I often use wrapping wire for my electronic projects. Either I wrap the wires for quick prototyping, and then I can unwrap them, or I solder them when I want a more long term prototype. Banggood sells 8 colors of wrapping wire in 300m spools, at 8€ each. I bought one of each and needed a convenient storage and dispenser.

You can find links at the end of this post.

Result

Result

Design

I took some inspiration from Philippe Demerliac’s YouTube Channel and website.

Spools

I always used Blender3D for my 3D printing designs, but I read somewhere that Blender is better for designing organic things and OpenSCAD is better for mecanical parts. So, I decided to give it a chance. Furthermore, I publish my things on my Thingiverse account and they are able to use OpenSCAD files as template that the user can customize.

I wanted something very simple, such as two rows of 4 spools. I wanted to print without supports and to have something that can be mounted without screws. I first designed an U shaped cube, with holes on both sides and a tube ended with a thread. Despite that printing a thread can work … or not, it is not easy to print it accurately on every printer with every material. So, I removed the thread and created a key shaped hole on both sides to clip the tube in the box. Then, I did not want that several spools turn when using one, and I inserted fillers. I rounded the top of the sides to have something less ugly.

I had the basis. I am curious and wanted to try to publish a “customizer” in Thingiverse. So, I parametrized every constant and documented the variable. And I began to think to other people. My need is to have the dispenser’s bottom flat on the table. But this need could change with the time and some other users might want to have it wall mounted. So, I made the back square shaped, to be able to return the dispenser and use it vertically. And I also added 4 screw holes in case of wall mounting.

First design

I still did not have a solution to lock the wires. The idea is to use a sponge or foam, between two printed parts, and to have the wires that come from the spools, go through the foam and ends there. I decided to use the square shaped back to clip this foam support. But if I want to place my dispenser vertically, this would not be convenient, so I square shaped the front too.

I did not yet design the foam support because I still don’t have an urgent need for it, yet.

That’s all for the design.

Print

I got a Creality CR-10 last year and I am really very happy with it. I had issues, but I solved them all, by learning. This means that the problem is not the hardware, but the user ;)

ABS is stronger, had better resistance against humidity and temperature, better mecanical properties, is more flexible than PLA and des not break so easily, but is also more complex to print. As my dispenser will reside indoor, on my desk, I chose to print in PLA, with an ArianePlast White PLA test spool (350g).

I used Cura for slicing.

  • Layer heigth = 0.3mm because I don’t need a perfectly finished thing

  • Infill = 50% with triangles, it is a lot longer but I need some rigidity and strength

  • 4 perimeters by default in each direction

  • no support, only a brim because the back plate is quite wide in my case (15 x 15cm) and the tubes need to be well secured.

  • Horizontal size expansion = -0.3mm, this is very important as I design all my parts to exactly fit together. Without this setting, given that the extruder pushed material a little bit outside of the thig’s volume, I would not be able to clip the parts together (every hole would be a little bit smaller than the design and every pin, a little bit larger).

  • speed = 45mm/s because my stepper begins to have difficulty to push my PLA faster with the nozzle set at 215°C. If I increase the nozzle temperature, the PLA leaks (retract 4mm) I get hairs between perimeters, and if I retract more than, my nozzle will clog.

With these settings, it took approximately 30h to print, this can seem to be long but it is fast to finally get a perfect fit for my need.

Materials and Links

Here is the Thingiverse thing link. You can use the “customize” link to adapt the thing to your need without downloading the source file and editing it in OpenSCAD.

Link Description
My Cura profile file Settings that I used on my Creality CR-10, with 0.4 nozzle and ArianePlast White PLA
SCAD design file The design source file to edit it with OpenSCAD
Thingiverse customizer The interractive customizable online design file
Thingiverse thing The design page on Thingiverse
My STL file The STL file that I printed for my usage with 8 (4x2) banggood spools

Footnotes

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