Introduction: Simple Circuit Board Rack
If you're assembling several small circuit boards, a rack like this is very handy. I tend to select a component, then stuff and solder that component in each of the boards, then go on to the next component. Placing the boards in a rack helps prevent damage that can occur if the boards are just stacked on the bench.
Step 1: Some Things You Will Need
This project is laser cut, so you will need to have access to a laser capable of cutting acrylic. The acrylic used in this project was 0.170" thick (4.3mm). Seems like a strange size, but I had it on hand in the scrap box.
Tweezers can be helpful for removing the protective film or paper on the acrylic. Solvent for gluing acrylic and an applicator are also needed. I use a syringe, called an irrigator by dentists, to apply the solvent. You can buy them online or scrounge a few from your dentist. Be sure to pull the plunger out when finished. The solvent causes the rubber to swell, but it returns to normal if allowed to dry.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces
Both DXF and DWG files are provided. You may need to modify the widths of the slots to fit your acrylic. The board slots are designed for 1/6" (1.5mm) circuit boards. You may also want to modify the length of the three supports, if you board are much wider or narrower than 3".
Step 3: It Is Tedious, But It Has to Be Done
Remove the protective film or paper from the acrylic pieces.
Step 4: Assemble and Glue
Assemble the pieces and glue together with the solvent. It's a good idea to work over a blotter. The solvent can damage the table top surface.
Step 5: Load Your Boards and Start Soldering
This rack has notches for 10 boards. You may want to vary the number of notches or distance between them, depending on your boards. For permanent storage of boards, you may want to glue the rack to a baseplate made from acrylic. It would make the rack stronger and easier to move when full of boards.