Laser Cut Electronic Component Mounting Templates

 

 

For the past 40+ years, anytime I wanted to make an electronics project, I had to make a paper template, transfer it to the panel or box, mark the centers, and start drilling.  I got proficient at it, keeping many rows and components evenly spaced.  But it was always a pain to do it right.

But times and equipment change.  For a little more than $400, I bought a K40 type laser cutter/engraver.  It slices through 1/8" (3mm) birch plywood, or acrylic sheets like butter.  It also engraves the material, so no need to add labeling later.  It's also incredibly accurate, quiet, and quick.  It can also make the panel, or the entire enclosure.

These are TEMPLATES.  All the files are listed at the bottom of the page.  You can copy what you need, and incorporate it into your project.  I've also provided links to the products I've shown here.

 

The Old Method



When CAD came along, the layout could easily be modified, and everything aligned.


But there was still a lot of manual work to do.  The pattern was printed, and spray adhesive was put on the back of the print, and applied to the panel.


After the adhesive set, an automatic center punch was used to mark the panel.  This prevented the drill bit from wandering, and the marks would stay, even if the paper pattern was damaged.


Unibits are great!  The steps are for common size components. They can also chamfer the holes.


Looks like the pattern.


A clear sheet was applied to the face, and sprayed with a clear coat.  Once it dried, the holes were cut with an X-Acto knife, and the components installed.  We made LOTS of project boxes in our shop over the years.  It wasn't until I retired that I got my hands on a laser cutter.  This sure would have simplified those projects.

 

The Laser Cut Templates


I recently added LEDs to my generator shed, and added a control panel for the auxiliary battery.  It has a couple of switches and outlets.  That project is at this link.

Not all components use a round or square hole.  Sometimes they have notches, keys, flat sides on a round hole, etc. Those were particularly difficult to cut by hand in the past.  I use a lot of Anderson PowerPole connectors in my vehicles, golf cart, garage, RV, and Ham radio equipment.

The component simply presses into the hole, and snaps into place.

The retention clips on the back grab the panel tightly. No other hardware is needed.

I'm adding LED lights to all the storage bays in our Class A motorhome. 

Most of the components I use work well with 3mm thick material.

Less commonly used (for homeowners) banana connectors.  I use these with test leads and test equipment.

The mounting holes are "D" shaped to prevent the jack from spinning when using the wire clamp feature on the top side of the jack.

These are slick.  Not only does it have dual USB jacks, but it also has a built-in Voltmeter, and a switch.

The hole for this component was round, with flat sides.

Some components have a locking plug, like the Roadmaster Even Brake 9400 system I use in our Jeep when towing it.  The locking feature prevents the plug from falling out in transit.

This is another component needing a round hole with flat sides.  I made notes of my power settings.  YMMV.

Here are the SVG files.  I recommend trying them on scrap material to verify the dimension work for your components before making the actual cuts in your project.

 

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Last updated 03/01/22    All rights reserved.