Amplifier chassis prototype

To complete the Vacuum tube amplifier project, I am going to need a custom chassis built as there is nothing available to purchase that will meet the requirements.

I designed and rendered the required parts in SolidWorks, and then got some prototypes manufactured.

amp render with tubes

This view shows some tubes installed.

amp render no front

The front and top panels removed showing the circuit boards

amp renderpreview

This rendering has no tubes installed, which shows the holes that need to be cut for the transformers and tube sockets, as well as the LCD and volume knob.

The parts arrived from the prototype manufacturers. I must say I am impressed with the precision of the parts. The surface finish is not so great, however I’m not really concerned about this at the moment, as I sacrificed the surface finish to reduce the cost of the prototypes significantly.

The front panel was CNC machined from an 8 mm aluminium bar stock, while the top and rear panels were laser cut from 2 mm aluminium sheet.

The screws which hold the case together do not quite sit perfectly, as I needed to countersink the holes for the case screws by hand because the laser cutter cannot cut countersunk holes. This should not be an issue with the final parts as they will be cut by machines more precise than myself.

IMG_7513
Front panel with LCD
IMG_7505
Close up of LCD
IMG_7499
Rear panel showing unbalanced inputs, 1 speaker terminal, serial port and power socket
IMG_7498
All tubes and transformers installed

Once I am happy with all the dimensions of the cuts, I can proceed to order new parts with a nice surface finish, perhaps anodised aluminium.

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Amplifier chassis prototype

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