Mini Drill Press for Hobby Drill

by MarkBenson, published

Mini Drill Press for Hobby Drill by MarkBenson Sep 1, 2013


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A miniature drill press for hobby style drills.

Ideal for drilling holes in PCBs.


The included tool mounts are designed to fit a RotaCraft RC18 Hobby Drill. It should be fairly easy to design mounts to fit other hobby drills.

Update: I should have mentioned that I included the original thumb-wheel scad/stl just in case. I replaced it with the arm as I found the thumb-wheel hard to use.


You wil need the printed parts:

drill_base x 1
fixed_slide x1
sliding_wedge_rack x1
rack_gear x 1
arm_mount x1
arm_knob x1

tool mounts to fit your hobby drill or:

rotacraft_rc18_drill_body_mount x 1
rotacraft_rc180_drill_collar_mount x 1

M3x6 screw x 1 (To secure return spring in fixed slide)
M3x8 screw x 1 (To secure rack_gear)
M3x12 screws x 5 (To secure tool mounts)
M3x20 screw x 1 (To secure return spring to sliding wedge)
M3 washers x 6
M3 nut x 7

M8x80 threaded rod x 2 (Upright post and main shaft)
M8x110 smooth rod x 1 (Arm)

M8 Nut x 5
M8 wing-nut x 1
M8 washer x 4

Return spring x 1

Fit threaded rod to base with captive M8 nut and secure with M8 nut and washer.

Fit fixed slide to same rod with M8 nut and washer and captive M8 nut.

Fit M3 nut into slot in rack_gear. You may have to heat the nut up and melt it into place. Fit M3x8 screw into gear. Thread M8 threaded rod into lugs on fixed_slide, adding the rack_gear. Add an M8 washer on one side, then an M8 nut followed by the arm_mount and M8 wing-nut. Tighten M3 screw in rack_gear. You may need to file a flat into the M8 threaded rod to make sure the rack gear doesn't slip.

Fix tool mounts to sliding_wedge with 3 x M3 x 12 screws and 1 x M3 x 20 screw (the longer screw should be at the bottom right to attach return spring) and M3 nuts and washers.

Mount tool and secure with M3x12 screws and nuts and washers.

Fit sliding wedge into fixed_slide and attach return spring to the long M3 screw in the sliding wedge and attach to fixed slide with M3x6 screw into appropriate screw hole (there are 3 holes to allow adjustment).

Adjust position of arm by slacking off the wing-nut, moving the arm and re-tightening wing-nut.

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could you tell me the max height of an object i can put under this? im looking at doing this with my dremel 4000 ive seen the adapter so i will be using that. thanks

I guess that depends on the height of the threaded rod!

Maybe you mean the maximum travel using the lever? Not sure exactly but I'd guess its around 20-30mm.

i mean whats the tallest thing you can put under the tool on the base plate

In that case, it is down to how tall your threaded rod is - that's the bit that defines how tall your drill press is. There is no fixed height. I just made mine the right height for drilling PCBs...

right ok thank you :) i guess i could use different size threaded rods depends on what iwant to do i mean i got a metre length and even at that its quite sturdy. that is of course overkill though lol

Very nice piece - going onto my to-do list as soon as my many other projects are out of the way. Will look nice in my new shop!

this is awesome, nice job!

How should I print fixed_slide.stl. What should be my support parameters in slic3r?

I printed it as is without any support.

I don't know which part you mean - the link says to install an Android app and shows a broken image...

All the parts are designed to be printed without support, but YMMV depending on your printer.

I can't advise you on the slic3r setting for your printer, but I would print it @ 0.3mm with 20% in-fill as that works for most things.


I added a thin wall on fixed_slide.stl with:

I honestly don't remember printing that with support, but it looks like it would need it.

Enable support and give it a try!

Really great and awesome project! I'm printing this as I'm writing but I would just like to know about the return spring. Could you give us an idea on the length of the spring and are yours of good strength or would you go for a stronger spring? I guess the length is the most important for now :) Will post photos when I'm done building it! :D


I think the body of the spring I used is about 25mm long (not including the eyes at each end). It is quite soft and just about causes the drill to return. For the most part it balances the weight and stops it from moving on its own.

If you want a more positive return, use stronger springs or more than one.

You can use elastic bands if you don't have a spring handy!

Perfect, thanks for the info! I will surely try a couple different 25mm long springs then to see which one fits my liking the most :) Elastic bands sounds ok, but I think it both looks better and works better with a steel spring, so I'll try that first.

Ordering it off eBay gives the lowest price also, at least if you compare to shops in Sweden ;)

I need to edit the base for my setup but when I render the scad file, it says there is no top level geometry.

I guess you fixed whatever the problem was... my guess would have been the filenames were wrong because thingiverse renames them when you download them.

It's named correctly, so don't know what the problem was. I did uncomment a few lines, but all it did was render a triangle.. I went ahead and modeled another one with some upgrades in Solidworks. If you want you can download my base and upload it to your list. You can offer it as an alternative..

Very Very Good Job !!!!!!

Thank you for this very usefull tool ^_^

I noticed it shifted when it went in on the video. How does it do in drilling within the lines (so to speak)? Like you had a PCB with through holes that needed to be drilled and how would this work for that since I saw it slide a mm or 3?

The only drill bit I had to hand when I made the video was a dental file - not ideal for drilling a PCB - that's why it wanders around when it hits the board. With proper drill bits and PCB tracks with guide holes it works perfectly.

Nice to know as I will have to build this then. :)

Mark, really interesting object, thanks also to share the parts so I did modify to adapt to my old mini drill!

Added a power jack and switch button holder, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:196482http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

28mm cheap motor adapter for Mini Drill Press from MarkBenson

I had to sand the male part a little (not much) mainly at the edges.

thanx, I printed the female part at 1.015 and it helped a lot before I saw your comment. I also used oil to lubricate the hell out of everything and now it works much more smoothly. I also loved your idea of using a dc motor with the nice chuck from ebay (i didnt know they existed :)

is it only me or the fit between sliding rack and fixed slide too tight for the whole contraption to move???

I tried oiling it but still the whole setup is too fit

what did over people do on the subject??

Great! i am printing it. The tumb wheel .stl is for?

The thumb wheel was to be used to move the drill up and down but I didn't like it. I switched to the arm/lever but left the thumb wheel in there in case someone found it useful.

thanks. Printed and waiting for a cheap motor with drill clamp from ebay :)

Good idea with the cheap ebay drill motors!

Post a picture when you get it assembled.

28mm cheap motor adapter for Mini Drill Press from MarkBenson

Hi! Can you post a list of materials? Thanks! By the way, Excellent job

There is a list of parts in the instructions section: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:144333/#instructionshttp://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Mini Drill Press for Hobby Drill

I cant seem to get the instructions to load

Not sure why they had gone, but they seem to be back again now.

Sorry for that!, as you can see I'm new on thingiverse!

No worries. It used to be shown on the main page but now it is all hidden away... One of the 'improvements' that happened a while ago.

Will this fit a Dremel? I have one and so does my makerspace.

I would think the tool holders would need to be modified to fit the Dremel.

Great job. Thanks for sharing it