Printing mounting boards and boxes for hobby projects

That’s a great base board for these Gadgeteer components. [Rob Miles] has been designing and printing mounting boards and enclosures for several of his projects. He just got into printing parts with the Ultimaker last week, and we’d say he’s found his stride. The board pictured here features nubs that act as stand-offs, and on the underside there are countersunk spaces for the bolt heads used as fasteners.

He started designing with Autodesk 123D but the interface didn’t really suit his working style. He switched over to FreeCAD and that experience fit him like a glove. He starts out with the sketch view to draw his parts, then extrudes that into the 3D model for further refinement before having the printer turn the digital into the real. This is the third board he produced in just one day of experimenting, but he is also showing off an enclosure he made for his thermal printer.

If you’re not working with boards that have nice mounting holes like these, don’t fret. We’ve seen 3d printed mounting systems that cradle the board, like these Raspberry Pi enclosures.

[Thanks Peter]

10 thoughts on “Printing mounting boards and boxes for hobby projects

  1. While you are busy printing the bases, why not print little click-hooks that hold the board in place. No need for screws.

  2. freecad is awesome as long as you do not require curves and non simple formats.

    cubes, rectangles, circles and bevels are perfect. anything else, wait some time :) getting there.

  3. I am currently building the first of two RepRaps for my wife, so she can print an sell while staying home to take care of our children(and I would need to buy the new boards to design the cases)

    (I’d post a link or email but I don’t think it would be allowed)

  4. I’ve been meaning to check out FreeCAD. I’ve designed a couple of cases in OpenSCAD and it’s kind of tedious.

    1. I do a lot of work in OpenSCAD for myself. And it comes down to learning some of the tools. For example, a rounded box is very hard the first and second time. Until you find out about the minkowski, and make a lot more use of the 2D system and linear_extrude that.

      Simple rounded box example:

      module roundedSquare(pos=[10,10],r=2) {
      minkowski() {
      square([pos[0]-r*2,pos[1]-r*2],center=true);
      circle(r=r);
      }
      }
      linear_extrude(height = 10) roundedSquare([10,10], 3);

      1. You nailed it. My SCAD tends towards a massive pile of difference()s of 3D primitives. I also derive almost all the parameters from a set of constants at the top of the file, which is mostly unnecessary for a lot of what I do.

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