08-19-2011 10:21 AM - edited 08-19-2011 10:23 AM
Can anyone point to an FPGA box manufacturer, I need to cover the box. The box can be made of plastic or metal. I need to make a demo at a client and I plan on using 2-3 connected boards but I don't want him to see all the cables and the boards.
Do I need to make them myself or is there a manufacturer that does that?
08-19-2011 10:50 AM - edited 08-19-2011 03:44 PM
1. Find a local mechanical engineer working at a large local firm (hopefully a firm dealing in consumer products). If you don't know anyone, ask a hardware electronics engineer for names of mechanical engineers. Ask the ME (mechanical engineer, not medical examiner) if s/he has time for a moonlighting project. Bring over your stuff -- hopefully a set of boards you can spare for days or weeks. Talk over your needs, and commission him/her to do the work.
More than likely the ME 'knows' either sheet metal or plastic, and can use either to get your job done.
2. Find a local plastics house. One national chain we have here in Portland Oregon is TAP Plastics. They do plastic fab. They bend, drill, and tool plastic to your specs. You can hand them a drawing on a napkin, or you can have them do the 'design'. Plastic looks well-finished, it's inexpensive, and the turnaround time is excellent. Turnaround time is important, in case you need a second run to correct errors. Don't forget ventilation holes.
If you want to drill and cut plastic yourself, make sure you have the right drill bits for the job. Plastics can be very brittle. Don't try heating and bending the plastic... let the plastics house do that for you.
Make sure your working prototype is properly grounded at all times. Off-the-shelf plastic sheets are excellent static voltage generators. If you can protect your electronics in a static-protection bag (these are readily available from online electronics distributors such as mouser and digikey), so much the better.
Good luck with your product presentation.
-- Bob Elkind
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