From the moment I purchased the Adafruit IoT printer kit for managing our incoming packages, I had been planning to produce my own variant of the enclosure–the original was a little kitsch for my tastes, and, in its colour palette, all-too primary.

Adafruit open source most of their designs, and true to form, there are a couple of variants of their thermal printer enclosure on Thingiverse. Downloading the most recent, I set about modifying it. My goal was simple: remove some of the excessive design elements like the cloud cut-out, sharpen up the corners (I rile against the rounded edges that are the mainstay of modern consumer electronics industrial design), and then get it cut in a slightly more aesthetically appealing material1.

I rapidly discovered that things would not be as simple as simply tweaking the design: Adafruit’s designs all done in Illustrator, making them difficult to manipulate precisely. So, given my preference for Fusion 360, I set about re-implementing Adafruit’s design from scratch in Fusion. This has the advantage of allowing me tweak a few more things on the way, and to model the other parts and check everything for fit before ordering:

Updated design, ready for manufacture

I didn’t get the design quite right the first time around, but after a couple of tweaks, I have something I’m fairly pleased with. Certainly something I’m happy to have it around the apartment until quarantine ends.

I have made the designs available on GitHub and Thingiverse, complete with the Fusion 360 models, and DXF files for laser cutting.

  1. I’m keen to try out some dichroic acrylic when I can get to a laser cutter myself, but until then, some translucent red acrylic will have to suffice.