Norns shield case designs

It’s just the showy ‘renderer’ in Fusion 360. Same tool I used for everything else 3D/CAD I shared in this thread, including the exploded diagram of the board. Just what I know, really.

Got it, thanks @infovore. I just started playing with Fusion, still learning what it’s capable of. Did you model all of the individual components? I’m wanting to try mock up a couple of designs but wasn’t sure if it was common to use libraries of existing components or build everything from scratch.

gosh no.

  • switches and encoders are official CAD parts from suppliers
  • PCB is an export into Fusion from EAGLE
  • raspi and all components on it is a model I found on Grabcad.
  • audio jacks on shield are models I made myself from the drawings for those jacks
  • I think screen might be an official model, or one I made from a mechanical drawing - can’t remember.

Meaning the only thing I actually made for sure is, you know, the top/bottom panel and the stereo jacks. Grabcad is handy, but you have to be prepared to wade through some less good models to find better ones.

In general, I only use Grabcad for faffy things. I’ll definitely use manufacturer’s official STEP models if they supply them, though, that helps a lot, and PCBs I either export from KiCad as STEP (nowadays) or (if I’m working with an EAGLE board) direct from EAGLE into Fusion.

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Super cool, thanks for the info @infovore, that’s extremely helpful!

Any party people have an illustrator files for @infovore or @okyeron designs? I’m .dxf inept :sweat_smile:

Top/bottom w/ clear top norns-shield-topbottom-clear.ai (49.4 KB)

Full enclosure: norns-shield-case-kit.ai (69.1 KB)

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Update of my Norns Shield & MI CVPal case. I am happy with the final result.

Available on Tinkercad:

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Hey everyone, I have been planning for a little while to build a double norns shield housed in one box and have a few question surrounding the process if anyone has advice!

The plan

The aesthetic I’m going for is gonna lean towards an industrial control panel look. Think something like these soviet-era control systems panels

Ideally, my design would place the panel and controls on an angle with a flat surface on top for the audio I/O, usb connectors and power - similar to something like the Ekhdahl Moisturizer, or these Lego UX panels :slight_smile:

This should also give sufficient internal volume for a substantial battery. It would be really cool to have enough room for a mic preamp as well, though depending on power draw it may be more sensible to just feed the norns with a separate source like a field recorder with line outs. I definitely don’t mind this thing being a few pounds, I’m aiming for something very solid and inspiring to interact with.

Questions

Rather than sticking to the default shield control layout, I’d like to arrange things vertically - the screen on top, row of three encoders below that, and then finally the keys. The plan would be to mount these on the reverse of the front panel, such that the visible part of the panel has no screw holes. I’m guessing I will just need to use hookup wire to connect the encoders and switches to the relevant PCB connection, but would there be any need to instead make a breakout PCB for those controls?

I’d like to use mechanical keyboard switches in place of the normal switches, but I’m not sure if they are functionally equivalent. Is a switch a switch, or are there gotchas to this that I’m not seeing?

Are there any electrical interference problems that might result from having two of these in the same case, sharing the same power source?

Thanks for reading my wall of text!

I don’t have a lot of help to offer, but I will say I have thought about doing something very similar to this, so I am curious to see what you come up with.

I also wanted two Norns with relocating the buttons and encoders.
Was also going to have a diy grid, 16n faderbank and possibly an arc also mounted.

Still going over in my head how to manage usb routing and whatnot. Would also want the in’s and outs as an almost patch bay. Was also thinking about integrating a midi to cv converter to make it easier to integrate with other gear.

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Regarding the usb panel connections, my thought was to just get some of these usb panel connectors that adafruit makes, seems like a good simple solution.

The patch bay is an interesting idea as well! Initially my thought was to just break the shield outputs into individual jacks and call it good, but a patchbay might allow for some more versatility.

Midi to cv output was another thing I considered, but hadn’t thought much about as I’ve got a Crow for that. Messing around with other power supplies (like eurorack or 500 series) inside the case might complicate things beyond what I could pull off, but it’s pretty cool. I really like how @klingklangmatze did this in his design, that’s a good place to draw from.

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A switch is a switch in this case.

You’re gonna need a big honkin 5v PSU for the 2 pi’s (2.5A for each)

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When two Norns share a power distribution socket, I get a slight ground loop noise. I often minimize this by using powerbanks instead of power adapters.

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Good to know that the switches are interchangeable. I’ll have to settle on a good way of mounting them, I’m thinking maybe these Amoeba single switch pcbs would be a way to do that. I’ll have to investigate a bit more.

Around power, my main concern was whether I would have problems with interference or noise between the two RPIs if they’re housed in the same box, having never done that before. I probably wouldn’t have them share the same adaptor or anything like that. The setup I’d like most, actually, would be to feed the entire unit with a single IEC adaptor, and have switches to supply power individually to the original 5v adaptors that the pi normally use. I guess that would require some kind of distribution board with step-down voltage conversion, so maybe that’s a bit complicated considering I could just get a couple panel-mount usb connectors and use the official PSUs that I know are up to the task.

One more tweaked and 3d printed version of


(and a crappy lasercut acrylic window)
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Third (!) attempt at dremel cutting a Hammond 1590 enclosure. Need to stop wasting brain cycles on the enclosure. This is good enough.

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Hi everyone - I’m new to the norns community as I’ve only had my shield a couple of weeks but couldn’t bare to have the insides exposed so I made this case.

It’s designed to fit snugly against the the acrylic top plate that comes with the shield kit. I’m gonna push it further to create a full enclosure but waiting on some acrylic to be cut. I call it the basic model. Just running a high quality one off on the printer after a few nights of prototyping.
What do you guys and gals think?

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Looks real nice. Think you probably don’t need the stock pi 1/8 jack hole and hdmi though? All you need on that side is access for the usb power connection and norns i/o.

ooh thanks for the tip! I’ll take another pass

FWIW - The built in 1/8in audio jack sticks out past the pcb about 3mm (same as the shield jacks from the shield pcb). HDMI about 1.5mm.

thus if you want the frame of the case to be flush against the pcb edge, then you need holes there.

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You’re right - I’ve just made a version with a recess inside the case wall will see if i can get away with it.

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