USB Door

posted Sep 3, 2012, 7:20 PM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Sep 3, 2012, 7:20 PM ]

I was hoping to get some 'manual labor' done this weekend... but instead, I did a bunch of planning.  I spent an awful lot of time figuring out the whole radiator thing, as well as yet another new feature I am going to try and incorporate into my design.  Here's some shots of where I am at.

First of all, I finished re-designing the top window and finishing it up... so it is ready to print out and cut at this point!

Now, you may have noticed the discrete little rectangle at the top front of the case...

What is that, you might ask? It's what took me 8+ hours to figure out, research, design, and sketchup... that's what it is. 


Ok... so it's not as impressive as I made it out to be.  But it took forever to figure out... mostly because of all the hardware/mechanical parts to it. Here's a shot of the inside of the case, where all the 'business' is:

What you are seeing is the back side of the USB socket, a spring, and a push-push latch. The spring will be pushing against the top of the case, so that when the whole thing becomes unlatched the spring will pop the door open. 

The push-push latch is one of those plastic little snap-lock things... when you push on it once, it locks the little 'strike plate' in place. When you push it again, it pops open and ejects the strike plate. The strike plate will be attached to the top of the case, and the push-push latch will be attached to the USB door. When the door is open all the way by the spring, it will catch on the front of the case by a small 'notch' sticking out of the front where the USB ports are. 

Nifty, no? But that's not the best part....

The whole business also doubles as an access port for filling the reservoir! 

By pushing lightly against the USB face to bend the 'notch' back far enough, the whole unit can pivot on it's hinges a full 90 degrees, revealing the top of the reservoir below it, which will be sealed by a standard G1/4 cap that is recessed into the top of the reservoir. 

I still have some details to work out on the mechanics (like how the spring will be mounted, and if I need to do some fancy work with the push-push latch to get it to connect with the strike plate right), but I think the design is most of the way there. In the interest of proceeding with the case while I work out the details, I think I might just substitute in a simple window to cap the opening... just so I can keep moving forward. 

As always, totally open to suggestions on how I could accomplish this easier. I'll be the first to say that I am 'mechanically challenged'... and usually cook up crazy ways to accomplish something using custom parts that otherwise already exist.  I would love to be able to use some kind of 'self opening hinge' in place of the complicated latch and spring stuff... but the only one I could find was for a huge cabinet door... 

Till next time!