I needed wire guides to make a project look more clean.  I designed my own (less than $.05 in plastic and six minutes print time) and can print them in colors and sizes to suit my needs.

In this instructable, I will show how I used Autodesk 123D (free) to design a part.

What I do is "start with a box" and remove everything that is not a wire guide.

Follow along--you'll see that it's easy.

Design files available here:


Step 1:

First, go to "Primitives" and select "Box."

Step 2:

Select the first corner, (0,0) on the back plane.

Step 3:

Select the second corner (18,10).

Step 4:

Choose a depth of "12." 

I now have a box that is 18mm by 10mm by 12mm deep.

Step 5:

Select the "front" view to work on.

Step 6:

In "Sketch" choose "Rectangle."

Step 7:

Select the first point of your rectangle, the upper right corner (10,18). 

In the highlighted box, type the number you want then press the "tab" key to move to the other box.  Click when you are done with a step.

Step 8:

Choose the other corner of the rectangle (7 down and 8 to the left of the starting point).

Click on this--it defines a rectangle.

Step 9:

Go to "Create" and choose "Extrude," then select the rectangle you want to eliminate.

Step 10:

Type (15) for the depth to extrude (12 would be enough, but I like to go a little deeper to be sure I cut everything out).

Step 11:

Now choose "cut" in the drop down box.

Step 12:

Go back to "Create" and "Extrude" again and click.

Step 13:

Now, we're getting something that starts to look like a wire guide.

Step 14:

Go to "Sketch" and choose "Circle."

Step 15:

Select the center point for the circle (5,5).

Step 16:

Type in a radius of "3" and click.

Step 17:

Go to "Create" then "Extrude" then choose the circle.

Step 18:

Type in a depth of "15."

Step 19:

Choose "Cut' from the drop down menu.

Step 20:

Go to "Create," choose "Extrude" and click.  The hole should appear.

Step 21:

We want to turn the box over, so we select the "top" arrow on the orientation cube (upper right corner).

Step 22:

This is the top view.

Step 23:

Go to "Sketch" and choose "Circle."

Step 24:

Select the center of the circle (4,6).  Remember, you type the number then tab to get to the other one.  Click when you are done.

Step 25:

Specify the radius of the circle (2).

Step 26:

Go to "Create" then "Extrude."

Step 27:

Select the circle and choose the depth (-5).  The downward direction is minus.

Step 28:

Choose "Cut" from the drop down menu.

Step 29:

Go to "Create," then "Extrude" then click.

Step 30:

The hole should appear.

Step 31:

I used the cube in the upper right corner to drag between the top and front views.  This is not necessary--I just wanted to see what it looks like.

Step 32:

Save the file as a ".123d" file; design file in case you want to come back and change it.

Step 33:

Save as a ".stl" file--this is what the 3D printer will want.

Step 34:

That's it.  Printed with 100% infill, this weighs slightly more than one gram. 

You could round corners, "fillet" edges and use less infill to save plastic. 

Using the printer, you can "scale" this up or down; remember that both holes will grow or shrink if you do this.

Have fun!
Looks very good, but there's one thing I don't understand. Why are you photographing the screen instead of taking screenshots?
I'm using an older PC version of 123 on a simulator on a Mac...sometimes the whole thing locks up when I take screen shots--so it's easier to just grab a camera . . .

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby
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