Version 2 is the current release of the AXCase. In the summer of 2010, the group was approached by their instructor Geoffrey Rockwell. He expressed interest in continuing to fund the development of the case.

With the first incarnation of the AXCase, we created a functional arduinome case. However, the case failed in a number of ways:

  • Appearance – MDF is quite…. plain. Though this case was designed with the intention of adding cladding of different types such as veneer or fun fur.
  • Durability – MDF is also highly susceptible to water damage
  • Environmental impact – MDF is also an environmentally unwise choice
  • Weight – the device was quite heavy after the addition of the case as MDF is quite heavy as well.

As a result, for the 2nd iteration of the case, we decided upon the following design goals.

Primary Design Goals:

  • Case must be available to the end user for under $150 CAD including cutting and shipping. This is a somewhat relaxed goal. It reminds us that the case must be affordable however $150 should not severely limit us in what we want to do. In an ideal situation, we will be able to make one-offs of these cases for much less than $150.
  • Case design must be documented and available for users to use with an online laser cutting service. In order for people to be able to make these easily, we need to assume that the user will not have any tools. One of the easiest ways to make things without a tool is to pay someone else to do it! So, if we design a case that can be made at a service like, anyone can fabricate it. If they have access to a local laser cutter, then even better!
  • Case must have a system in place which allows the development of custom attachments. These attachments will adapt the case to the specific needs of the end user. In terms of attachments, we want users to be able to swap out different parts of the arduinome. For example, making an arduinome that can be expanded from 64 buttons to 128 really easily. Or, for example, simply adding handles so that it can be carried easily. We’re hoping people who use the arduinome can come up with some cool attachments.
  • Design files must be open and editable by the end users. This is really essential to the idea of open source. We want the arduinome community involved in developing something like this.
  • Design files must be created in a standard and open format: Scalable Vector Graphics (editable in Illustartor or Inkscape). Rather than create more complex files, svg files are common and editable in many different programs.
  • User must be able to assemble the case with commonly available hand tools. If we assume a bare minimum of tools/knowledge/experience/skill, we can ensure that anyone who wants one of these should be able to make one. Anyone who is more experienced can use this as a great starting point for designing their own case.

Secondary Design Goals:

  • Must be attractive. While it would be great to make something beautiful rather than affordable/extensible, there are many options out there already for this including buying a premade monome.

Attachment Ideas:

We don’t need something extreme for attachments. We want something parsimonious and cheap! These are some ideas that we are bouncing around as fasteners:

  • Velcro: We could wrap the sides in fuzzy velcro!
  • Slots/Crosses cut into the sides: this was implemented in version 1, we will likely again have an option for this… these holes are useful!
  • Double-sided Tape: it’s sticky and double-sided… sounds like it might be useful.
  • Rare earth magnets: clean looking if we mount them on the inside, but might be difficult to keep parts aligned. Magnets can be secured by cutting out rings and gluing them on the inside of the case with epoxy to make little magnet “cups.”