52 October 2016
PRACTICAL 3D PRINTING n BY CHUCK HELLEBUYCK
The original wire holder design .stl file can be directly
imported into Tinkercad. From there, I can add material
or take it away with simple square, circular, or triangular
shapes. Each shape can be resized and also turned into
a “hole” element. A hole element is used to take away
material where that shape intersects with the object being
modified or built.
Figure 2 shows the finished design on the left and
an X-ray version on the right that shows the internal
modifications. The first step was to use a block element as
a hole to take away half of the slots for the wires. This left
a single V-slot for the resistor or diode to drop into. Next, a
cylinder shape was used to form a vertical hollow tube in
the middle of the V-slots.
Each V-slot has a hollow tube. This is where a
conductive terminal will be inserted to contact the leads
of the resistor or diode. Another set of horizontal hollow
tubes are then placed in the base of the unit at the front.
These will have a set of female banana jacks installed.
Another block element is used as a hole to take out a
section underneath so I could have access to solder the
terminals to the banana jacks. This completes the design
changes, and then it can be printed.
MP Select Mini
Last time, I also showed you the Fabrikator Mini 3D
printer, which fits nicely on your workbench. I want to
introduce a new low cost ($199) small 3D printer called
the Select Mini (Figure 3). It’s from Monoprice.com and
has a 50% larger build area than the Fabrikator Mini, plus
In my last article, I showed a 3D print for holding wires while you solder them
(Figure 1). It works really well. Then, it occurred to me that the same design could
be modified to become a resistor/diode tester when connected to an ohmmeter.
This required some modification to the design, but that is easy when using the free
online design tool called Tinkercad.
Using 3D printers for practical
projects on your workbench.
n FIGURE 1. Wire holder 3D print. n FIGURE 2. Wire holder in Tinkercad.