Thinking about making my own custom board and looking for advice

For a while I’ve been thinking about designing my own custom board, especially since I prefer opaqe plastic cases (for various reasons) which is hard to find.

I’ve been playing with 3D modeling for a while now, even trying to 3D print some projects I didn’t continute exploring, so I’m sure in my abilities to design a board.

I’ll probably plan around an already made PCB with a daughterboard and send a 3D file for a manufacturer to make.
Also if I already mentioned PCBs, how’s ‘Parallel Limited’ quality? thinking about buying their 65%, any other recommendation?

My plan is to design a big 65% board with room inside (with possible option for dampener), something similar to the M65-B board.

What material should the case be? PC or ABS? perhaps even Nylon or POM?

I’ll appreciate any advice about design, things that first time designers might overlook and screw up, things that I should consider like material choices, even obstacles that might prevent me from achieving that goal.

**I’m not looking to design for commercial purposes or for a group buy, just for my own personal preference and use.


For picking a material since there is a chance you will have a few iterations for making adjustments. Id go with what you can get cheapest.

Let’s face it, there will be tweaks you want or need to make. CAD vs real world always seems to have a few things that seem ok in CAD and then not ok in use.

If you want as close to a finished product and nylon is cool. Look for a place that does SLS 3d printing in nylon. It will be a solid peice and pretty close to the same as having one machined.

Non transparent plastic cases aren’t that rare. Pretty common in fact last time I checked which was a couple of years ago. I think kbdfans may have them. Maybe at the moment it’s not popular but you could probably get them second hand or on taobao. I’m not replying just to tell you you’re making a thinking error with what you’re saying which I believe you are but if you’re serious you can find them on places like mechmarket, taobao, xiaomi. Could also consider using kyuu specs. Otherwise, I’d recommend going to discord servers where there are areas focused on design. There’s one at the most popular one if I remember right

Thank you for the replies!

Sent several prototype CAD designs just to get an idea about the price tag.

Every inquiry gave me a price tag of several hundreds of dollars for the case+plate.

Along with PCB and the work I’ll have to put in it reaching enormous resources to make a kit.

At that point I’m better off just waiting for a premium plastic kit in the future which would cost much less, or start saving up.

I appreciate the replies.

Was it for 3d printing or a mchine shop? Out of curiosity.

CNC mill, got a quote for PC and ABS, each would cost me at around $200-$300 for the parts (top+bottom case and a Plate).

I actually own a 3D printer and could print it myself, but then I’d have to print it in 2 pieces then sand and paint it.

I’d rather have a solid product with a manufacturer finish, along with extra parts like Alu plate but it’s a bit costly for me especially since full metal kits go for around $150.