Help designing a simple enclosure.

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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:47 am

Help designing a simple enclosure.

Postby fdattein » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:26 am

Hi everyone,

I have trying to learn how to use Freecad, but I am still struggling to design a simple enclosure. The closest tutorial I could find is the "bolt pattern" on Youtube (

However, in the tutorial above, not all the 4 bolts are at the same distance from the walls. Basically, I am struggling to define a constraint to for the right-upper corner, so all 4 bolt holes will be placed at the same distance.
Any hints?

Franklin Dattein
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:11 pm

Re: Help designing a simple enclosure.

Postby aguseguedre » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:57 pm

Hello Fdattein ,

First is better for a proper response if you indicate your FreeCad version etc. Read the first post.

Anyway you must use the external geometry tool, then pick in the upper side of the outside rectangle the color line turn magenta and then you can ad the vertical distance between the inside and outside rectangle.


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Re: Help designing a simple enclosure.

Postby NormandC » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Hello Franklin,

Welcome here. aguseguedre answered your question, but you mentioned you wanted to create an enclosure.

So I'm guessing you want to model a shape that is hollowed out and set a uniform thickness to the walls. There is a tool for that in v0.13.1828 for Windows and v0.13.1830 for Linux, the "Thickness" tool in the Part workbench.

Here's a quick example.
  1. Model your part as if it was a solid. Add fillets, counterbores to holes if you have them.
    fc_enclosure_01.png (19.47 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
  2. Select one face you want to open. You can only select one face; if you need to open more, don't worry, you can add them once you've started the tool.
    fc_enclosure_02.png (11.8 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
  3. Switch to the Part workbench, and click on the "Thickness" tool.
  4. Set your parameters.
    fc_enclosure_03.png (50.7 KiB) Viewed 2718 times
    • Thickness: a positive value will create the new shape outside of your solid shape. Use a negative value for a shell that shares the same outside surfaces as your solid shape.
    • Mode: not sure what it does, leave it at its default "skin".
    • Join type: leave to default "arc" if you want edges to be rounded. Select "intersection" for straight edges.
    • I'm unsure what the checkboxes "Intersection" and "Self-intersection" are for. I never use them.
    • Click on the "Faces" button to add more open faces. You will have to reselect the previously selected face.
  5. Click OK and you're done! :)
EDIT 2018/07/17: uploaded images as they were removed from the hosting server.
(39.5 KiB) Downloaded 301 times
Last edited by NormandC on Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 4
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Re: Help designing a simple enclosure.

Postby fdattein » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:39 am

Hi guys,

thank you very much, both hints will be very helpful to design my enclosure. I am slowly learning through trial and error...

In addition, I found the macro below, which is quite handy as well.

* I am using V0.13 for macos that I got from a dropbox link here in the forum (the 0.13 available in the website doesn't have the OpenScad workbench, that I was after)