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I’ve been going a little overboard with all the BMOW stuff for the Maker Faire. I’ve spent about $300 on assorted stuff, which is a little crazy considering that this isn’t a profit-making enterprise, and there’s really no good reason to have stickers and posters and books and things, but I can’t stop myself. Help, I think I have a problem!

I used Shutterfly to print four large photos of the wiring side of the BMOW main board, which I’ll have around the booth at the Maker Faire. While I was browsing the the Shutterfly site, I also noticed a special they were running: a twenty page 8 x 11 inch hardcover photo book for $23. I couldn’t resist, so I spent a few hours designing a “Making of BMOW” book for people to browse at the booth. It’s a condensed version of the past year and a half of this blog. The book arrived yesterday, and it’s awesome! The front cover has a hole cut in it, framing the photo on the title page, which is a nice touch.

Here are a couple of sample pages from inside the book. It all looks really professional.

I should have stopped there, but I didn’t. Another idea I’ve been mulling for a while is creating a clear cover for the BMOW case. I’m a little worried it might get damaged or spilled upon if I leave the case cover off during the Maker Faire, but with the existing cover in place, it becomes just a boring beige box. I wasn’t really sure how to go about making a custom clear cover though, and never took the idea any further.

Last week it occured to me that a custom clear cover doesn’t really need to be a complete replacement for the metal cover, with full sides, back, guide rails, and so forth. All I really need is a 2D cover that can be mounted to the system board using standoffs, and will protect the board from most hazards from above. That would still leave some small gaps at the sides and edges, but they’d be small enough to not be worrisome. So I took some measurements, spent an hour designing a cover using Corel Draw, and mailed the file off to Pololu, a company that does custom laser cutting of various materials.

The cover arrived yesterday, and it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. It’s 1/8″ clear acrylic, with laser cut mounting holes, and a grille for the speaker. The BMOW logo is also etched into the cover, using the laser at a low-power setting so it didn’t burn all the way through.

I’m just blown away that I can spend an hour in a vector drawing program, send the file off into the ether, and three days later get an exact physical part on my doorstep for $29. I’ll definitely be looking for more excuses to custom fabricate parts in the future.

I haven’t yet confirmed that the cover fits, since I need to get the correct size standoffs first. It looks perfect to an eyeball test, though. My vector layout file was based on hand-measurements made with a ruler, so it’s entirely possible that the mounting hole positions are slightly off. I made the hole diameters bigger than needed to allow for some error, and if worse comes to worse, I’ll try drilling out the holes to correct any major mismeasurements.

Read 11 comments and join the conversation 

11 Comments so far

  1. Fred Rueckert May 10th, 2009 10:15 am

    Very proud of the work, sounds better than a basement time machine on tires!

  2. GG May 27th, 2009 10:51 pm

    This blog rocks!

  3. Nexxo May 28th, 2009 4:59 am

    Wonderful project! Would it be possible to order a copy of your hardcover photo book? I would be happy to pay $23,– plus postage to the UK.

  4. Will May 28th, 2009 8:24 am

    I would gladly pay for a copy of that book. You should consider publishing it.

  5. Adrian May 28th, 2009 11:43 am

    I would like a copy of your book,if you relase it, of course.

    You are absolutly amazing!

  6. Sam May 29th, 2009 4:27 am

    Proposal to publish the book seconded!

  7. Other Steve May 31st, 2009 10:56 am

    I’d be interested in a copy of the book too. :)

  8. Steve May 31st, 2009 7:07 pm

    You can view or purchase a copy of the book at http://bigmessowires.shutterfly.com

  9. Mario Gomez July 5th, 2012 7:02 am

    Hello, d be interested in a copy of the book too.

  10. Question-man 0288 October 26th, 2012 5:56 am

    i have been doing some research on bmow and i have been trying to make something similar but i need a starting point plz respond (bmow fan)

  11. Question-man 0288 October 26th, 2012 5:57 am

    for example how do you program something like this its amazing

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