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DIP chip clip

by selmo, published

DIP chip clip by selmo Nov 1, 2015
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DIP chip clip by selmo is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Those clips that clip onto DIP chips are very convenient for debugging and logic analyzing. Unfortunately, they are really expensive for the hobbyist, especially when you need to buy so many different sizes.

SO....make your own.

Sorry, I did not use SCAD, so I can't offer a customizer compatible version. I did make all the usual sizes for DIP chips, but if you need me to make more, let me know.

Revision June 22, 2016: I removed the little dividers on the top and reworked the model for a clean mesh.

Print Settings


Doesn't Matter




as high as you can!


Print two of these to make one clip!

These need to be printed cleanly with maximum detail -- no warping or stringing. Use a small nozzle (0.4mm or less) and thin layers (0.15mm or less).

Use a strong plastic without too much flex. ABS or PLA probably better than nylon here.

You shouldn't need supports. Brim or raft may be useful if you experience warping or the part pulls off the bed.


After printing and cleaning the print....

Push a 2mm rod or long finish nail through the hinges to join the two clip halves. It should be a tight fit, but drill out if necessary.

Install a spring (or two) in the circular spots on the insides of the clip. Make sure you can still open the clip wide enough to get around a chip.

After 2mm rod and spring....

Slide in pins. I used gold plated 21 gauge brass 2" Head Pins: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006Q2YZ52 Push them into so they extend out the bottom and top. Secure with glue if needed. Or heat the pin with a torch and let it melt its way through.

the pins bend easily -- use the straight ones!

Trim the bottom of the pins so they are flush with the bottom edge of the clip. The tips of the pins "float" a little bit in the gaps -- this lets them flex when the push against the chip leads.

Trim the tops of the pins to the desired length. You might want to keep the pin heads as they help grabbers stay in place....(as long as they do not short pins)

Attach your test leads and clamp it onto a chip!

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The print is pretty challenging for 2.54mm pitch chips, so you would have to take some real care and patience to get 1.27mm pitch version usable. The main tricky spot is the thin walls between the wires that reach between the leads to grab the chip body. A very small nozzle, 0.25mm or smaller, very clean printing filament, and a slicer that supports single walls would likely be required.

That said, I'll look at making soic versions in case someone is willing to take on that challenge.

Wow, I love this idea, I could make good use of clips like that

Great Name for the Thing ;)

Awesome! any suggestions where to find springs for them?

I've got a bucket of random springs and just dug around until I found one that fit. That is no help to you whatsoever.

You want one that's around 5 to 6mm diameter, at least 15mm relaxed length, and 5mm or less fully compressed (that's about 1/4" by 5/8") -- That's for the 300mil wide versions. The 600mil would be closer to double the length.

Using that basic info, you should be able to find something at your local hardware store. McMaster-Carr has some candidates: 1986K58 1986K72 9657K298 9657K81 (two strong and two weak ones)

Rather than look for the exact length, you can get a long spring that's the right diameter and cut it apart. Length and the end-finish isn't super important, as long as it compresses enough to get the clip on the chip. The spring fits into a recess with a wall around it, so as long as it's somewhat compressed when the clip is relaxed, it will stay in place. (unless it's too thin / weak, in which case it may just buckle instead of compress)

Tension is up to you -- too weak and it won't close the clip properly -- a stronger spring will make for a better grip on the chip. Unless it's so strong it pops off. :)