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Breakout Elements

by mrule, published

Breakout Elements by mrule Jan 26, 2011

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Summary

A script to generate snap-together holders for Sparkfun breakout-boards.

The size is chosen specifically to agree with the Sparkfun polygonal proto-boards. This, however, isn't compatible with my previously published dodecahedral protoboard thing: the scale needed adjusting to accommodate all shapes of protoboard.

I have tested and provided instances for 3 different sparkfun boards : the small 3.3v boost converter, the Arduino pro-mini, and the EasyDriver stepper motor driver. The standard Arduino required a holder too large for my build platform, but printing the holder in sections would work. Sometimes some trimming and adjustment was required as MakerBot did not build the part to exact specification.

update : I added breakout_revised.scad.
This file adds support for a default 2x2 piece with cutaways for connectors between the hinges. I think its a good candidate for a standard circuit board element. The revised script also significantly cleans up the code style. See radioshack.stl and isp.stl as example outputs of the revised script.

compatible with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5859

Instructions

-1- Measure protoboard dimensions in millimeters
-2- Use OpenScad script to generate custom holder
-3- Print ( on Makerbot : calibrate oozebane, use comb, set width such that snaps are double-walled, but with little infill. )
-4- Clean
-5- If necessary trim out slots for pins using a razor knife.
-6- Assemble

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Wouldn't it be good if one of these was embedded in a panel: http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_infohttp://www.adafruit.com/index....
&
amp;cPath=51
&
amp;products_id=330

Yes, looks like the circuit has become the enclosure. That capacitor already looks like a knob sticking out. Combine one of these things with the battery pack files and there you go! Now on to some nice silkscreen designs...

Now that people have begun printing PCB holders I wonder how it will affect PCB design. I believe we are seeing the birth of something new.

I agree. "Case" design can change. Can you imagine sticking an OLED on one of these, and some buttons on another, and having the ability to reconfigure/bend your electrinics based on your mood. Just resnap things.

Or, you're going on a longer trip, so you snap in a larger batter pack, or bigger display, or more memory, or...

I think it is pretty exciting.

MRule, you should join the Flattr site so I can Flattr you!

I updated the design slightly ( see breakout_revised.scad )

Per your suggestion of standardizing a size, I added a small module that defaults to a 2x2 sized square. I also removed the sparse ("braces") fill setting because it was ridiculously weak and transferred too much stress to the boards. The revised module has very basic support for defining a cut-aw
ay for connectors between the hinges. Some sort of short, flexible connector ( ribbon cable ? ) would work well here.

oh, and I also joined Flattr.

Yah! Now you're talking.

And thus "Computicles" were born!

yep; thanks to your suggestion, too.

My first Thingiverse model was this thing: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4828http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

That was an early exploration towards what you've actually done here.

One thing you might consider is standardizing on some sizes. For example, you could pick a certain size (let's say it's the size of an Arduino board), and that's your basic size. Everything, whether it's smaller than that or
not, fits into that size.

You could then use that as a unit to snap into larger sizes. For example, you could have a hexagonal shaped thing, but it has a big hole in the center of it where you could snap in a standard sized captured PCB.

If you look at the Klikko system, you'll get my meaning.

I
f you do it that way, then you can build substantial structures using standardized parts. The only thing to be customized is the harness needed to get a new PCB attached to a standard sized part.

The most important part of your design, I think, is the standard edge connector (without any snaps, fa
steners or anything else). The ability to quickly snap together a design is critical I think.

When I explored "Computicles", my driving phrase was "super computing is child's play".

Next comes the software to tie all these little things together.

This is great work!

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