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3D printing provides professional option for electronic prototype

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For his first 3D printed work-related project, Sky Bartels had to design a highly specific housing for an electronic circuit board prototype. After 5 attempts, he was confident enough in his creation to submit it to his client.


Photo curtesy of Sky Bartels

“The nice thing with 3D printing is its capability to create a complete finished part from a 3D model, as well as its low price and ease of use,” Bartels said.

Bartels is a CSU mechanical engineering student currently working at MDot design. He works primarily with 3D printing, design and fabrication. The company focuses mostly on startups. Recently, a client came to him to to request a 3D printed enclosure for their electronic prototype.

In order to make the enclosure, Bartels took the circuit board prototype and made a solid model using Solidworks software.

Once he had the circuit board enclosure, Bartels helped his client personalize the project with a logo. He also designed the box with specific technical purposes.

“The enclosure is unique because it includes a printed in logo and internal cable strain relief,” Bartels said.

According to Bartels, it is difficult to promote enthusiasm from investors by simply showing them a circuit board.

“ It’s very hard to show a bare board to investors and elicit any kind of excitement.  With the 3D printed enclosure it has a professional durable appearance,” Bartels said.

Bartels first heard about the lab from a mechatronics engineering class he took at CSU. After he did a group project using I2P, he started using 3D printing for his design job.

In addition to MDot design projects, Bartels is working on making his own 3D Printer while improving specific parts to it.