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I was tired of leaving my watch charging with a messy cord attached on my desk, so I decided to design this simple dock for it. The cradle is made of wood fiber PLA 3D printing filament, and the insert for the charging pad is made of flexible PLA filament. Since the inset is removable, this design could work with a variety of other smart watches.

Step 1: Design + 3D Modeling

The design is simple. Before I got started, I quickly sketched an idea of the shape of the dock. The Apple Watch becomes an alarm clock when it's charging and oriented on its side, so I designed the dock to be kind of a cowboy hat shape- there's a bubble in the middle that holds the charging pad with a raised brim around it to keep the watch band in place.

I used Fusion 360 for the 3D modeling. I use it pretty much exclusively because it's free, easy to learn, stable, and great for 3D printing. The youtube video in this step is a 4X speed capture of the modeling process. The whole project took 23 minutes to model.

The insert that holds the charging pad is a separate piece because I wanted to be able to swap it our for another charger if I ever replace the watch with a different model.

The STL files are here for download, and here's a link to the Fusion 360 file: http://a360.co/1Y85Lue

Fusion 360 is free for students and hobbyists, and there's a ton of educational support on it. If you want to learn to 3D model the kind of work I do, I think this is the best choice on the market. Click the links below to sign up:

Student/Educator

Hobbyist/Startup

Step 2: 3D Printing

TOOLS + MATERIALS

I used my Dremel Idea Builder for this project. I love this machine and use it for just about every 3D printing project I do.

I used MG Chemicals Wood 3D Printer Filament for the cradle because I love the quality of the finish. It feels just a bit classier than PLA plastic and behaves very well on my printer. It responds well to sanding and wood stains, and it actually smells like wood while it's printing!

For the flexible insert part, I used Matter Hackers White Soft PLA. It's flexible, but not elastic. This means it keeps its shape but won't break when you force it into a tight space, and will allow you to push it into the cavity at a weird angle.

SETTINGS

I use Simplify 3D for all my slicing because it gives me a high level of control, has excellent support structures, and yields good results just about every time.

Wood Filament Settings

Soft PLA Settings: Do no preheat nozzle!

Step 3: Assembly

I designed the piece so that the flexible insert would fit snugly in the cradle with the charging pad inserted. The whole piece came together quickly and works great!

Do you have a different brand of smart watch? Ping me and maybe we can figure out an insert for it.

<p>I printed the insert using Inland flexible PLA on a JG Aurora Z 605S and the dock using Hatchbox ABS on a Delta printer (5 hours). It works great. Great job JON-A-TRON! Thank you for sharing!</p>
Nicely done! I like the red with the black watch.
<p>I know this is random, but what kind of watch band is that?</p>
<p>Wow, their prices went way up since I bought mine! It's a great band though. http://www.bexargoods.com/collections/watch-straps</p>
Really nice design
<p>Thanks!</p>
Really slick design and explanation, good use of wood filament - the finishing makes a difference.
<p>No finishing! This is what it looks like straight off the printer! I want to play around with it though, I bet it would respond well to lacquer, for example.</p>
Exactly what I've been looking for. I have a Huawei watch. The dock (see picture) is 9mm high x 33 mm wide. Any way to obtain a fully printed model? I haven't sprung for a printer yet. Thanks.<br>
<p>You're in luck! The round cavity in the wood base is exactly 33mm and 9mm deep. You could probably insert your charger without even needing the flexible insert part! My suggestion of you don't have your own priter- go to shapeways.com and upload the model for the base. They have dozens of awesome materials to choose from, and their pricing is pretty amazing. You could probably get this done for around $10</p>
<p>Great design Jon-A-Tron. I have an old basic 3D printer Prntrbot Simple (early adopter?!). I wanted to know what printer you used? Can you polish and varnish the printed filament?</p>
<p>Thanks for the compliment! I use a Dremel Idea Builder almost exclusively (super reliable) with Simplify 3D for slicing. </p><p>I would think polishing and varnishing would be no problem with this material. I haven't experimented much with it, but I did a sandblasting test and a wood stain test, and it behaves pretty much like really dense MDF. I'm sure it would work pretty well.</p>
Great design! Really love how you included the charger insert. Good plan!
<p>Glad you like it!</p>
<p>Really nice design!</p>
<p>Thanks!</p>
Would you share your still files for the watch stand?
<p>Thanks for reminding me! They're in step 2.</p>
<p>A good idea. But I think if the details are not separate, it will easier for users</p>
<p>If I get your comment correctly, you're saying it would be easier to make it as a single monolithic piece. That's possible, but then you wouldn't have the option of changing out the fitting when you get a new model...</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a full-time Designer at the Instructables Design Studio (best job ever). My background is in residential architecture, film set design, film animatronics, media ... More »
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