Pixelblaze Species Thermal Requirements

I wish to enclose a Pixelblaze Standard V3 with a Sensor Board and potentially an Output Expander. I have seen some ideas for 3D-printed cases for these controllers which left we wondering if enclosing any of them completely would be a bad idea. I’ve been monitoring mine without any enclosures using a temperature gun under idle and peak loads and am not seeing temperatures over 100F.

That left me wondering how much enclosing could be done. Perhaps one of the 3D-printed cases with “air” holes or similar? Has anyone enclosed a board completely? A friend also asked about encasing any of them in resin or some other water- and weather-proofing ideas. Happy to hear your ideas!

@wizard : I had sent you email in Tindie before remembering there was a forum here, sorry about that. Get back to me when you have a second? Thanks a ton!! :cowboy_hat_face:

You should be OK. It will get a bit warmer enclosed, but the heat will dissipate over the larger area of the enclosure surface.

There’s high thermally conductive epoxies out there that are not electrically conductive. will generally have Aluminum Oxide or Aluminum Nitride as fillers. Look at your RS online/element14/Digikey type wholesalers.

You could either pot the whole board in it, or just glue the package to the case with it. It would be like turning the whole package into a heat sink.

Thanks for that, @wizard, do you think a plastic box, made out of maybe PP or PET, would work ok rather than the plastics used in 3D printing? I still think I will include some vent holes in whatever I end up using! :sunglasses:

That’s really interesting, @munkisquisher , are those epoxies related to the thermal paste used between CPUs and their heat sinks?

I will have to dig around and see if I can find something the right size so I can affix Pixelblaze to the back of the multiple 8x8 LED Matrix, uh, matrix!

I’ve got mine in a PLA enclosure, which is the 3d printing plastic that melts at the lowest temp, and it’s not even warm to the touch on the outside. it starts to soften at 55c but needs to be printed at 190c or above to get gooey.

And for the epoxy, Thermal paste is often full of silver and conductive. The epoxy is the kind of thing you’ll find sticking small heatsinks onto embedded electronics. eg Thermally Conductive Epoxy Adhesives | MasterBond.com

Use it if you want to pot the entire thing, but it’s probably way overkill if you are using an enclosure

Great thanks! I remember that now about thermal paste - I use it so infrequently I had forgotten what was in it! I have a small project or two coming up that such an epoxy would be useful - I will be sure to look for some! Thanks again!

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