3D Printing Ideas + Physical Hardware = Switch Box
Looking for 3D Printing Ideas? I’ve been playing a lot of a certain space simulator game lately and one thing that really helps with immersion is some physical switches. Keyboards are great but physical switches hold a certain romanticism to them. This is what I built:
I didn’t find what I wanted when looking at what was commercially available on the market,. Specifically I knew what I wanted because I wanted to match some of my existing setup. I had exact measurements of the box and style and went looking for the perfect project box. (Note to self: Next time I should just print the box because looking for one to meet my exact dimensions was a very time consuming process). The other important non-printed ingredients were:
- 8x – 3 position momentary switches (On-Off-On)
- 10x – U Bolts (I went with a thread size of M6 )
- 20x – Carbon steel knurled flat head threaded rivet nuts
- 1x – Joystick USB board
The key component to make all of this work was how to mount all of the hardware together and keep it flush with the surface of the project box. Using TinkerCad, I modeled and designed a mounting plate for a perfect fit within the project box.
Printing and putting it together
I printed it quickly, with a lot of internal fill for strength. Then, I used the mounting plate as a drill guide, placing it inside the lid to guide the drill positions. I drilled out of the holes in the project box to the exact locations required. (My drilling skills aren’t great so having a millimeter perfect guide made it a lot easier). The switches were installed on the mounting plate, with the U bolts inserted through the lid. The mounting plate was then pushed flush with the lid.
I pulled out my very old soldering iron and went to work. (Yes, I am under no illusions about the lack of ability I have when it comes to soldering).
Honestly, it took me a lot longer than I expected. I would have saved myself an absolutely huge amount of time if I’d modeled and printed the box as well – but as this was the first time I’ve used TinkerCad, I’m still pretty happy with the result.
I have the Ender-3 v2 3D Printer and I would highly recommend.
Have you modeled and printed something recently that you’d like to show? Do you have any 3D Printing Ideas that you need help bringing to life?