for something like that. Combined with a printer that is capable of multi-material printing, this could be done in one go.Not sure about how well PETG and Flex bond together, though.
But yeah, you could also print the case in PETG and the buttons separately in Flex and glue them together…
But even then you’d need a case design that allows for a gasket and a watertight screen window. I guess those details will make things a lot more complicated. :wink:

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@geeksville Any easy way to rotate the screen orientation (software setting) 90 degrees so it can be read while vertically oriented, accommodating many of these other case designs.

I guess you got the wrong thread for that, neither is he in here (yet), nor does my design use a rotated screen :wink:

I was thinking about something similar, though. The problem is just that it definitely won’t work with the current design - unless i repurpose the spacer to also function as a display holder, and modify the lid accordingly.

nahh, not the wrong thread. I want to print your case but leave it standing up on my desk. my suggestion is for a software screen rotation not physically rotating the screen. So instead of being wide and short, its tall and narrow.

Everything about your case would stay the same but i wouldn’t have to twist my neck to read it. Pixels are just pixels so remapping the output should be pretty easy.

A watertight screen window isn’t that difficult. I inserted a thin transparent petg window into my lid. This worked out pretty well and is definitely watertight :tada:

Do you think PETG is better than other plastic? Would it also work to cover/protect a solar cell?