50 December 2016
my FLASHFORGE Dreamer 3D printer. This design would
have fit on my smaller MP Select Mini 3D printer, but I was
printing with ABS plastic. I wanted ABS because it is more
flexible than a PLA plastic, which is better for the battery
Printing ABS works best in an enclosed chamber
to keep the heat in. This reduces the risk of splitting or
warping of the print, which ABS tends to do. So, the
FLASHFORGE Dreamer is the better choice with its
The design printed well and was ready to install the
electronics into. I connected and soldered a nine volt
battery cable to the board, then cut the positive red wire
and installed an SPDT switch in series. The circuit and box
are shown in Figure 9 ready to assemble.
I used a couple strips of double-sided foam stick
tape to hold the board in place. I could have designed
screw holes and posts in the plastic, but since it was a first
attempt, this was a bit easier. The nine volt battery snaps
into the clips at the bottom. The switch inserts into the
hole at the top of the box and is held in place by a nut that
screws on the switch threads. That’s it.
The design is complete and a flip of the switch
produces a back and forth flashing light indicating I’m
filming my next You Tube clips. Placing this in a window of
my shop or hanging it from the door indicates that filming
is going on.
This is not the most complex design electrically or
mechanically, but it does show a step-by-step approach to
creating an electronically based product with the help of a
3D printer. This is exactly why I bought my first printer, so
I could make custom cases in the way I wanted rather than
getting a box off the shelf and modifying it.
In most cases, the modification method rarely
produces a package I’m willing to show off. Having the
ability to create a custom package is something that 3D
printing helps to deliver to any electronics developer. I am
constantly amazed at what people are able to create with
I finished off my box by painting the recessed letters
with some white
paint. It wasn’t
the best look, but
it was definitely
more visible. I
could have printed
in two colors with
Dreamer since it
has dual extruders,
but I’ll save that
for a future article/
n FIGURE 9. Ready to assemble.
n FIGURE 8. FLASHFORGE Dreamer 3D printer.
Check out my website and blog:
My You Tube channel:
My 3D designs:
n FIGURE 10. Assembled unit.
REAL WORLD USES FOR THE ELECTRONICS EXPERIMENTER
PRACTICAL 3D PRINTING