Last updated Fri Feb 25, 2022

Here are the tools I have been using to design and assemble my projects.
Many of them can be replaced by cheaper (or pricier) options, these just happen to be the ones I have.

Desk / Design

self-healing cutting mat - insurance for your desk top.

caliper - 3D design usually involved fitting different parts, including components you bought and other parts you design. Precise measurements are necessary to make it work.

head lamp - great for poorly lit desks, and does more than the lamp on the magnifier of the helping hands

scissors - ehh.. for cutting

micro cutter - to clip the tips after solder or pla at an angle

rotex - I got that off eBay, the ones for sale now (like the dymo on amazon) appear to be very poorly build by comparison

safety glasses - after a bit from the dremel split and cracked my regular glasses, decided to buy those and use them when operating anything that spins

dremel - I am not very good at actually using the dremel, but it is pretty helpful for modifying prints without needing to do a full reprint

dremel tungsten bits - those are great to eat through metal.


3D Printing

Prusa MK3s - 3D printer, there are plenty out there. This is the one I have and seems to be ok.

knives to remove supports - better than the x-acto set i have, because the blades are thicker, which comes in handy for prying supports

de-burring tool -great for removing brims on 3d printed parts.



soldering iron - There are many out there, pricier and cheaper. This is my third one, and so far is the best. Heats up quick, stays hot. I use it for soldering and for heat inserts.

heat insert tips - they are great to get the heat inserts in PLA/PETG to prepare for the use of screws

helping hands - keep things in place for soldering while your hands deal with the iron and the solder wire

solder reel stand - makes it easy to get the solder wire while holding the hot iron with the other hand

smoke absorber - important if you solder with lead-based tin

wire stripper - you want the one for wires thinner than 20… which I eventually learned means higher numbers

ESD-safe brush - any brush will do to clean dust and remove residue

solder sucker - to remove solder blobs.. 'cause mistakes do happen

pcb vise - that one is a bit of a splurge. It does a great job at holding any pcb during soldering and takes very little space.

iron tip cleaner - it is a bit more convenient to use than the one that came with the iron






Solder / De-Solder

lead free solder wire - Lead free solder wire. Make sure to adjust the soldering iron to work with those, at least to 750. this one is ROHS compliant 

rosin flux paste - Makes soldering easier. This one is ROHS compliant.

desoldering wick - Good for cleaning up small amounts of solder or holes after removing the blobs with the solder sucker

tip tinner - to keep the solder iron in tip top condition


Glue / Cover

liquid tape - helps to prevent shorting

cyanoacrylate glue - mistakes happen, and that is the ctrl+z

3:1 heat shrink with glue - look for the one with glue, it is much easier to get it to stick


3D Printing

nozzle socks - I am actually not sure that does anything, but the cool kids put in their mk3s, so faking it until I make it here

99% ipa - if I have a secret to get pla to stick to a bed, is this thing



M2 and M2.5 assorted screws  - most Raspberry Pi related parts appear to use M2.5, so having a set of assorted short screws comes in handy. I like the dark countersunk flat tops, but any will do.





De-soldering a 40pin connector is easier with the vise and the pump