Case Studies (literally) from I Heart Robotics

customized cases for an Arduino + a great technique for inking etchings in acrylic

Anything precious deserves a specially constructed case. And what could be more precious to a group of playful, robotic engineers than a bit of easy-to-use, electronic hardware part of an open-source platform?

I Heart Robotics has created a series of variations on a case structure built specifically for an Arduino board. Arduino is “an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board and a development environment for writing software for the board.” It’s meant for artists, makers, designers, and general techno-hobbyists. In addition to the case studies, I Heart Robotics has several Arduino based projects up on their blog.

The Case studies resulted in some amazing objects made in all sorts of ways, from plastic injection molding to aluminum construction to 3D printing in alumide. And they used Ponoko to laser-cut parts of some of their most recent versions.

A custom plate was cut and etched using a sheet of opal acrylic. The Robotics Hearters wanted the etching to be more legible, and so they took a couple of very easy steps:

“Apply ink with a permanent marker over the lettering. Wipe clean with a paper towel. Use paint thinner if necessary.” Voila. Looks totally professional.

Another version was made using the natural bamboo. No ink necessary, since the laser burns the edges a darker brown.

I think these things are super cute and would also consider keeping explicit love notes or contraband in them. Ya know, anything precious. Want one of your own? Send I Heart Robotics an email. The address is their name at gmail.

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I know some people making analog synthesizers that would LOVE an alumide and bamboo casing…

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