Breadboard Spring Vise

by patshead, published

Breadboard Spring Vise by patshead Aug 6, 2015
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18753Views 3399Downloads Found in Electronics


The Breadboard Spring Vise makes it easy to hold circuit boards of various sizes in place next to your breadboard. It has no trouble accommodating larger, full-size Arduino Uno or Leonardo boards, and it has no trouble grabbing onto a diminutive ESP-01 ESP8266 board.

The Raspberry Pi fits in the jaws, and it stays in place quite well, but the micro USB and HDMI ports prevent the outside of the board from landing correctly in the grooves of the jaw. The "version 3" jaws are narrow enough at the top to allow a USB cable to be plugged into the Pi.

You should also check out the Simple Component Box for Breadboard Spring Vise!

I am using #32 rubber bands.

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hair elastics also work or bands, just for those who don't have the specific size rubber band laying around.

Just about anything stretchy should do the trick! I like the idea of hair bands. They're fabric wrapped rubber bands--that makes them quite fancy!

I only added the specific rubber band to the description because someone asked for it. I'm pretty sure the #32 rubber band is the most common rubber band in most office environments.

Clever design for a really useful tool....wish I'd found this months ago! Thanks for sharing!

Ok, that's clever. Gotta make one of these real soon!

Warning : Don't work for Raspberry PI 3. Audio output, DC input, and hdmi output are on the side ... .

This is a great idea, but i cannot print this on my printrbot simple due to its length
would it be too much trouble to ask you to cut and key the single full breadboard length into two shorter parts that can be glued together?

Apr 2, 2016 - Modified Apr 2, 2016

Printed out the double wide one. One side slid in as usual, but I can't get the other board to slide in the other side.

I took some calipers to it and measured the inner dimensions. One side is .3 mm wider than the other.

I might be able to sand or plane this one to get the board to fit.

Perhaps double check the measurements in CAD and adjust appropriately?

Thanks for all your work in making this.. I really love this spring vise.

The two sides are identical. They're both generated from the same OpenSCAD function. One vise base is just shifted over a breadboard + wall thickness. There are two walls down the center that overlap. They should be overlapping perfectly.

If I shifted the second base too far, that center all would get thicker. If I didn't shift them far enough, both breadboards would be encroached upon equally by that center divider, and neither would fit.

I imported the STL into Blender to confirm--the edges between the walls on both sides have the exact same length. :(

It could be a slicing problem, but it sure doesn't seem like it should be. If the slicer needed to make something a bit larger to fit enough perimeters, I'd expect that to be a problem on both sides.

This is the problem with models that try to fit as tightly as possible. :(

I used cura. I hope it's not a problem with my printer. I try to fit the board in and it really bends the plastic and won't quite seat. Pefrectly fine on the other side.. fits like the single wide one did.

I'm sure your printer is just fine. I don't know if you're printing with PLA or ABS. I've always used ABS. It has a lot of advantages for me over PLA, but it has one major flaw. It shrinks a little as it cools, and contracting by almost 0.3mm on a print that size doesn't seem entirely out of the question. On a large print, it is possible one side is cooling faster than the other.

On a print this large, with such thick walls, I have trouble believing that the slicer is goofing things up, but it wouldn't surprise me all that much. The most likely slicing problem usually happens when you have thin walls. If you try to print a 1mm thick wall with a 0.4mm nozzle and 2 perimeters, you're going to run into trouble. Two perimeters on each side will be 1.2mm. I don't see how that sort of error could apply to this print, though!

I'm using PLA. A 1 kg roll of red Excelevan I got from ebay for $9.99 with free shipping :)

Mar 28, 2016 - Modified Mar 28, 2016

Would it be possible to have another version of that double-wide where there is no center bar. i.e. you fit the two breadboards together with their dovetails then place both of them, as one unit, in the vise. Don't know if this would present any problems or not.

EDIT: Nevermind, I like the center piece fine, it doesn't get in the way because it is flush with the tops of the breadboards.

Let me know if you change your mind. Creating a double width base without the center wall is as easy as doubling one variable in the source. I wouldn't know how snug the fit would be without a test print, though. It may very well need to be a few tenths of a mm wider.

I am going to print one as is, with the center thing. I think it's fine.

So I guess I just use a longer rubber band or can I tie two together to reach across the doublewide ?

I think a longer rubber band is the way to go. When I was saving that STL, I was actually wondering if I had any rubber bands here that are long enough!

Btw, I need to buy some rubber bands. I have a really thin one I am using right now for the single wide. Is there a particular size that works best with this breadboard vise?

I have a bag of #32 rubber bands. They're pretty close to perfect for a single breadboard. They're a little tight with a Raspberry Pi on opposite sides, but they're not stretched to the breaking point.

I bought this bag specifically for the vises. I had a random assorted bag of rubber bands here, but they were quite brittle.

Mar 28, 2016 - Modified Mar 28, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to patshead

Thanks for this info! Thinking it would be great if a rubber band recommendation is mentioned in this Thing's description. :) Like the #32 and perhaps even mention a brand you know is good? What brand are your's anyways? Where did ya get them?

This is a good plan. I didn't even know there were rubber band measurements until checked the bag a few minutes ago.

The ones I have here are Advantage brand, and I believe I bought them at Walmart.

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016

Should I be printing this with supports? Just now notice the channel that's printing right now in the bottom layers. Looked at the STL and it's flat above it. oh well, I'll see soon how it does.

No supports. All the overhangs are triangles with the point facing up. That means all the overhangs should be shallow enough to not be problematic.

Oh! That little bridge usually prints just fine. I've been thinking about eliminating that slot. The early prototypes were loose, and required a rubber band to keep the breadboard in place. The current model is snug enough that the breadboard won't go anywhere on its own.

In fact, some people that handle the vise seem worried that they're going to break it when they try to put the breadboard back in. I haven't managed to break one yet!

Or you could make it u shaped? would be stronger and allow for some nice bridging on the printer?

Nevermind, you're right it printed fine :)

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016

I am printing the single wide first along with some jaws. Turns out the double wide is going to take like 9 hours to print.

I have an even better idea. Make it modular? Like make another full length breadboard with a jaw with saw 4 teeth or whatever. THen you can slide that one into the other and then in turn slide other jaws into that on the other side. Is this possible? That way one could put an infinite number of breadboards next to it and would be less redundancy as far as print materials and print time.

I've been thinking about designing something along these lines already. I wanted to make a little adapter than fits into the base to allow the jaws to extend farther. Something similar would work tie two base pieces together, too. The two base pieces could probably be held together by the rubber band tension.

I like the idea of modularity.

Yeah I know you do, otherwise you wouldn't of thought of this super clever device! I am gonna love this thing.. I got tons of litlte circuit board modules that I was previously having to semi permanently install ontto other breadboards so I could snap them together fast and have them stay put.. I am gonna make good use of this.. thanks again.

We have a few of these vises floating around TheLab.ms. I enjoy showing off my work to anyone new, and it is always fun to watch their reactions. Some people have never touched anything like an Arduino, so the concept is mostly lost on them. Almost everyone else gets as excited as I do, though!

I hope you enjoy your breadboard vise!

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to patshead

One of the first things I want to build is a midi to cv controller with arduino (micro) for modular synth. I bet others have already done it and share the source code even. I want to build a Eurorack system.

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to JenniferG

Now that I think about it, the double wide one has a purpose. In case you want to permanently wire two power rails together underneath, if this is possible with this vise. Or I guess just semi permanently wire together with short pieces of solid core jumpers laid flat as possible on top.

That's an interesting idea. I should leave holes through to the bottom in the right places to allow connect the power rails!

There's probably enough room to squeeze a couple of wires through one of the rail slots and up around to the top of the breadboard. That's not as clean, but it should work.

What layer height did you print at? .2 or .3 ? How much infill?

It prints fine at 0.3mm. I print it at 30% infill.

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016

What are the thin lil round feet for? Are they there to help with adhesion to the print bed? Cut them off after?

Yes. They keep the corners and longer, thinner parts from curling during the print. I just snip them off with scissors.

Mar 27, 2016 - Modified Mar 27, 2016

A double wide version of this would be nice for two parallel bread boards. One breadboard in-between wouldn't be enough for a lot of the projects I do.

This is a great idea! I just added a double wide base to the OpenSCAD source and uploaded an STL file!

Thanks for the excellent suggestion!

Wow thanks, I'll be definitely printing this out, installing and sharing a photo with you!

Awesome! I can't wait to see it!

I just re-uploaded the STL file. I goofed, and modified an older OpenSCAD file when creating the first double-wide STL.

When I created the half-size vise, I really boogered up the source code, and it has been so long, I forgot that I never got around to fixing that and merging the code. Sorry about that!

It's okay, I hadn't yet downloaded the file. So all good to go now? I haven't even printed any of these yet. Just found your awesome thingy last night.

I love your design, I made ten for my students and modeled a simple component box that fits in your Breadboard Spring Vise. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1125232. Maybe its useful for other.

Simple Component Box for Breadboard Spring Vise

This is awesome! I'll definitely be printing a couple component boxes this weekend!

I printed one for myself and everyone else wants one now. I've printed 8 more so far. A very useful and popular item.

I printed one for myself and everyone else wants one now. I've printed 8 more so far. A very useful and popular item.

I was able to modify this for a shorter, wider breadboard I have, are you interested in a diff to the SCAD file? I basically added a "jaw_pairs" variable to allow a single pair of jaws with 80mm breadboards.

I would definitely be interested in the diff. Thank you!

I'm also curious about your shorter, wider breadboard. I have some half length breadboards around, but they're all the same width as the common size breadboards.

There are six, rather than five rows of pins per side. I printed it at 62.5mm wide which came out perfect, allowing for an interference fit holding the board steady without the use of a rubber band.