Gemma for Snap Circuits

Adapting an Adafruit Gemma for use with Snap Circuits

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I started off the weekend looking for an excuse to learn a bit of OpenSCAD, this is what I came up with. I was inspired a while back by this thing:

I have accumulated a few different sets of Snap Circuits now in the hopes of using them to help teach basic electronics to kids. One thing that I've always wished was included in one of the sets is a basic Microcontroller that had the "Snap" interface so it could control various other components in the set. I saw the Lily Pad holder on Thingiverse a while back and mentally filed it away as an idea that with a bit of tweaking would suit my needs.

3D Object

First step was designing the plate. This was my first experience with Open SCAD, I think it went rather well. I had 3 different revisions of the plate. The first one was a more bulky and more "subtractive". After this initial design I looked back at my original inspiration and decided I like a few of the choices they made better so I changed it up to be a bit more like theirs. Rev 2 was more conservative. A thinner plate with snap holes tucked in tighter, and "additive" this time. Rev 3 (final) was a minor change to lower the plate thickness and make a bigger cutout for the USB/Battery plugs.


At first I was thinking I would use wires and solder. I got 2 pins done then went to bed. After sleeping on it I decided the stiff wires were going to make it harder to get every thing glued to the plate. So in the morning I de-soldered those 2 and switched to using conductive thread to tie the snaps onto the Gemma. After running the thread through each of the holes on the snaps a few times I put a dab of hot glue on the underside to hold down the thread. Then I tied the other end to each pad on the Gemma. After I got them tied on I finished it off with a dab of conductive glue on the knot for strength and a better connection. A bit of hot glue holds down the Gemma and all of the snaps to the plate.

  • 6 × SZ 2 Sew-On Snaps (male side only)
  • 1 × Conductive Thread
  • 1 × Hot Glue
  • 1 × Conductive Glue
  • 1 × 3D Printer + Open SCAD

  • Hot Glue ?

    foamyguy03/30/2015 at 00:11 0 comments

    I'm not sure if hot glue holding the snaps to the plate is going to be strong enough to withstand the snap / unsnap forces. Might have to be on the lookout for a stronger bond.

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