A 3D printed circuit board holder is a neat little project and very useful in your electronics workshop. Cheap and cheerful, too.
So, I was thinking of buying a circuit board holder like the one advertised on Amazon. It only costs $17 here in Canada and gets pretty good reviews. But hey, what about building one myself? So, I did.
For the metal bars, I selected a piece of half-inch plywood trim aluminum channel from Home Depot. Easy to cut into small sections. For the base, I cut two six inch lengths, with an eight inch length for the horizontal mount. Simple cuts with a hack saw and some clamps. The U-channel material is a lot cheaper than a full square tube, and plenty strong for my needs.
Next came the end caps, so that I could get the plastic hole sized right for the aluminum channels. Then, the feet with a bit of extra clearance at the bottom.
My main challenge was figuring out how to make the PCB holders and mounting brackets. Ideally, there were two requirements. First, the side mounts needed to be adjustable, but with some sort of screw-down to hold them in place on the horizontal mount. Second, some sort of spring tension to hold the board in place.
So, I dug into my junk boxes for some springs, long screws, washers and nuts. Rather than designing in CAD and then buying parts, I got the parts ready and then designed to use them in this “one of” project.
3D Printed Circuit Board Holders Springs into Action
You can see the PCB holder design in the lower insert, above. My PCB holder has channels for the circuit board. Washers and nuts hold a spring in place to provide holding tension. My side mounts have a round channel for the spring and washers. Easy to design and make with a 3D printer, including holes for the aluminum bars.
At the sides of the vertical braces, you can also see some tightening screws which use hidden captive nuts to hold everything in place.
Total cost around $7 and a fun little project requiring only a few hours work. And good performance, too.