Network PDU-S: Enclosure Design


When I first found out about Protocase from a Midi Workstation project listed on Hack A Day I couldn’t wait to design something to take advantage of their service.

The Protocase website has a template generator that will create a complete assembly for use in your CAD program so you can get started right away.  I chose Solidworks since that’s the software I’ve been using.

Engineers at Protocase were very helpful and were able to use the 3d Solids directly which was great.


Original assembly from Protocase

With the Protocase assembly generator I was able to start with a model that was 90% complete.

I attempted to import my VRML 3d PCB model directly from Kicad.  Unfortunately, I never quite got that working so I ended up making a simple model of the board outline and mounting holes in Solidworks.

From the various manufacturer’s websites I was able to find 3d models for the PSU, IDC Connector, and the RJ45 pass-through jack.  This not only saved time but also gave me confidence in the design.  I couldn’t find any model for the NEMA 5-15 outlets so I made one using the suggested panel cutout drawing.

Completed Assembly Isometric

When I designed the board I included 8 relays, however when it came to designing the case it became obvious that 8 switchable outlets can’t fit on the back.  I thought about making the front outlets switchable, but it didn’t really fit any of my use cases.

In the future I will need to spend more time on a top-down design of the project before jumping into the sub-assemblies like the electronics.

Exploded View

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