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I am wondering how those holes with a flat for connectors are opened in enclosures. I'd like to know how do to it when prototyping world and in production for aluminum and in plastic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, do you have a picture of such a hole? Even though you've accepted an answer, it's not clear to me what you actually mean. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Jun 22 '16 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you are trying to make a round hole with a notch, you can drill the hole and use a file to make the notch. \$\endgroup\$ – Tyler Jun 22 '16 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ For prototyping, you can laser-cut things. Or just drill a hole without a flat and screw the connector in tightly, accepting that it's going to come loose after a while. \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Jun 22 '16 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe our machinist sometimes uses an NC machine to route these and other complex holes for panel-mount connectors. A small enough bit does a pretty decent job. This is a reasonable solution if your volumes aren't high. \$\endgroup\$ – Tut Jun 22 '16 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @pipe vadcon.com/info/holesize.html here are some examples \$\endgroup\$ – nraynaud Jun 22 '16 at 18:46
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You don't drill such holes. Instead, you get a punch. For instance, if you're trying to install BNC connectors you need a 1/2" D punch, such as this...

Punch and Die

And yes, they are expensive. Prototyping will use this sort of punch, which is hand-powered. For production you get a punch/die set for a press.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks a lot. I'll have to find a cheaper way I think... \$\endgroup\$ – nraynaud Jun 22 '16 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nraynaud, you can cut them out with a mill too. (Though it can be tricky to hold a big panel down.) I've used drills and hand files, dremel grinder, nibbler... for the nibbler google "Adel hand nibbler" \$\endgroup\$ – George Herold Jun 22 '16 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Laser cutting can do it too. And will be cheaper for prototypes. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Jun 22 '16 at 19:21

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