It's the loose ends that will trouble you in electronics. One wire of hundreds is in the wrong spot... Or connected poorly... Or strained. Wire management is one of the most common things that I fight with during my projects. Staring at a huge pile of twisted, kinked, and tangled colorful wires is enough to give anyone a headache.
I had used some spiral wire wraps to organize connections on a 3D printer, and wanted some more. There were none to be found locally (rural Wyoming), so I set off to create my own. With a little bit of experimentation and a couple of references to this Instructable, I was able to make my own wire management wraps.
Step 1: Materials and Supplies
You don't need very much to create these handy organizers:
- 1/2" diameter flexible plastic tubing (available at your local hardware store in the fountain section)
- sharp knife (think X-Acto)
- a big heap of tangled wires (easy to find in my workshop)
Step 2: Cut Down Your Tubing
Start by measuring the length of the wires you wish to control. My bunch of madness happened to be 4 inches. Use your knife to cut the tubing to size.
Step 3: Spiral Cutting!
Now for the fun part. Position your knife at a 30 degree angle to one end of your flexible tubing. Press the point down and began turning the tubing. Make sure to maintain the same 30 degree angle with your knife. Continue turning until you have reached the end. As you turn the tubing, it should feed itself through the knife.
Step 4: Wrap Your Wires!
And that's it. To use, take your spiral cut tubing and wrap it around a straightened bunch of wires. Continue wrapping until you have used all of the tubing. The nice thing about this management tool is that it will stretch to accommodate for a wide range of wire sizes.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.