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3D Printing Tips

Tip 1 - Standoff Design

This section contains some practical information about designing standoffs for your next 3D printed project.

Summary

The following table summarizes standoff specifications by screw type for the following:
Printer Type: FDM
Print Material: PLA
Screw Type Pilot Hole Diameter Interference Standoff Diameter Wall Thickness
Phillips Pan Machine Screws, 3mm -0.5 x 6 mm 2.5 to 2.8 mm 0.2 to 0.5 mm 5.5 mm 2.7 to 3 mm
Additional design considerations:
  • Adafruit blog recommends a minimum wall thickness of 1.5 mm: https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/03/26/3d-printing-design-tips-standoffs/
  • Pilot hole depth will be less than the screw length, since you're securing something to the standoff: i.e. PCB board.
  • If you're mounting a PC board, make sure to check the board to ensure there is clearance for the standoff. You may need to reduce the diameter of the standard to mount your PCB.

Details

The entry for 3mm screws was derived from my attempt to design a small enclosure with PCB standoffs.
3d printing tip1 image1.PNG
I tested two different standoff designs, one with 2.5 mm pilot holes and one with 2.8 mm pilot holes.
  • The 3 mm screw was difficult to thread into the 2.5 mm pilot hole.
  • The 3 mm screw was easy to thread into the 2.8 mm pilot hole.
The optimum pilot hole diameter for the 3 mm screw will be something in between 2.5 and 2.8 mm.