Today we are contributing a large number of 3D models of .NET Gadgeteer-compatible hardware modules to the Gadgeteer Codeplex project.

The files make it easy to design custom enclosures for Gadgeteer devices – we call these shells. You can import these files into the 3D design tool of your choice (such as 123D, SolidWorks, Inventor or Alibre) and use the models as reference in your shell design. This saves you the trouble of having to measure each module individually, and improves the likelihood that everything will fit nicely inside your shell once it is actually manufactured.

Once you have designed a shell you can 3D-print it. If you don’t have direct access to a 3D printer, you can upload it to one of several online 3D printing services (such as Ponoko, Shapeways or iMaterialise). Today we are contributing models of many of the currently available Gadgeteer modules. Not every  module is included - new modules are being released faster than we can model them! Over the coming months we will continue to add new models, and will be publishing some guidelines for others to contribute their own. We are also planning to release some ready-to-print shell designs. Below is a preview of the first one – a design for a Gadgeteer plant-moisture sensor.

You can find the models in STEP format under the \3D Models\MSR Contributed\ directory of the Gadgeteer Codeplex repository, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Please bear in mind that although every effort has been made to make these models accurate, manufacturing tolerances and human error may mean that there may be discrepancies between the model and the actual hardware. If you do discover any issues with any of the models, please let us know by posting a bug report in the Gadgeteer Codeplex site.