Our first BLOG! It’s a very exciting time for Toolless. I am a CAD designer at Toolless and have been asked to provide periodic insights and experiences about our work.
When folks ask me what I do for a living, I respond, “I design plastic enclosures.” The response is usually the same; a polite smile and a subtle change of subject. The thing is — I find the work very interesting and exciting.
I think what confuses people is the misconception that we use injection molding, all the enclosures are six sided, and very little can change from one enclosure to another. None of which is true. We do not use injection molding, not every enclosure has six sides, and we make custom enclosures to meet the needs of most any customer. We don’t have a stock of standard size enclosures ready to be mailed out as customers request them. Rather, every enclosure we make starts as a large sheet of flat plastic. We mill parts to a desired size and shape, saw if needed, bend if required, sometimes roll, print, glue, and assemble. We provide enclosures for over 200 customers and are producing about 15 to 20 prototypes per month for many different uses. None of these enclosures are the same.
Making a prototype is where the excitement begins. Some customers send a detailed 3d model, some a set of mechanical drawings, and some a picture of a pencil-drawing sketched on a piece of paper. I’ve even had customers send the components they need to enclose and been told, “Put it in a box.” Each new prototype starts as a challenge to design an enclosure that meets our customers needs and expectations, but at the same time is able to be produced using our manufacturing techniques and processes.
In the following posts I will discuss some of our more interesting designs and the ways we have solved some of those challenges.