Monday, October 11, 2010

Contest - enclosure for BookClock

I am of the opinion that an electronics project is not finished until it is encased. I have lots of working boards sitting around and collecting dust (literally). They cannot be displayed/shown and sometimes not even touched as they are, since there is a potential for shorts or breaking connections because of the open circuitry or fragile wiring.

Here is an idea: a contest for the design of an enclosure, specifically for the BookClock project. I originally used a cardboard box as case, but that looks rather shabby. I tried to explore other, mostly wood-based (because opacity should be a requirement) solutions, but they are too complicated to manufacture (involving tooling, die-cuts etc). I think that one of the best suited solution for "mass" production and also accessible to amateurs and hobbyists, is laser-cutting the box sides, but this is just my suggestion.

So here are the contest rules and details:
  1. submit plans, containing drawings with dimensions, for a box for BookClock; basically, the book-sized box should hold the 8x32 LED matrix display from Sure Electronics (datasheet here) on a side, and the Arduino board inside.
  2. email the design file (PDF, DGW, DXF, PNG, BMP, JPG) to s o m e o n e @ c i f o . c o m;
  3. deadline for submission is Nov 15, 2010;
  4. the best design(s) will be awarded DWex watch(es);
  5. the design must be open source (publishable, downloadable);

The winner(s) will be chosen based on the following criteria, not necessarily in this order:
  • solution cost: the cheaper, the better; this involves materials and processing work (labor/machining/assembly/finishing);
  • design: how it looks;
  • originality, special features, cool factor.

I will be posting on the contest entries and announce the winner a few days after the contest ends on Nov 15.


  1. Yes, and a very good one. I will publish it when the contest closes.