The simplest and most cost effective way to create a custom housing. Two U-shaped pieces are snapped together to create a case. The top-shell is slightly over-bent which makes it act like clamp when clipped over the bottom while a tongue-and-groove joint provides a tight seal. For smaller housings no additional fasteners may be necessary, otherwise a solvent-weld, thread-forming screws or machine screws and threaded inserts can be used to assemble the housing. This type of housing is a popular alternative to off-the-shelf blank housings such as project cases or gang boxes. The advantage is that the size is variable and that all cut-outs are machined at the same time as the perimeter. Since there is no post processing for customer specific features a custom made clam-shell housing is often more cost effective than an off-the shelf box that requires modifications. Common uses are gang boxes, switch housings, sensor cases, converters, simple controllers and other hand-held devices.
SLIDE-IN CHASSIS CASE
Here an L-shaped chassis slides into a 4-sided cover. This is the preferred housing style for devices that have connectors on both ends. All internal components are mounted to the chassis with access from 3 sides and sliding the chassis into the cover completes the assembly. This style housing requires only a minimal amount of fasteners (often only one) to keep the bottom part (chassis) from sliding out of its key ways. This design also allows the use of an over-sized cover creating a lip around the top and side edges. This is beneficial for outdoor applications and often eliminates the need for a gasket. This assembly and service-friendly style is commonly used to house outdoor switches and keypads, outdoor sensors and cameras, as well as battery powered devices.
This is a 6-part design consisting of a front and back panel, two internal sides and a U-shaped top and bottom. Its use and appearance is very similar to cases made from aluminum extrusions with covers on both ends. The front and back panel are recessed and the top and bottom covers warp around the sides, effectively doubling the thickness of the side walls. This makes for a very rugged and substantial housing that is usually held together by at least 8 fasteners (4 on each side with 2 holding the top and 2 holding the bottom). The double-skinned sides allow for the easy addition of third party handles. Easy access, exchangeable front and back panels and its impact resistance make this style housing the preferred choice for for portable diagnostic equipment and other industrial uses such as drive controllers.
TABLE-TOP HOUSINGS AND KIOSKS
The front, top and back are formed from one piece which allows any combination of angled surfaces to accommodate keypads, touchscreens and displays. This contoured centerpiece is capped with two side panels which lends this style housing its stiffness (the sides are often made using a thicker gauge since they do not need to be formed) which are then solvent welded. The housing can be accessed through a removable bottom plate which usually has some kind of anti-skid feet attached to it. Card readers and cameras can easily be added to this style housing. Common uses are medical equipment, self-serve check-in and ordering kiosks.
These are often used to contain antennas or other low-profile printed circuit boards. This style of enclosure is made up by sandwiching 2 or more layers of flats. The contour of these flats as well as the internal cavity are CNC machined so there is no forming involved. The stack is either solvent-welded or held together by fasteners (usually # 4 thread-forming screws).
This makes for an extremely rugged casing that can be dropped or stepped on without suffering any damage. This style enclosure is popular for USB-devices, RFID-tags, wands, antennas, key-fobs, remote controls and small sensors.