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I am working on a project and have decided that I will design the PCB so that it fits a standard enclosure size, as was suggested here. All electronics websites sell some variety of enclosures, and then there are sites like OKW (and others) which have every variety imaginable.

I don't want to get locked into a specific company or catalog for an enclosure. Just as LEDs come in 5mm and 3mm sizes, what are common standard enclosure sizes?

For example, radio shack has some excellent inexpensive boxes, like a 5"x2.5" for $4. However, Mouser doesn't have any 5x2.5 boxes. The closest box digikey has is 5x2.25. Well I don't want to depend on radio shack exclusively for these things. So what would be a "very common" dimension for a box? For "big boxes" versus "small boxes"?

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If you standardise on Eurocard (100 mm x 160 mm) and half Eurocard (100 mm x 80 mm) you will have thousands to choose from.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for this! But: I can't find anything on Mouser or Digikey which have 100 mm x 80 mm boxes. Digikey has one which is 100 mm x 160 mm - but that is $30. I'm looking at their "enclosure" section; am I searching for the wrong thing? Or are there other vendors I should be aware of? \$\endgroup\$ – rascher Feb 2 '11 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rascher - if you see prices like 30 dollar you're definitely in the enclosure section. Enclosures are between Very Expensive and Damn Expensive™. For 10 dollar you'll only find a box the size of a cigarette pack. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Aug 31 '12 at 18:13
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Sadly, as far as I know, there are no real standards for enclosure sizes. There are some that are more common than others, as others have mentioned, but even those often have slightly different measurements and different locations for standoffs and such.

The only standard I know of is Dangerous Prototype's Sick of Beige which lays out specs for several standard sized PCB and case sizes. They are hoping it catches on and more case manufacturer's start making cases that confirm to the standard. They have a video describing it as well: http://dangerousprototypes.com/2012/07/26/workshop-video-sick-of-beige-cases/

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, the naivety of youth! :-) Well, I wish them lots of luck, they'll need it. Eurocard is one of the few standard formats, yet every manufacturer manages to make enclosures for just a bit larger and just a bit smaller than Eurocard. xkcd.com/927 --- \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Aug 31 '12 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking about that exact same comic when I first heard about it...but hey, it's worth a try. \$\endgroup\$ – Grant Aug 31 '12 at 19:18
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Obligatory XKCD Comic about standards:
enter image description here

So yes, there are standards. There are in fact so many standards (typically 1 or more per manufacturer) that it is effectively the same as having no standards at all.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, you owe me 90 % of profits for this! ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Sep 1 '12 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh - I didn't even notice your comment! I guess we just think similarly. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Wolf Sep 2 '12 at 3:31
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Similarly cPCI, VME, PCI and other buses. But those do assume a backplane.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, they use standard board sizes like Eurocard (160 mm x 100 mm) and double Eurocard (233 mm x 160 mm), but like you say those are for rack mounting, not for enclosures. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Aug 31 '12 at 18:16

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