Anyone in EU that can design and 3D print an object for me? (Edit: Help received)

I was thinking about getting a 3D printer but after doing some research I’ve got a headache. Right now just don’t think I want to spend time getting into that stuff yet, it simply does not seem to be tinker-free with bed leveling and all that stuff.

So, instead of spending a lot of time buying myself expensive headaches I’m looking for someone who already has this dialed and can design and print things I want, and then send to me. Of coarse I will pay for this service. EU only as to avoid paperwork and customs.

What I first want is a small block I can use as driver holders when applying solder paste to double sided 17mm drivers using stencils. So this block has to be about 6x6x1 cm, have a 17mm hole in the middle that goes down just a small bit (driver board thickness), and then a slightly smaller hole all the way through. Basically the 17mm driver needs to rest on a thin shelf so that components mounted will not be in the way. Top has to be smooth so stencil stays perfectly level on top of the driver. Then I need some edges cut in so I can easily lift out the driver board without smudging the applied solder paste. Anyone interested in making this for me? If so, send me a PM and we can work out the details.

Edit: Added CNC as option because it might be better for smooth surfaces.

Sounds like machined metal is easier and much more precise. With (FDM) 3D printing you’re basically limited by the layer height and it requires sanding to get a smooth surface.

Find someone with a CNC milling machine (even manually would work with the right equipment like a rotary table) or a lathe. No 3D design required, just some measurements.


Surface would be a problem indeed.

Just adding an idea to the good ones already mentioned:
If you are still keen on 3D printing this, there are local shops that will take your design and print it for you! Google and Yelp helped me often when I need something printed and it worked out.

I also had a headache when looking for printers, I will never print enough to justify the cost/time for that hobby.

This is a bit of a tangent but an ender 3 is 150$ and operational in 20 minutes at most including a 2 or 3 minutes bed leveling that will last several monthes, turn on the printer, while the bed is warming up model your part in a CAD software, then slice in Cura, your part should be printing 30 minutes after the printer is delivered.

In 2021 3d printing isn’t difficult, time consuming or expensive.

You might be right. I know too little about 3D printers. I’ve added CNC to OP, thanks.

Almost. Those notches need to be much smaller and not extend all the way out, Basically just want to take two small flat screwdrivers and wedge it out.

It’s worth looking into, but if someone here is willing to do it I don’t see anything bad in supporting fellow hobbyists if they want to do it.

That’s not the idea I get when searching on the topic. Still seems to be a bit of tinkering to get it going. Besides, if someone else already has it dialed in, set up and is willing to earn a little cash I can focus on my hobby of driver and firmware development instead of spending hundreds of dollars to make a few things. It’s another thing if I was actually interested in learning 3D printing myself. It also wouldn’t be so cool to spend all that time and money only to find out 3D printers can’t produce smooth enough surface as some are suggesting here.

Could do that with two PCBs glued together, one with a 17mm hole and the other with 15mm. Two notches to lift it.

Or some hand workable material of the right thickness, wood, plastic.

If you need consistant <0.1mm tolerances it might not be up to the task

PCBs need to be failry large because of the solder stencils which need to be flat. OSH Park charge for size, not complexity, so it turned out to be quite a lot.

Yes, considered this too. Currently I’m out of tools, they are in a storage facility abroad (France actually) and Covid restrictions are not making it easy for us to get them back so I thought I’d try this option first as at first glance it appeared easier. I might just have to get new tools, like a drill and some hole drill bits, and get to work.

Not sure what tolerances I need but it seems that 3D printed items are fairly rough. It just goes to show how little I know about 3D printing.

Maybe if you’ve built the printer before… but overly optimistic for a beginner. Getting perfect bed leveling requires test printing squares along the area, maybe 5-6 minutes each run …dialing in the bed.
if you don’t get better springs it will need to be adjusted weekly

I don’t think surface will be an issue, this looks like a pretty easy print to get nice quality.
I would help out but im in USA

Looking at those pics it might actually be good enough, hard to say… I’d be willing to try. I have received an offer to help within EU, I’m grateful for that and will give it a go.

Does you pcbs have precision OD? In most cases they are not.
Anyway, making a two piece part will make it much more reliable. If you have benchtop vices, make a pair of custom jaws with such feature.
If you dont - get cheap aluminium vices and ask local machinist to flaten top and machine such pcb place. Using some shims between jaws and making bore little oversized will help with pcbs that are not equil in size and not perfectly round.
Exuse me if my reply just adds more headache.

I’ve sent you a PM, I would be happy to make you a prototype.

Exact tolerance on OD is not super critical. The most critical part is driver thickness so the stencils lay flat. I think they use different fab services and sometimes vary in thickness too. I’ve taken the measurement of the thickest and hopefully can raise slightly thinner boards with kapton tape or something thin.

Haha, no headache at all, at least not yet. I’ll try manual building if all else fails.


Follow up post… I got offers to help and took up two of them. I have to say, I’m glad I went on with this, I’ve just built my first driver with one of them and it’s a massive time saver! So thanks for the help with this, it’s one of my ideas that actually worked out very well, at least with the help of two people who know what they are doing when it comes to 3D printers. The surface might not appear to be smooth in the photos, and I did receive some sanding paper with one of the packages, but they are smooth enough by far for applying solder paste with stencils so there is no need for sanding.

I did need to file out the outer hole on both of them because they where made with only my measurements but it was just a minute of work. Ultimately that was a good thing because now the drivers are press fitted with just a little force, once in they don’t move around at all and they are easy to remove. So better a little too mall than a little too big. Some photos:

The first one I received was the yellow one, driver fits snugly in place by pressing in.

The depth of the shelf is perfect, and the surface is perfectly smooth for this usage.

Applying solder paste with stencils was a breeze, driver doesn’t move around and removal is easy:

However, applying solder paste on the first side has not been the issue, although easier now. The main issue was doing the back side, it was annoying and difficult. Now with these “PCB rest blocks” it’s as easy as the first side, the inner hole is wide enough and the block is thick enough to accommodate these huge inductors.

Here is the second one, it’s just as good as the first. Snug fit of driver, perfect shelf depth, smooth surface and easy to remove the driver without smudging the solder paste:

I really enjoy designing drivers and writing firmware for them, but not so much joy when it comes to actually building them. Before I’d mess up the solder paste a few times because I couldn’t keep the driver perfectly still when using those jigs from OSH Stencils, and doing the second side was even worse. Now it’s a lot smoother so I’m happy and grateful. Thanks guys! :beer:

This looks amazing. What a helpful tool this is, I built my fair share of drivers and putting on the solder paste was always the most time consuming part (after dropping tiny parts and searching for them).

Yeah, manually applying is the worst, takes for ever if you have QFN MCUs and switching regulators. But these don’t help against dropping components, that much I can say :smiley:

Stencils is to expensive for a few PCBs. Thats how i do. First applying a solder , next applying flux paste and sticking components to it and then just baking on hot plate. I’m trying to avoid 2 sided design but if its necessary just hand soldering or hot air

If I work overtime for the same amount of time it takes me to apply solder-past to a 17mm dual sided switching driver with QFN packages by hand, then these stencils pay for themselves multiple times over. And to be honest, I enjoy my job more than I do messing about with plotting on solder-paste by hand :smiley:

What do you think about solder dispensers for proto boards like this:

Mike C do you will share your 3D design to anyone can adapt it for different board sizes and thickness?