Close



Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Designing a printable button array

    Hi - I have a little knowledge of 3D modelling, but not how to design efficiently for 3D printing. I'd like to create something like this:

    I'll be creating the button mechanism myself; they won't be bought-in switches, so they won't be anchored. I was thinking of arranging these within a grid on square shafts so they can't rotate, unless hexagonal ones would work better from a friction point of view.The main question is how to prepare this in a suitable/cheap/efficient way for an online 3D printing service. Would the buttons need to be printed separately, or could they be arranged in a 'sheet', perhaps within the holes for the shafts, ready to be cut out, or something...? Thanks for any thoughts!
    Last edited by BJG145; 05-04-2021 at 07:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    8,512
    could they be arranged in a 'sheet', perhaps within the holes for the shafts,
    yes do that :-)

    Just make sure there is a small gap around each buttong so they don't stick together.

    Most print bureaus that use sls printers will use a minimum of 0.1mm gap between parts.
    That means that YOU leave a 0.2mm gap as tha gap is on all sides so 0.1mm per side.

    Not sure what cad you use but that button array would be really simple to do in openscad.

    About a 4 line script :-)

  3. #3
    ..great, thanks for that. I was thinking that I might need to leave them connected by a thin strand, but is that unnecessary...? I wasn't sure if the model could have actual gaps between components, in case they toppled over or something.

  4. #4
    For the "average joe," I'd be quick to recommend Tinkercad, even though the tedious replication of the hexagons would drive me batty.
    It would certainly be easier for me and the long-nosed fellow to create in OpenSCAD and if you're so inclined, it is a good project to introduce you to the program.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    8,512
    If you use a print bureau and if you pick the sls (laser sintered nylon) option. Then the print is always supported at all times.
    An sls printer produces a solid block of nylon powder with the actual parts within it, having been fused together by the laser.

    It's one of the more expensive options, but it does mean you don't have to be too experienced when you design the part.

    To design a part for fdm (fused depositon modelling) what most of us use - takes a bit more expertise and experience.

    For example. I would print your buttons top side down, with the stalk either part of the button - or with a socket that a seperately printed stalk would fit into.

    That way the flat part is on the flat bed and you can build up and out or in, for the stalks.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    For example. I would print your buttons top side down, with the stalk either part of the button - or with a socket that a seperately printed stalk would fit into.
    That's rather generous of you to print those buttons.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    8,512
    lol - I never mentioned it would be free :-)

  8. #8
    Student
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Pacific NorthWet
    Posts
    14
    Aww no free buttons? LOL

    Interesting project, thought on how to wire it up? I2C would give great flexibility but require a cheap uC per button (or cheaper, column of buttons, those 4 cent or whatever OTP cheap uCs could be great for this, 14 pin so one per column would be doable pretty easily)

    (If you haven't heard of those, bug me, I can find the link off youtube, lots of good info out there.)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •