My first 3D printing experience

Unlike Dan KB6NU my first project was successful.  Must be a case of Beginner’s Luck.

After summer I started a new job. I’m still teaching though. But new school, new subjects: mostly back to classic electronics and new stuff like Arduino. And my first hands on experience with 3D printing. And a link with ham radio to boot!

To keep my classroom tidy I was looking for a cable rack. Teenage students wouldn’t mind turning a few dozen test leads into a pile of spaghetti but I hate that. Furthermore when the cables are nicely arranged I immediately can look for test leads gone MIA and summon the troops to recover the missing items.

I was looking for a fast DYI solution with either wood or metal since I know how to obtain and work with these materials. But Google suggested another solution. From an amateur radio operator nonetheless! WA0UWH made a nice cable rack with a 3D printer. And he was so kind as to make the design available online.

This is what the full WA0UWS model looks like.


Since we also teach the basics of 3D design and printing to our students, we have everything available to edit WA0UWS’s design and have it 3D-printed. The original design was too wide to fit onto our printer’s bed so we removed a few of the branches making it narrower. We did not scale it down, we sliced away some of the fingers. My colleague showed me how stuff works and soon after I had the 3D printer going.

I now have a bunch of cable racks I can put up on the wall to keep the different types and colors nicely separated and untangled. Yay! To keep the number of holes in the wall to a bare minimum I screwed a length of plywood to the wall. I painted it white first to blend with the painted wall. Then I screwed the cable racks to the wood. Four screws in a brick wall is far less than 5×3 screws.

The finished product.
The finished product.
The finished product.

A quick search engine query reveals a lot of 3D designs for ham radio gizmos are ready to download and get 3D-printed.

I have a lot to learn (see also my Arduino affair). But just like when I got back into programming twelve years ago, this new knowledge can also be used in DYI projects. Read: HAM RADIO!

Arduino – I finally cracked

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