May 6, 2015 | By Alec

If you’re one of those tinkerers that always finds himself working with PCBs, you’ll doubtlessly know the frustration of only having two hands. With all those components and wiring, things can get overly complicated and extremely frustrating really quickly. Fortunately, there is now a solution simpler than growing another hand, and it comes straight from Italy’s Carabinieri (the police department): a 3D printed PCB workstation with octopus-like tentacles that provide you with all the additional fingers you need.

This cool-looking PCB holder is a wonderful and inexpensive solution for all your PCB needs, and has been designed by Giuseppe Finizia. As Giuseppe explained to, he is an electronic engineer at the Scientific Investigations Department of the Carabinieri in Italy. ‘In particular, I am the senior analyst of the Electronic Forensics Unit and I deal with technical investigations on seized electronic devices,’ he tells us.

Logically, he spends his days in a well-equipped electronic laboratory filled with PCBs. ‘Very often I felt the need for a tool on which I could place a printed circuit board to perform technical assessments, such as acquire data from a circuit memory, or analyze an I2C or SPI communication bus using a logic state analyzer, and much more,’ he tells us. ‘In all these cases, until now I had to use the usual "third hand" tool, but then I decided to create a specific tool for my needs. So I designed this "PCB Workstation with Articulated Arms"’, he explains. This handy tool can be equipped with all the lab instruments you mind need for working with individual electronic components and, what’s more, it can feature twelve different ‘tentacles’ to suit any PCB needs you might have. It will also accommodate printed circuit boards with dimensions ranging from 20 x 20 mm (0,78 x 0,78 inches) to 130 x 130 mm (5,12 x 5,12 inches).

As Giuseppe tells us, he designed this cool tool for any electronics workbench using MOI 3D modeling software, which is relatively accessible while featuring a whole host of options. So far, Giuseppe has incorporated a number of potential accessories into the complete design, including Alligator Clips for holding electronic parts, IC Hook Clip Grabbers, Micro SMD Grabber Test Clips and more. Additional mounting options will follow in the near future, so in short more than enough for all your tinkering needs.

Most important? Giuseppe has made his designs freely available on Thingiverse. You can download all necessary components here, though he warns us that a cheap 3D printer might not yield the expected results. ‘Printing all the parts could be a challenging task using a not adequate 3D printer. I have used my ZORTRAX M200 which is a very accurate and high resolution 3D printer,’ he says. He also used Z-HIPS filament. But if you’re willing to try, be sure to print all parts exactly as they appear in the preview image as this minimizes the number of support structures. Giuseppe advised a layer thickness of 0.19 mm for ‘Base.stl’ (infill medium) and ‘Fermo-PCB.stl’, and 0.14 mm for the rest (with an infill of full for all).


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Giuseppe Finizia wrote at 11/4/2015 6:57:50 PM:

Hi guys, for everyone who doesn't have a 3D printer or simply want to get a fully functional PCB Workstation with a large set of printed parts and hardware accessories, it is now available a ready to use HIGH QUALITY 3D PRINTED KIT! Pre-Order today and pay only the introductory price of € 69,00 EUR ($ 77,90 USD) + shipping. Normal order price will be € 79,00 EUR ($ 88,90 USD) + shipping. You can contact me to "" if you need any kind of customization of the kit (extra parts or accessories). Shipping fees (with Express Courier and tracking number): To Italy: € 8,90 EUR (usually delivered within 4 business days) To Europe: € 24,90 EUR (usually delivered within 4-6 business days) To Rest of the World: € 42,90 EUR [$ 47,90 USD] (usually delivered within 5-7 business days)

NJC wrote at 5/14/2015 3:45:52 AM:

I would pay to have a few of these! And I bet I'm not alone!

Francesco Ongaro wrote at 5/10/2015 4:21:07 PM:

Nice idea and great execution Giuseppe, kudos from the whole ISGroup team :)

Gianlucacc wrote at 5/6/2015 4:01:46 PM:

That's incredible!! He's my best friend and my colleague! Congratulations

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