This week we’re taking a look at making electronic components you can use in your projects, using 123D Design.
Ok so this is the cr1220 coin cell break out board – its a neat little battery holder perfect for powering small projects.
In this tutorial, we’re making a widget that includes stand-offs for the mounting holes, so we can securely mount this component to our 3d printed projects.
First we’ll start off by making the base shape for the PCB – you can normally get the dimensions of the board on the adafruit product page. 16.5mm by 23mm by 2mm in height. Before placing the shape its a good habit of laying it down in the center of the grid.
Next i will switch to the polyline tool and draw two separate lines. These are like guide lines that will assist in making mirror duplicate of shapes. so ill make one going on the X, and Y axis – making sure our object is in the very center of the intersection.
To make stand offs we’ll pull out a cylinder and position it right over one of the corners of the first object. you’ll notice the shape will snap to the center of the corner. Go ahead and set the diameter to 1.5mm which is the right size of the mounting hole – also change the height to 10mm or less (just need it tall enough to work with).
Next we’ll make another cylinder, this we’ll set the diameter to 2.8mm – this is going to be the stand-off that will elevate the PCB when its mounted to the printed part. we’ll set the height to 3mm so theres plenty of clearance for the components. Make sure to place it down with it in the center of the first cylinder – it should snap to the center. Now we need to move these two solids away from the corner by 2.4mm on the x and y.
Now we’ll select both cylinders and go up to the menu and select pattern > mirror. Switch the mode to mirror plane and select one of the polyline sketches. you’ll see the objects are mirrored over – just press enter or click away to append. We’ll shift select those duplicates and do the same thing again, this time mirroring on the opposite side.
Make another box this time at 26x20mm – this is going to be the part that next merged to the stand-offs, our “base platform” if you will. It needs to be in the center of the objects. Using the shortcut key “D” will drop any selected object onto the grid. Now we can move the stand offs up so its flush with the surface of the base platform. Then we can move the PCB up so its flush with the stand-offs.
Now is is a great time to save your work out. To finish this off we’ll need to merge the base platform with the stand offs and subtract the other cylinders to make the mounting holes.
And thats it! This is pretty much the process for most components – we are of course missing other parts like the battery holder, but this should get you started. Although this modeling takes a few moments to put together, the real hard work is in iterating so the tolerances are lined up with the cad. moving and shifting these cylinders slightly by .10mm you can fine tune these parts until its perfect!
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!
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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