The Smallest Thing I Ever Designed is Now on Thingiverse

by Jason King on April 26, 2015

Connector RenderI’ve owned and been writing about my MakerBot Replicator 2 for almost a year now.

During that time I’ve downloaded and 3D printed countless items from Thingiverse.

Although I’ve also designed many items myself, mostly using Tinkercad, a lot of this stuff has been customised items, like keyrings with names on or other items which wouldn’t be much use to anyone else.

Since discovering OpenSCAD a few weeks ago I’ve been playing around with it quite a bit and am becoming quite a big fan of it. I’ve used OpenSCAD to design and 3D print a few little test objects but up until now, nothing too useful.

The Smallest Thing I’ve Ever Designed

Whilst fixing up a rental property recently, I noticed that three of the roller blind cords had lost their connectors. Nothing unusual there, as most tenants seem to enjoy trashing the place in any way they can think of, this just being one of the many.

I managed to find some injection moulded connectors online but I really wanted them now and as I have six such blinds in the property, thought it might be a good idea to make my own as I’d need more in the future.

After spending a little while searching Thingiverse I found no such connectors, so I was left with designing my own. Ok, so at this point I might have been better spending a little cash and just ordering them online, but where’s the fun in that?

Connector DesignOut came OpenSCAD and I started my design.

When I’d finished, after a few little prototypes and tweaks, I posted it on a few of the social networks.

To my surprise quite a few of my friends said that they’d broken or lost some of these themselves and asked if I could send them some.

I guess the beauty of making these myself is that I can make them in any color to match the blinds, not just in white or clear, which most of them injection moulded ones are.

Uploading to Thingiverse

If these little things are actually useful and I couldn’t find any on Thingiverse, then why not upload it to Thingiverse myself?

So I just did. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world but for me it is, as it’s my very first Thingiverse object.

Connector 3D PrintsHave a look at it here: Roller Blind Beaded Cord Connector on Thingiverse. I’ve also included the OpenSCAD file so you can see exactly how it’s designed and modify it if needed.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my first impressions of OpenSCAD if you fancy a go with it. It’s free open source software and I know we all like ‘free’.

Uploading the .STL, OpenSCAD files and images to Thingiverse is surprisingly easy. Just enter some text too to help people make your items successfully and you’re good to go.

I don’t expect you to rush to download my connectors and make them now, as they’re only useful if you have broken or lost some yourself. What I did want to achieve from this article though is to encourage you to design your own stuff and then share it with the rest of the world if it’s useful.

For me, that’s what 3D printing is really all about, empowering people to design, make and share their own items.

In the spirit of this, please feel free to Like, Share and Comment on this post if you found it interesting. Also feel free to download my FREE Beginners Guide to 3D Printing at Home eBook if you need more inspiration or a helping hand.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Powell April 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I always look forward to new posts and this one reminded me of a project I just did this weekend. I have a massage chair and over time some of my larger friends overtaxed the foot portion of the chair and broke through the foot pads.
The new part would cost between $140-150.00 and would take weeks to get here from China of course.
A light bulb came on and I took the chair apart and assessed the situation then took all the pieces to the garage and glued them in place. The next step was to 3d print rectangles with holes in right places and glue those on as the final phase of the repair. From start to finish took 3 days and $5.00 worth of abs filament and 1/2 hour of design and 6 hours printing and the chair is stronger than original.

Reply

Jason King April 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm

That’s a great story John and just shows that home 3D printing really can be useful. Although it’s easy to download and print useless plastic trinkets (I do this a lot), it’s great when we put our 3D printers and our imaginations to use and solve real world problems. I’m pleased that you saved yourself a good chunk of money too. I bet it was more rewarding than just buying the part from China. It puts my little blind cord connectors to shame 🙂 Also, I only send selected blog posts using email, so if you want to see them all it’s best to like the Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, where I publish pretty much everything I design, print and write. Keep up the good work and thanks for the comment and continued support.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: