featherPay – The Casing Top

What is featherPay?

A simple and easy to use handheld payment terminal that merchants can use to take payments via feathercoin for any goods or services that they sell or deliver. More information can be found here

Several parts to the project, which as usual isn’t finished yet 🙂

  1. The Casing Top
  2. The Casing Bottom
  3. Circuits and connections

The Casing Top

I have a small 3D printer, which outputs a good enough quality print for a prototype and with a bit of finishing is perfectly acceptable as something you would have in your home. So it only stood to reason that when I came up with the idea of featherPay that I should print the case parts on said machine.

My weapon of choice as far as 3D modeling goes is SolidWorks, but there are plenty of other options out there, I find the SolidWorks can out but an .stl file that ReplicatorG handles quite well from a slicing and print output point of view . I have no formal training in the product so had to learn from the ground up and over time I have learnt to change the way I do things a little to make life a little easier in the long run.

The idea being to print the case in two parts a top and bottom as with most casings you see these days, extruded lip around the outer edge to allow things to line up properly, the casing top needs to house the following components that make up featherPay

  • Screen
  • Key Pad

I spent a lot of time drawing and redrawing things as I moved them around before I realized that the simplest way to build the top of the casing was to draw up three separate parts and then import the 3 component parts as solid bodies into a forth part that is then exported as an stl file and sent over to replicatorG for slicing and printing. I have no idea if this is the “right” way to do it but it works for me and allows me to move things around much easier. Once I grasped the theory life became a lot simpler and I even went back and redrew a couple of other models I had previously drawn.

False starts aside, I started with the screen surround. The screen used for the project came from the top guys over at The Hardware Level their customer service is second to none, and were always willing to help out when I ran in to difficult during the coding phase. The surround is used for a few reasons a) spacing out the screen so that it fits and looks right against the filet of the cut extrude giving a resessed look to the finished product b) as the tactile buttons aren’t being used at the moment in the project they need to be covered c) providing enough material for the fixings

lcd-pi32_1  screen_surround

 

Next up came the key pad surround, primarily used to provide the correct spacing so the key pad is flush with the rest of the upper casing but also to provide enough material for the mountings

3x4_Keypad keypad_surround

 

The final part is the case top itself, this is the part that the other two will be linked too forming the final drawing that will be sliced and then printed

top_2_1  top_2_2

 

So with all the bits drawn it was time to import them as solid bodies and build up the final model for printing, and add the mounting bosses

top_2_3  top_2_4

 

 

Its all screwed together at the moment, but next time I strip it down I’ll take a couple of photos of the finished item as it came off the printer

UM

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