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

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?

Interesting, I didn’t know those things existed. I’ve used a syringe before but the solder blobs where too large for QFN packages. Interesting if they work fine for those thin QFN pins but I think I’ll stick with stencils for speed.

I didn’t do the actual 3D printer design and don’t have those files, I just provided the basic look of it and the dimensions.

Hi Mike C can you provide dimensions of your design. Because now I trying to learn Fusion 360, I think to try to make 3D template for different driver sizes and I want to share design with everyone. I have question how do you fix stencil do not move over driver? Can you provide any photo of that?

I hold the stencil down by hand. I guess the block could be made a little more advanced with some sort of cuts in the side so that clamps could be used but I think aligning the stencil perfectly with a system like that is more trouble than it’s worth.

Here is copy paste of the information I provided to those who made them for me. Note that I use a milling radius of 8.75mm for my 17mm OSH Park driver boards:

Black is the “block” with dimensions of 60mm x 60mm, and 10mm thick. Top picture is top view, bottom picture is side view.
Light blue circle diameter is the driver PCB diameter measured to 17.55mm. This should be 1.6mm deep to match driver PCB thickness.
Dark blue circle diameter is hole with smaller diameter of 16mm, needs to go all the way through. Some of my 17mm drivers have the huge XAL7070 inductor and I paste and build one side at a time. This is why the block needs to be 10mm thick, I need to flip over the built and soldered inductor side and paste the other side.
Then there are 4 cutouts, these can go all the way through the block, or be a few mm deeper than driver PCB thickness, what ever you choose.
The horizontal cutouts in the image have different dimensions than the vertical cutouts, there is a slightly different usage for them.
Left/right cutouts extend 4mm out from the inner dark blue circle (red lines). That’s 12mm out from the center of the block.
These left right cutouts are 2.5mm wide (orange lines).
Top/bottom cutouts extend 3mm out from inner dark blue circle (dark green lines). That’s 11mm out from the center of the block.
These top/bottom cutouts are 1mm wide (light green lines).