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Make your own gadgets! Modular laser-cut acrylic housings for Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics projects.

Introduction Space Station enclosures are modular, laser cut acrylic plates designed to house and protect electronic circuit boards. Space Station enclosures are intended for students, engineers, artists, makers, tinkerers, hackers and inventors who use Arduino and Raspberry Pi in their projects. In case you are not familiar with these devices, the Arduino is a simple, easy to use family of micro-controllers, which can be programmed to sense, control and communicate with external devices. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost and versatile micro-computer which runs a Linux based operating system and comes compete with HDMI video output and flexible digital interface. 

Arduino mounted in Space Station "UNO" enclosure.
Arduino mounted in Space Station "UNO" enclosure.

There are currently 2 sizes of Space Station enclosure: a compact and extended version. The compact version is designed for Arduino UNO (and compatible "clone" boards) and the extended version is designed to house an Arduino UNO (+ battery or mini bread board), Arduino Mega or Raspberry PI. Due to its unique stacking properties, you can build towers by adding extra layers.  There are endless possibilities for customizing your Space Station with panel mount switches, LEDs etc. The clear lid allows you to see the inner workings and the result is a simple, compact and practical housing solution. 

Key features of Space Station modular enclosures: 

1. To protect electronics, prevent short circuits & keep work space tidy. 

2. Allows projects to be securely mounted and embedded in installations, cars, robots etc. 

3. The open-sided enclosure provides access to reset button & ports. Assembly takes around 3 minutes; removable lid for quick access to boards or to replace shields.

4. Allows safe transport: carry a project in your pocket or bag, or send in mail.

5. The modular system enables multiple configuration possibilities e.g. stack in towers, linear arrays etc. 

6. Easily customized using panel-mount LEDs, switches, knobs, displays etc.

Work in progress. Space Station enclosures are great for prototyping on the workbench. Here is an example of an Arduino UNO housed in an "Original UNO" Space Station enclosure. A prototyping breadboard is mounted on top, populated with components, and connected via wires to the Arduino below. In this example, a "74HC595" shift register is being used to drive a "vintage" Hewlett Packard 7-segment LED display.

Arduino UNO housed inside Space Station "Original UNO" enclosure with Breadboard stuck on top.
Arduino UNO housed inside Space Station "Original UNO" enclosure with Breadboard stuck on top.

Completed projects: Projects are sometimes so cool, they have to be preserved! Here's a desktop Arduino clock housed in a SpaceStation "RED UNO" enclosure. The project was built using an Arduino UNO, proto-shield, Real Time Clock module and vintage "bubble magnifier" LEDs from the 1980s. 

Arduino clock displaying time using RTC module, vintage Litronix LEDs, housed in a "RED UNO" Space Station enclosure.
Arduino clock displaying time using RTC module, vintage Litronix LEDs, housed in a "RED UNO" Space Station enclosure.

Raspberry Pi. Space Station enclosures have the benefits of open sides, for quick access to the connectors, and the simple design also allows air circulation to "keep the Pi cool". Space Station "MEGA" enclosures share the same "footprint" and may be stacked with "Raspberry Pi" enclosures. 

Raspberry Pi mounted on a Space Station BASE plate. Rubber grommets hold the Pi securely in place. The posts and lid may be added, or can be left open allowing quick access to IO ports.
Raspberry Pi mounted on a Space Station BASE plate. Rubber grommets hold the Pi securely in place. The posts and lid may be added, or can be left open allowing quick access to IO ports.

Raspberry Pi - in it's natural habitat.

Raspberry Pi mounted in a Space Station enclosure, nestled in a raspberry bush.
Raspberry Pi mounted in a Space Station enclosure, nestled in a raspberry bush.

Raspberry Pi - in action. 

Raspberry Pi mounted in a Space Station enclosure connected via HDMI cable to a TV.
Raspberry Pi mounted in a Space Station enclosure connected via HDMI cable to a TV.

Background. 

The original idea for Space Station enclosures arose through necessity. I required a solution to securely mount an Arduino project that I was working on so that it could be transported to and from work and to sites of installations. I designed a simple base plate that insulated the Arduino circuit board from the surface it was resting on and a lid to protect the electronic components. There were several stages in the design and testing. Early prototypes were made from hand-cut  acrylic, in a variety of thicknesses, and later I moved on to laser cut acrylic. I have spent several months sourcing the best quality hardware, components, testing configurations, optimizing designs and building a variety of examples. 

Examples of different projects built using Space Station enclosures. 

Below are examples of completed projects made in my lab using Space Station enclosures.

Example 1. Arduino Voice Box

Arduino Duemilanove with SpeakJet Voice Box speech synthesizer. Enables your Arduino to talk! The lid was custom drilled to house speaker, we hope to produce a laser cut version if project is successful.
Arduino Duemilanove with SpeakJet Voice Box speech synthesizer. Enables your Arduino to talk! The lid was custom drilled to house speaker, we hope to produce a laser cut version if project is successful.

Example 2. Space Station "Mega" BASE with Mini Bread Board and Bitmapped, daisy chained LED displays. 

Arduino Uno mounted in "Mega" enclosure with mini bread board and LED displays.
Arduino Uno mounted in "Mega" enclosure with mini bread board and LED displays.

Example 3. Animated LED Sprite.

Bitmapped 5x7 LED display (vintage Texas Instruments TIL305). Built using a proto shield mounted on a Seeduino
Bitmapped 5x7 LED display (vintage Texas Instruments TIL305). Built using a proto shield mounted on a Seeduino

Example 4. Raspberry Pi / Arduino Double-Decker!

Raspberry Pi on the base, Arduino UNO with SD shield in the middle plus 16 x 2 LCD display on top. This system is controlling a set of LED lights and also logging data from temperature and light sensors.
Raspberry Pi on the base, Arduino UNO with SD shield in the middle plus 16 x 2 LCD display on top. This system is controlling a set of LED lights and also logging data from temperature and light sensors.

Please share your inventions! – I will post the best on the website http://www.weeblackbox.com and I will award prizes for my favorites.

Selection of completed LED display projects housed in "UNO" Space Station enclosures.
Selection of completed LED display projects housed in "UNO" Space Station enclosures.

Rewards:

 "Original UNO" Space Station enclosure – All you need to get stated with an Arduino – a black base and clear lid with all the mounting nuts, screws, posts etc.

UNO Space Station Kit.
UNO Space Station Kit.

"RED UNO" Space Station enclosure: All red version – transparent red acrylic LID and BASE, ideal if you are using vintage red LED displays. 

"RED UNO" SpaceStation Kit.
"RED UNO" SpaceStation Kit.

"JET-BLACK UNO"  Space Station enclosure: All black version, for "stealth" projects!

"JET BLACK UNO" SpaceStation Kit
"JET BLACK UNO" SpaceStation Kit

"Fluorescent UNO" Space Station enclosure - Space Station: Black BASE and 3 fluorescent LIDs - highly fluorescent under blue or UV light. 

"FLUORESCENT UNO" SpaceStation Kit.
"FLUORESCENT UNO" SpaceStation Kit.

"MEGA" Space Station enclosure - houses either UNO or MEGA sized boards. If you are using an UNO it gives a little extra space to mount a battery or prototyping bread board. 

"MEGA" SpaceStation Kit.
"MEGA" SpaceStation Kit.

"RED Raspberry Pi" Kit. Also available in CLEAR. 

"RED Raspberry Pi" SpaceStation Kit.
"RED Raspberry Pi" SpaceStation Kit.

Hack in the LAB - Learn to solder, write some code, pick my brain, tinker, hack, invent and have fun!

A recent photo of "The Laboratory".
A recent photo of "The Laboratory".

Why I need your support.

I require funding to build the first production batch ~500 units. I need to order laser cut plates, mounting hardware (nuts, bolts, sticky feet, standoffs etc) and package them up (with the help of some friends!). Kits will come with instructions and I will post videos and examples of some nifty projects together with schematics, bill of materials, source code. Currently SpaceStation enclosures are available in a mixture of colours and configurations; through the Kickstarter project, I hope to gain a feel for the demand for particular colours and, even more importantly, establish a user base. In future I hope to grow the team (hire staff), improve the product range and develop exciting new accessory kits. One of my passions is rare, vintage LEDs from the 70s, some of which are featured in examples above. The laboratory is entirely self-funded - without support through this Kickstarter project, I will be unable to expand the company into this exciting market area. This is an opportunity to buy one of the first production batch of Space Station enclosures - they are currently not available anywhere else.  I value your feedback as this will help develop new projects and expand the Space Station range. 

Have you got an Arduino or Pi? Then you’ll probably want one of these..."PIMP" your Arduino, add "Bling" to your Pi. Have fun...

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The main risk is that I do not receive enough orders to make the project feasible. To keep the kit price low, I have to order bulk quantities of components and laser cut plates. If I do not receive sufficient orders, the production will be delayed and the price of kits will increase, or in the worst case, will not happen at all. I don't want this project to fizzle out!

If the Kickstarter project is successful, I will immediately place the order for laser cutting the acrylic plates. The designs are all ready, and we have working prototypes. It will take around 10 days for the laser cut plates to arrive. With the help of family and friends, I hope to have the kits packaged and shipped within 2 weeks; this will be a challenge and I will keep you informed if I expect any delays. I value the support from this Kickstarter project and I will endeavor to keep in contact with all backers, providing updates, technical support and news of upcoming products.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    "EARLY UNO" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or equivalent boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (BLACK, 72mm x 92mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (CLEAR, 72mm x 92mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, self adhesive feet etc).

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    "ORIGINAL UNO" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or equivalent boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut BASE 72mm x 92mm (BLACK); 1 x Laser cut LID 72mm x 92mm (CLEAR); Mounting hardware (screws, nuts, 25mm standoffs, self adhesive feet). This will be the first batch to be shipped, and will include a free vintage LED gift.

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    "JET BLACK UNO" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or equivalent boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (BLACK, 72mm x 92mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (BLACK, 72mm x 92mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, self adhesive feet etc).

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    "MEGA" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or "Mega" boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (BLACK, 72mm x 124mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (CLEAR, 72mm x 124mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, self adhesive feet etc).

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    21 backers

    "CRYSTAL CLEAR Raspberry Pi" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B. Also compatible with Arduino UNO and Mega boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (CLEAR, 72mm x 124mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (CLEAR, 72mm x 124mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, washers, grommets, self adhesive feet).

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    "RED UNO" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or equivalent boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (RED, 72mm x 92mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (RED, 72mm x 92mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, self adhesive feet etc).

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    36 backers

    "RUBY RED Raspberry Pi" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B, Also compatible with Arduino UNO and Mega boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (RED, 72mm x 124mm); 1 x Laser cut acrylic LID (RED, 72mm x 124mm); Mounting Hardware (4 x 25mm standoffs, screws, nuts, washers, grommets, self adhesive feet). Compatible with "MEGA" sized SpaceStation.

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    2 backers

    "DUAL Pi" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 2 Large BASE Plates (Black), 1 LID (Red), (72mm x 124mm). Mounting hardware sufficient to mount up to 2 Raspberry Pi (or Arduino) boards.

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    "FLUORESCENT UNO" Space Station enclosure. Compatible with Arduino "UNO" or equivalent boards. Contents: 1 x Laser cut acrylic BASE (BLACK, 72mm x 92mm); 3 x Laser cut acrylic LIDs (fluorescent tinted RED+GREEN+BLUE, 72mm x 92mm); Mounting Hardware (4x 25mm standoffs, 8x 12mm standoffs, screws, nuts, self adhesive feet etc).

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    3 backers

    "LUCKY Dip (small)" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 2 Small BASE Plates and 4 Small LIDs (72mm x 92mm) in a mix of colours. Enough to make 1 multi-level tower or 2 standalone enclosures. Standard mounting hardware for 2 Arduino UNO boards, also includes 8 x 12mm "short" standoffs.

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    7 backers

    "QUAD Pi" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 4 Large BASE Plates (Black) and 1 LID (Red), (72mm x 124mm). Mounting hardware sufficient to mount up to 4 Raspberry Pi (or Arduino) boards.

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    3 backers

    "TRIO (small)" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 3 BASE Plates (Red / Black / Clear) (72mm x 92mm); 3 LIDs (Red / Black / Clear) (72mm x 92mm). Enables construction of multi-level towers or 3 standalone enclosures. Mounting hardware sufficient to mount up to 3 Arduino UNO (or equivalent) boards. Also includes 8 x 12mm “short” standoffs.

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    6 backers

    "TRIO (large)" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 3 Large BASE Plates (Red / Black / Clear), (72mm x 124mm); 3 Large LIDs (Red / Black / Clear), (72mm x 124mm). Enables construction of multi-level towers or 3 standalone enclosures. Mounting hardware sufficient to mount up to 3 Raspberry Pi (or Arduino) boards. Also includes 8 x 12 mm “short” standoffs.

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    20 backers

    "HYBRID" Space Station enclosure. Contents: 2 Large BASE Plates (Black / Red acrylic) and 2 Large LIDs (Red / Clear acrylic), (72mm x 124mm); 2 Small BASE Plates (Black / Red acrylic) and 2 Small LIDs (Red / Clear acrylic), (72mm x 92mm); Enables construction of various hybrid towers or up to 4 standalone enclosures. Mounting hardware for up to 4 Arduino (UNO or Mega) boards or 2 Arduino and 2 Raspberry Pi boards, also includes 12 x 12mm “short” standoffs.

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    3 backers

    "HYBRID PLUS" Space Station Enclosure. 12 laser cut acrylic plates in any combination of your choice. Options are: LARGE LID / LARGE BASE / SMALL LID / SMALL BASE. Colours: RED / BLACK / CLEAR. Plus mounting hardware (nuts, bolts and standoffs etc) sufficient to make 6 individual enclosures or a stacking tower. Once the project is funded, I will contact backers via survey to check which colours/sizes are desired. The default option will be 3 SMALL BASE Plates, 3 SMALL LIDs, 3 LARGE BASE plates and 3 LARGE LIDs (one of each colour).

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    "HACK IN THE LAB" Spend an afternoon tinkering, hacking and learning about the basics of micro controllers, driving LED displays and high power LEDs. Meet other inventors, rummage through our parts drawers, build something cool. All participants will receive a Space Station enclosure plus a selection of vintage LEDs to take home. Location: Edinburgh Scotland, UK (dates to be arranged) lunch and refreshments will be provided but travel and accommodation are not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)