Flight case for DS40 or DS80 printer

07/05/2011

I recently purchased an event printer – the DNP DS40, and was looking around for a suitable case. One that I could use the printer in, and did not add too much bulk. There is one available, but at £260, I thought I could do something cheaper, also one of the cases at this price was huge – intended for housing two printers. I found Trafford Photography’s blog and it inspired me. All OK, but I didn’t really want to stick velcro on the printer, and wanted it easily removable – no real reason, just the way I like it.

Alfie checks out the case for size...

So, I purchased a 4U 19″ 300mm sleeve Swan Flight case, some high-density closed cell foam and some screws. With a little thinking, this was what I came up with (again, under £100). Screws came from B&Q, the foam easily found on eBay.

19" rack mount flanges

First, the case is fitted with 19″ rack mounting flanges, these had been left in on the previous example, but I wanted to remove them. They are fitted with two rivets that are easily drilled out, the remaining body of the rivets drilled down flush to the edge of the inside of the case so as to leave no sharp edges.

Drill the body of the rivets down.

Detail of the captive bolt attached to plywood (unpainted)

At this point, I realised that the flanges would be useful for making a retaining ‘wall’ within the case. I found a piece of 5mm plywood and cut a piece to 245 x 187 mm to use as this. Drilling holes top and bottom, I could fix the flanges using the captive bolts and screws already supplied with the case.

I decided to paint the plywood black to match the appearance of the rest of the case.

Painted, ready for assembly

Assembled

Now, I found that the holes to retain the flanges should be drilled into the case 109mm from the edge of the aluminium frame of the case. Four screws are needed at 45mm centres. This allowed for the 10mm foam to be added left and right of the printer, but you may wish to adjust this a little. The foam allows the printer to be slid in and out of the case, although it is a snug fit. Foam 200mm x 80mm was used both left and right, held in place with double sided tape (as I use for assembling albums!).

109mm from the edge

Nuts, bolts...

Four screws were used for each flange, top and bottom. 12mm M4 screws with washers to protect the outside of the case and avoid the screw heads from splitting the case.

...and washers

Closed cell foam, as used for garden kneelers

Two thicknesses of foam were used (200mm x 140mm) at the top of the printer. All is stuck in, carefully avoiding the vents so that the printer can remain inside the case in use. (although the front and rear covers come off of the case).

Double thickness foam used at the top of the printer

Foam is added to the front and rear lids to ensure the printer does not slide when in transit.

The front lid

Rear lid

Dividing wall installed

Screw heads for dividing wall on outside of case

The finished item, ready to go!

Storage for mains lead, USB cable and extension cable.

So there you have it, an economical case for a DNP DS40, DS80 or Mitsubishi CP3800DW printer.