I’ve been experimenting with 3D printing options for Lo-tech ISA card slot brackets for some time, the idea being for customers ultimately to print their own slot brackets at home as the technology becomes ever more accessible – the XT-CF-lite rev.2 adapter bracket is only currently available in .STL format.
Weight is 19g, and though slightly ‘ripply’ along the flat surface, this bracket has a great, solid feel and seems sturdy enough to take the force required to insert the card. Currently this process is quite expensive, but of course that should come down given time.
Unfortunately the PU coating on this prototype has left the card guides slightly too small for the CompactFlash card, but here’s a plain version (type 3), for example for the Lo-tech RAM, EMS, and 8-bit IDE adapters:
Another metal based material available is alumide, “a strong, somewhat rigid material that can take small impacts and resist some pressure while being bent. The surface has a sandy, granular look and is slightly porous”, according to the website.
This feels more like the SLA printed ABS, being quite bending and, at 3g, has a light-weight almost paper-like feel. Though certainly up to holding a card in situ, this bracket (like the ABS versions) isn’t strong enough to be used to apply force to insert or remove the card, so requires some care in use.
The bronze process is perfect for this application, just a little pricey at the moment. Stainless steel is another option (and actually gold and titanium too!) but is currently too expensive to seriously consider for this application.