Layer by Layer: Designing mounting plates for PCBs #3DPrinting #3DThursday

3D Printed Mount Plate

In a recently project, I needed an enclosure that could be mounted to a PCB using screws. The PCB had quite a bit of through-hole components that didn’t allow the bottom of the circuit to be completely flat. This caused some problems while mounting the parts together because the board wasn’t level with the bottom of the enclosure. A solution to this problem can be solved with simple geometry!

Mounting PCB Clearance Issues

To elevate the PCB whist mounted inside an enclosure, you can make platforms around the edge of the mounting holes using cylinders to raise the PCB off the bottom. Make sure the thickness doesn’t exceed the outer border of the mounting hole, but still enough to keep it level. The height should have enough clearance for all of the components. The cylinders also add durability and support to the mounting holes.

Mount Plate Platform for Elevation

If your using screws with flat tops, make the thickness of the plate match the thickness of the screw tops. Chamfer the edges of the mounting holes so the screws tops can be flush with the bottom of the plate. 123D quick tip – When one edge is selected, choose the chamfer option and click on the remaining edges to add to the chamfer operation, so you can apply it on multiple edges!

3D Printed PCB Mounting Plate

These two minor steps made a big different on how well the enclosure worked. It’s feels more solid and secured because of it. Utilizing these small steps in your 3d printed projects can help you make things that are secure and solid.

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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