Introduction: 3D Printed Mini 5-Inch Monitor
When using microcontrollers, playing games/using software that can utilize a second screen, or any other need for a secondary display, a mini-monitor can be very useful. For me, I needed another small screen to use as a map display for games, an output for my Arduino, and a screen for Fusion 360 feature cam.
This instructable describes how to make a simple, functional, 3D printed mini display utilizing a 3D printer and LCD panel.
I am a sophomore at Livermore High School
- Fusion 360
- Any 3D printer
- PLA, PETG, or ABS filament
- This 5 inch LCD from Amazon
- A single M4 20mm screw
- Six M3 10mm screws
- Small power bank (Not Required)
- Hot glue (Not Required)
- Spray paint, your choice of color (Not Required)
- Spray on Polyurathane (Not Required)
If you choose to print my design, the model files are attached below.
Step 1: Conceptualization
An important first step in the design process is thinking up the design. I knew I needed my screen to be self-powered, small, tilt-adjustable, and HDMI compatible so a planned it out as such. I first found and ordered a screen from Amazon so I could measure and form my design from it. I drew up a rough sketch of how I wanted it to look also decided on using a simple hinge design to make the monitor tilt. I took inspiration from my full-sized monitor stand when making the sketch.
If you use the exact same screen I bought, you can just print my model, however, I would recommend modeling your own monitor stand as the design is interchangeable with other stands.
Step 2: Modeling the Monitor Frame
(Skip this step if you want to use my model)
To begin modeling the monitor, you should first carefully measure and write down all important measurements of the LCD display. The distance between the screw holes, the diameter of the screw holes, the lip on the bottom of the board, the distance the buttons and ports stuck out from the back of the board, etc.
With these measurements, you can begin to create the monitor frame. Utilizing different parts in the design makes 3D printing it easier and assembly simpler. Make a backplate that the LCD panel sits in with room for the buttons and ports, a middle plate that screws the monitor in place, and a top plate that covers the borders of the LCD.
Finally, Double-check your tolerances for the spot the LCD panel fits into and carve out some extra space in the backplate in any areas where it looks like the LCD might need more room.
I didn't get this right first try. After printing it, one part of the LCD display didn't fit into my Monitor frame. I went back and adjusted my clearances, reprinted the part, and found it fit perfectly.
Step 3: Modeling the Monitor Stand
(Skip this step if you want to use my model)
When modeling the stand, it is important to remember that the bottom of the stand should be big enough to support the size and weight of the monitor frame and LCD panel.
First, create the feet of your monitor stand. I modeled my feet off the feet of my real, full-size monitor's stand. Next, create a post that will hold the monitor frame off of the ground. Finally, create a spot where the monitor stand will join with the backplate of the monitor frame. Use a hinge design if you want the monitor to tilt.
*If you use my monitor frame but want to make your own stand, make it compatible with my hinge piece that attaches the monitor frame to the stand.
Step 4: Printing
Now that you have modeled the parts of the monitor, the next step is to print them out.
When slicing your print in software like Cura, make sure to use these settings:
- Temperatures set adequate to your filament
- Infill 20%
- 0.2 layer height
- 60mm/s speed
- 3 Perimeters
- Supports on at 60°
- Brim on
With the slice finished, 3D print the parts on your printer.
Once printed, remove any supports and the brim from your print.
Step 5: Painting (Optional)
If you want to paint your monitor, use any spray paint of your choice. I only painted half the pieces and left the others the color of my filament. To paint, apply 3 coats of spray paint to each piece. Next, apply 1 coat of clear polyurethane to protect your paint job. Wait a day before beginning the next step so the spray paint and polyurethane can fully dry.
Step 6: Assembly
- Take the hinge connector piece [A] and put it into the monitor frame backplate.
- Fit the LCD panel into the backplate [B].
- Use six M3 10mm screws to attach the middle plate [C] to the backplate, securing the LCD panel in place.
- Use a small amount of super glue to attach the top plate [D] to the middle plate.
- Put the monitor and stand [E] and frame together by joining their hinge pieces with one M4 20mm bolt.
- (Optional) To make the monitor self-powered, hot glue a small USB power bank behind the backplate.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Your project is finished!
Use it for whatever your needs may be, from gaming to microcontrollers and modeling to a digital photo frame.
Runner Up in the
3D Printed Student Design Challenge