3D Printed USB Strain Relief and Student Project Boards for Arduino UNO and Breadboards

In planning to teach my students how to build circuits and program Arduinos, I decided to mount Arduino UNOs and small breadboards on 6″ long 2×6 blocks.  This should help keep the two together and since they are being used by 5th grade students and younger, having a larger and heavier block should make it easier to plug in jumper wires and small components without knocking anything around.  One issue that cropped up was that once the Arduino was screwed to the board it seemed like the USB cable was going to get jerked around quite a bit.  If you work with students you can probably relate to how rough they can be with classroom supplies!

To solve it I made a two part design that clamps around the USB cable and screws into the board.  Although you can’t unplug it from the Arduino anymore, it makes a huge difference in how much stress is put on the UNO’s USB port.

Assembled board with the strain relief installed

Files

Original Onshape Design

Arduino UNO USB Strain Relief STL Files

Supplies

 

Printing and Assembly

Printing in red

Printing in light blue

Finished

Putting the screws and spacers on

The bottom half goes on and the top sandwiches the USB cable

Then drill out the holes

And put the screws in

Ready for kids to make stuff!

Close up of how to connect the breadboard to the Arduino for my instructions to the students

End Results

The boards have worked great so far and the students haven’t managed to break any!  I also purchased some 7″ x 12″ x 4″ Plastic Conductive Shelf Bins from Uline to store each group’s Arduino, jumper wires, LEDs, and servos they are using.  This lets them throw everything together at the end of class and not have to worry about parts being smashed.  You can see some of the bins behind their Robot Petting Zoo projects below:

Some of the projects the students made for a Robot Petting Zoo

The elephant’s trunk raises and lowers and the monkey swing by his tail

The snowman raises his hat, Donald Duck makes it rain, Spongebob waves his hamburger, and the Supreme Bro gives a thumbs up

Posted in Random Technology

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