Packaging the ATMega128RFA1 Radio

August 16, 2012
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I am exploring the capabilities of 3D printing and am always looking for an excuse to make some new object. After designing the AVRRF radio board I thought wouldn’t it be cool if I could build a small package to hold the board. I decided on a two piece package described below. I captured the package design in OpenSCAD which is a parametric design tool that allows me to write code to draw the objects. OpenSCAD is also a free tool so anyone can produce parts using the same process.

The first part of the design was to defineĀ  the size of the PCB which I grabbed from the Eagle board layout. The AVRRF board is 1.625″x1.625″ and is 0.8mm thick. I also needed to define the vertical clearance for the board so that the component heights don’t collide with the package. To do this I sketched up a side view of the package. I set the board clearance above and below the PCB to 4mm so that there is enough room for the 3.95mm USB mini B connector. I also set the wall thickness to 2mm which is just shy of one tenth of an inch. This gave an overall package height of 14.8mm which is slightly more than one half inch. The one millimetre detents are designed to accept labels to allow me to customize the box with colour laser printed labels. The code for the top and bottom packages is here Wifi_box and here Wifi_box_bottom and I have ordered parts from Shapeways so they should arrive by the end of the month. Of course the ATMega128RFA1 board is 3 weeks out so I won’t have a chance to check the tolerances until September.

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