3d printed modular panels

Just thinking out loud really.

Anyone tried/know of someone who has (successfully) 3d printed modular panels?

I think @bpcmusic printed prototype panels for the Telex modules…probably somewhere in the long Telex thread.

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Here’s a MW thread:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=116980&sid=4be57473ce91ab85e6dbb878da12afea

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I’ve printed a bunch using an OpenSCAD script that I put together. I’ve not packaged it up for any kind of release - but it is super handy in that it will automatically size the panel to the Doepfer spec, put in holes for the screws automatically at the appropriate places, and has primitives for pots, jacks, and LEDs. All you have to do is input the HP and copy the positions of all the elements from Eagle (or equiv) and it will make you a nice, pretty panel.

@sandy - If you are interested, I’d be happy to dig it up and share. :slight_smile:

TELEX panels:

Panel for Early DrumFuck Prototype PCB:

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@jasonw22 - thanks - I rarely go to MW these days so hadn’t seem that thread. Some great examples.

@bpcmusic - I was actually thinking of Frac panels (I know - heresy in the Eurorack-centric modular world!!) and don’t even own a 3d printer yet. But, it would be great to see the files you’ve done so I can start learning.

On that note - anyone have a 3d printer recommendation? Nothing fancy - just something that would do this sort of job and is suitable for a beginner.

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I’d love to hear some personal experiences, but in lieu of that, Make magazine’s buying guide is a decent starting point.
https://makezine.com/comparison/3dprinters/

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I’ll swear by the Prusa i3. It is my third printer and is far and away the best. Strongly recommended.

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For anyone in the bay area, Noisebridge hackerspace has a collection of functional 3D printers. Personally I’m more interested in laser cut acrylic. The gnar working group already has made some Euro sized laser cut panels. The space is open during the day. Ring the bell or dm me.

If the panel you want to do is just a flat surface with holes for components I do not see the point of going the 3D route (except for learning purposes). Laser cutting is cheaper, faster and easier for that (if you have a fablab or something like that closeby).
On a related matter may I ask what all of you use as a cad program for 3D printing?

Do you have a role in making the Buckmodular gear?

For one-offs I’m a big fan of the following technique:

  • print hole layout onto paper
  • 3M spray-mount adhesive to aluminium/steel/plastic
  • hand drill or press drill
  • punches for larger holes (e.g tube sockets if you’re doing an amp chassis)
  • ‘chain drill’ square cutouts
  • scrub the paper off with soap & water
  • dymo labels instead of engraving

labour-intensive I guess - but what’s a couple of hours when it comes to these kinds of projects!? Did my modular this way - mounted several populated pcbs directly on a 15" rackmount blank… Not very extensible or configurable but hey did the front-panel for several tall-format modules for like 20 bucks plus the day or so of labour…

Yeah, if I had a workshop I’d do it like this as well I guess!
You can also do a toner-transfer print on aluminum quite easily they say, then drill/punch out holes.

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LMNC does a decent job with a hand drill in this video. Of course, he doesn’t have to be very precise because he has no need to align to a PCB.

one trick is to overdrill the holes a bit or crack out the file if you only have a hand drill & the pcb won’t fit… With access to a workshop with press drill you can get very accurate using a center punch, clamps & a pilot hole!

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Learning purposes plus I would like a 3d printer for other projects as well. I make very few modular panels but they’re on my mind at the moment as I want to make a couple of things with different panels to their originally intended ones.

I also like being as self-sufficient as possible so a 3d printer covers lots of bases, can do more for me, and is way more affordable than a laser cutter.

Ah. And now I have Prusa lust!

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Yeah - didn’t have a laser cutter at the time. I’m planning to see if my script will work with the laser-extensions for OpenSCAD at some point as a new laser cutter just arrived for me to enjoy.

As noted above, I use OpenSCAD. I really like being able to design in code - it allows things to be super-precise.

Nope. I know Sky, the guy who created them. He works at Analogue Haven here in LA - which is down the road from me. He gave me a prototype of the DF to play around with back when I was working on the TELEX prototypes. I’ve made some additional drum kits for the unit, but ran into some artifacting that I haven’t had time to wrap my head around. At some point I’ll figure it out and share the files with him. Nice guy. Great modules!! :slight_smile:

Sky has helped me a couple of times when I’ve had the chance to get in from Phoenix to visit the shop. I wanted to ask him about his upcoming Mutes and thought you might have a hand in them.

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