Let's Make Robots!

How to make custom enclosures - The basics

Make or duplicate just about anything with Smooth-On liquid plastics
Custom_Project_Enclosures.pdf1.65 MB

It is all detailed in the Attached pdf file,

You can use the same basic method to mold or duplicate almost any part you need for any project.

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How tough is this product. My thought was the same as Simon Z about making parts. I have designed a 6 leg crawler robot. If I was to machine the parts out of aluminum it would cost me $15K at the cheapest machine shop. I am looking for more affordable alternatives.


Smooth on offers several different types of plastics. The one used in my demo is a semi-ridged plastic that is flexible. It is fairly strong and can be sanded and drilled but it has a low tear strength. Not something I would use for robotic frame work or movable parts.

The http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Plastic-a/c5_1120_1158/index.html or the http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Plastic-a/c5_1120_1157/index.html might be a better choice for a stronger more ridged frame. If you give them a call and explain your application - they can recommend the best product to use.

It might be a long process, but should be a lot cheaper than $15k. Also, once you have molds you can cast as many parts as you like.


Is this advertising disguised as a walkthrough?

Defiantly not, Sorry if it appears that way.

I am not affiliated with Smooth-on what so ever.

Yeh, it did appear so. You registered at the site 15min ago, and just a few min later you posted a walkthrough leaving a subtle link to some product. So i assumed it was some kind of bullocks.

Anyhow, seems you're just a new member. I guess "welcome to the LMR" is  what i should say :)

I was asked by CaptainObvious from the Arduino Forum to scoot on over and post this here after reading a reply I made here


But your observation is understandable and I probably would have thought the same thing ;)


Oh, then thanks for the link. And hope you stay a while -- here at Letsmakerobots.

Regarding the post topic. Wonder if the techniuqe could be transfered easily to creating robot-frames. My first impression is that it looks like a process which might just take to long compared to other alternatives. 

Thanks, this is a very interesting site, I wonder why it never came up in any of my searches over the years. 

That entire project took me about 3 to 4 hours. Obviously a simple box such as this, would be much easier to simply glue 1/8 ABS sheet together, but I simply wanted to show the basic concept and versitilaty of useing the liquid plastic. For a one time thing, it may not be the best course.

If your robot frame is something you want to repeat and duplicate, I would suggest makeing a rubber mold useing the OOMOO rubber. You can then cast several frames quickly and easy. And if you already have a frame, you can use that to produce the mold. The example on makeing the lid for the box is a good way to make and replicate custom shape platforms.

Here is another example of what I use it for and shows a rubber mold. http://www.jassper.com/other/Encasing_Boards.pdf



Welcome to LMR lol its weird saying welcome when i just joined a week ago :) Nice project I'm interested in making a custom enclosure for my next robot, makes 'em look nice, and CaptainObvious must be inviting away at that arduino forum because thats where he told me about LMR lol