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Custom Benchtop Enclosures Manufacturing


Custom Benchtop Enclosures Manufacturing


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This video provides an overview of our manufacturing processes for custom-designed benchtop enclosures.

Thorlabs' Manufacturing Technology and Services

Thorlabs offers fully customizable benchtop enclosures for electronic devices. Our services include laser cutting, riveting, UV printing, and overlay custom molding. Customization options are available for the front panel, rear panel, mounting board (the Assembly Details tab identifies each of these components), and an optional overlay. Read below or watch the video to the right to learn more about each service, all of which are performed in-house at our Shanghai, China facility.

To begin ordering a custom benchtop enclosure, please refer to the configurator on the Custom Enclosures tab to fill out a request form. Shown below are examples of customized enclosure front plates.

Laser Cutting
Our CNC-operated, high-power laser cutter features a maximum cutting area of 600 x 600 mm and can cut through carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, and brass, as well as a variety of other materials. Thorlabs' all-aluminum benchtop enclosures include front and rear panels as well as a mounting board, all of which can be customized to virtually any shape or design.

Riveting
After components of the enclosure are laser cut, the panels are riveted. This process involves mechanically clinching cylindrical fasteners to the panel, providing stability when assembling the panels and serving as points of contact for PCBs or other electronic devices housed within the enclosure. Riveting can be performed on any panel of the enclosure. Please note that overlays cannot be riveted.

UV-LED Printing
UV-LED inkjet printing has an advantage over mechanical engraving in that ink is applied to the surface and does not penetrate the material. The ink dries immediately upon exposure to UV light, providing labels that are both clean and smooth. UV printing can be performed on any panel of the enclosure.

Overlays
If an overlay is desired for the front panel of your enclosure, we can provide a custom mold. Using 4-color UV printing, overlays are constructed from 1 mm polycarbonate plastic to provide greater durability and resistance to impurities, and they can be designed to fit virtually any shape or cutout. Thorlabs utilizes this process to design the front panels of our Kurios® bandpass filters.

The faceplates above are examples of the services we offer, which include laser cutting, riveting, and UV-LED printing.

Assembly Details for Blank Enclosures

The blank enclosures are shipped completely assembled with the exception of the two foldable feet and two fixed feet. The feet can be easily attached using the included M3 cap screws and 3/32" hex key. The mounting boards are sold separately, and four M3 button head screws (5/64" hex) are included with the enclosure for installing a mounting board. The enclosure can be disassembled for ease of machining. The included 5/64" and 3/32" hex keys can be used for all screws in the assembly.

Ref. # Component Qty. Material Color/Finish
1 Front Panel 1 Aluminum Silver/Anodized
2 Bottom 1
3 Mounting Boarda 1a Hair-Line Finish
4 Cover 1 Gray or Red/Anodized
5 Trim Strip 1 Silver/Anodized
6 Gusset 4 Plain
7 Foldable Feet 2 ABS Plastic Black
8 Fixed Feet 2 Black
9 M3 Screw
(5/64" and 3/32" Hex Keys Included)
Varies Stainless Steel Plain
10 Rear Panel 1 Aluminum Silver/Anodized
  • Not included with enclosure. See the table below for details.
Mounting Boarda
Ref. # Item # Compatible
Enclosure
Width Depth Height Material Color/Finish
3 EC1515MB EC1515A(R) 130.0 mm
(5.12")
80.0 mm
(3.15")
1.5 mm
(0.06")
Aluminum Hair-line Finish
EC1530MB EC1530A(R)
EC1530B(R)
130.0 mm
(5.12")
200.0 mm
(7.87")
EC2030MB EC2030A(R)
EC2030B(R)
180.0 mm
(7.09")
200.0 mm
(7.87")
EC2530MB EC2530C(R) 230.0 mm
(9.06")
200.0 mm
(7.87")
EC2530BBb 230.0 mm
(9.06")
230.0 mm
(9.06")
9.5 mm
(0.37")
Black Anodized
  • Sold Separately from Enclosure
  • The EC2530BB is an optical breadboard with an array of 1/4"-20 tapped holes. A metric version (EC2530BB/M) is available with M6 x 1.0 tapped holes.

Custom Enclosures Request Form


Click to Enlarge

Customized Enclosure with Lid Removed

Use the configurator below to customize your own benchtop electronics enclosure. Customization options are available for the front panel, rear panel, mounting board, and overlay (not included with standard enclosures). The drawing in the Assembly Details tab identifies each of these parts, with the exception of the overlay. Click on the icons in the custom enclosure tool below for information on each customizable part of the enclosure, as well as the customization options for that part. Click on the yellow boxes below to view details about the cutting, riveting, and UV printing services.

After selecting one of our standard enclosure sizes, check the boxes corresponding to the service you would like for each section of the enclosure. For each service selected, download the .pdf or .dxf template(s) for that section of the enclosure, edit the template with your desired design, and then upload the file (.pdf only) by clicking on the Upload button. You can view a design file that you have uploaded by clicking the icon in the Preview column.


Click to Enlarge

Example of a Customized Enclosure

You can add multiple enclosures of the same kind by increasing the Quantity, shown below the table in the configurator. You can customize multiple enclosures with different sizes and different designs by clicking the Add Another Enclosure button at the bottom. Once all customization requests have been entered, click Add to Cart.

Click on the yellow boxes below to learn more about the customization services we offer.

The price estimate generated upon submitting your drawings is subject to change. Your designs will be sent to our Technical Support team for review. You will then receive a finalized price, which may increase based on Technical Support's evaluation of your design and our manufacturing capabilities. You will have a chance to confirm your order after receiving this finalized price.

 

Select an Enclosure

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