Your designs/our designs – the Phase Dock universe of open source designs is expanding!

Given the enormous and growing range of electronic components available today, it is obvious that we (Phase Dock) are not going to design, manufacture or market Slide adapters for all of them.

From the beginning, we have invited users to hack the WorkBench with glue and screws and 3D printing. Lately, a number of our customers have begun sharing open source adapters that they have designed and printed.  We welcome your participation…and will be posting some STLs of our own, too!

We are excited that our community is helping to increase the usability and convenience of the WorkBench system.

You can find STLs for all these open-source designs at Thingiverse.com. Just search on Phase Dock.

THE FIRST OPEN-SOURCE DESIGN

We posted the first design to Thingiverse this spring. Kudos to Matt G from Galveston, TX for contributing this useful and elegant design.

It’s a wonderful bracket for potentiometers, which can be mounted on a 1×3 Click.

Bracket for potentiometer

Bracket with pots installed.

You can find it on Thingiverse.  On the Thingiverse website, simply search on “Phase Dock.”

PRINT-YOUR-OWN DESIGNS FOR FPGA BOARDS

This week we posted three designs for Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) boards. FPGA boards are used extensively in university-level computer courses. Learn more about FPGA.

These Slide mounting adapters are designed for Diligent boards available from Digi-Key:

Links to the open-source files on Thingiverse

Slide for Digilent Nexys A7

Slide for Digilent Basys 3

Slide for Digilent ZYBO

What Will You Find on Thingiverse?

Each “Thing” includes two STLs.  The difference is the version of the mounting boss on the Slide adapter. Both mounting bosses offer advantages and disadvantages depending on your application.

  • V2 has Phase Dock standard mounting bosses, which use hex nuts and machine screws to secure your Digilent board. By using hex nuts, V2 offers the ability to attach and remove boards multiple times without damage to the printed plastic.
  • V3 has self-tapping mounting bosses. Machine screws are simply driven into the 3D-printed holes. V3 is less fiddly than V2 to assemble. However, if care is not taken when mounting the board, the mounting boss plastic may become stripped and prevent the screws from holding properly. Even so, the self-tapping bosses typically allow for multiple assembly cycles if care is taken.

Comparison of V2 and V3 mounting bosses

Once printed, you can mount the Slide on a Phase Dock Click. The Nexys requires a 4×5 Click (coming soon!).

Nexys Slide mounted on a 4×5 Click connector

The Basys and the ZYBO will use a 3×5 Click (also coming soon!)

Basys 3 Slide on a 3×5 Click connector

Zybo Slide on a 3×5 Click connector

Can you use Slides without Clicks?

Of course! All Slides can be used (and are useful!) without being attached to a Phase Dock Click. You can use them to protect the underside of the board just free/loose on the desktop, or they can be directly attached to any appropriate substrate by drilling and screwing through the base plate of the Slide.

For example, we have mounted the industrial controller (an Arduino Mega with a LCD screen) to our acrylic line-bender machines using the Arduino Slide alone, without the Click.