Pinecil Case

The Pinecil is wonderful little soldering Iron from Pine64. In April 2022, Jarkman tempted me to design a case for the Pinecil. This is the outcome, a tiny and very portable as a pocket case. If you want to make your own, the 3MF files are shared on Printables.

I timed myself on this, I took a total 7h 30m from start to finished working design.

This is the way I start almost every detailled design project I do, by pulling out my digital calipers take measurements and create the space claims for the internal parts in CAD. I modelling the tip, and found a grabcad for the handle, although this was not as accurate as I would have liked which caused me a little delay later.

Hand sketches onto 1-to-1 printouts to explore the over geometry and configuration. These are not beautiful, just a bit of thinking to firm up some thoughts before moving into CAD. Thinking: Where is the split? What is the overall envelope?

  • Concept sketches

Next, I smashed through some parametric CAD. It felt good to be back and up to speed on Solidworks. All the excitement was on the inside here, I wondered about modelling a negative and then a boolean cut, but in the end opted for internal modelling with a lot of use of section views and cuts. I’m not sure which would be easier, next time I will try the boolean. 4h 10m into the project and version 1 is ready and sent to print overnight.

The next morning over my breakfask coffee. 30 minutes of Rapid Sketches exploring fastenings, 8 different ways to hold 2 halves together. in the end I chose a friction fit. You can see that I’ve got more certainty about this design so the quality of the mark making in the my sketches is better. 1 hour more to clean up the print and make list of improvements for version 2.

Refineing the internal details, adding the lip and grove and sent the final version to print. I had a play with Solidworks visualise while I waited. It’s OK for quick renders, it’s not Keyshot.

What!? You don’t take your favorite soldering iron to the beach? It’s a “travel case.”

For the moment it is done. Maybe in future, it would be fun to do a little project exploring the styling.