Terra Tuesday: Our plastic enclosure is here!

Quick Facts

This week, our final prototype plastic enclosure for Terra showed up! These are some of the first samples of our injection molded case, which is under review for any final fit and finish issues. When we give them the thumbs up, the factory goes quick to work, cranking out thousands of these. However, as you will see shortly, it is good we only have a couple.

Let's take the first look at what your Terra will look like -- mostly. In order to identify shrinkage and other artifacts, a glossy black was used for our prototypes. The plastic used during mass production will be a forest green color.

Scott Whittle is testing out the mating of the two pieces for the first time. The good news, it all fits! Phew!

This is the top part of the Terra. If you look closely, you will see an inset where a waterproof gasket will be placed.

The waterproof gasket fits perfectly around one of the Terra microphones. This is one of many additional pieces that go along with the Terra's plastic case. 

The Terra PCB also fits great inside the case. Another phew, but because we tested this design many times with CTT's Formlabs Fuse 1, it wasn't a huge surprise. 

And now for some problems with the injection mold. This annoying feature was added last minute by the manufacturing house to "prevent shrinkage marks". However, the bottom, which is effectively shaped the same, does not really suffer from these types of marks. You can see a dimple, but its not really noticable. Additionally, not only does it look ugly, but it will make a trap for stagnant water. 

The good news is that since the mold is effectively a 3D negative, and this inset can be easily removed from the mold, making our Terra look perfect.


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Next Steps

This week, into next, I will be troubleshooting with our EE on ways to reduce a specific case of noise (it is not all the time). We may need to implement some shielding over our sensitive audio circuitry. I will have some interesting pictures next Tuesday showing this experimental process. Once we narrow down what is needed, it is expected our design will be updated using "tin can" covers, which will insulate our audio circuitry from WiFi impulse noise. You won't even see these, as they will be inside the case and mounted over the circuit board.

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