Did you know that Adafruit publishes a large collection of 3D printable parts for electronics projects?
I didn’t, but I do now.
The company has been a major provider of components for electronics projects for a very long time, as well as publishing projects and generally providing an outstanding service for DIY electronics fans.
But they also have a large repository of 3D printable items that can greatly assist an electronics project.
Here’s the challenge: if your electronics project makes use of a specific electronic component, how do you fit that part into your mount? The classic solution is to determine the measurements of the component and then use a CAD system to design a structure that would hold the component securely.
But wait, why not just import a pre-made 3D model of the component and build your housing or mount around that? The pre-made 3D model would be of the correct dimensions to match the real component. If done this way the resulting 3D print would certainly fit the component without a lot of fuss.
Adafruit has published a set of over 200 3D models of this type on GitHub, and anyone can download and use them at no charge.
The files are provided in several useful formats, including:
Not all entries have an .STL file, but it’s easy enough to convert .STEP or .F3D to .STL when required.
Some entries come with an animated .GIF file so you can see how a component with moving parts operates. This could be important when designing a housing that has to account for the entire range of movement. Here’s an example .GIF for a switch:
For entries with .STL, GitHub’s very handy .STL viewer becomes quite useful. You can view these entries in 3D, including moving your viewpoint, without the need for downloading. A screenshot at top shows how the .STL viewer appears.
If you’re working on an electronics project with 3D printing, you might want to check Adafruit’s GitHub repository to see if they list any of the components you intend on using. If so, download them and ensure your 3D design is near-perfect.