Drive around any large city and you'll see an increasing number of electric vehicles. This is due in part to tax incentives, but also to improved battery technology, a higher density of charging stations, and aggressively priced lease agreements.
When charging our electric vehicle in our driveway, we wanted to keep the large transformer on the charging cable off the ground so it would be protected from dirt and water. In this Instructable, we'll show you how to make a 2 piece bracket from the moldable plastic Instamorph that can be used on an EV or any other oversized transformer.
Step 1: Heat Water
Following the directions on the package, we heated water to 150° Fahrenheit. You can use an instant read thermometer or any other temperature sensor. A kitchen thermometer set for "BEEF" worked, too.
NOTE: Instamorph can withstand higher temperatures, but if the temperature is too low it won't mold well.
Step 2: Add Instamorph and Wait for It to Become Clear
The product came to our makerspace in pouches of small white beads. We poured in a whole pouch for this project, but if you are making something smaller, you only need to heat what you need. It takes a few minutes to become clear(ish), which indicates it is ready to mold. Keep the water at or above 150° Fahrenheit.
NOTE: Instamorph becomes moldable at 150° Fahrenheit so it is not a good choice if the object is going to become hot. This is also an advantage, since if you end up with extra, just let it cool, and reheat it later to mold into something else!
Step 3: Remove the Instamorph From the Water and Mold Two Brackets
We found that a silicone oven mitt was a good way to take the Instamorph blob out of the hot water. Knead and squeeze the material a bit with the glove to get any excess water out. Then you will find that it is fairly easy to mold with your bare hands. It can be pretty warm, but we never felt it to be burning hot.
You will want to make two brackets. The bottom one will support the device and the top one will hold it against the wall. Pull off a blob of about half the plastic and start forming the bottom bracket.
Mold the plastic around the base of the transformer, making sure the cord can slide in and out easily. This may take a few minutes and if the Instamorph gets too stiff, just drop it in the hot water for a minute to soften it. It should be shaped like a wine glass sliced in half vertically (large open top, small narrow channel for the cord on the bottom),
The top bracket starts as a flat rectangle (you can even get uniform thickness by using a rolling pin). Fold it around the upper part of the transformer so that it covers the back and sides fully and there are small lips wrapping around the front.
Step 4: Let It Harden, Smooth As Needed, Add Screw Holes
When you are satisfied with the shape of the brackets, submerge them in cold (even ice) water. This will accelerate the hardening. After the brackets are hard, you can trim the edges (shown here using a saw) and smooth them, too.
Drill two pilot holes in the center of the back of the bottom bracket and one pilot hole in the center of the top bracket.
Step 5: Check the Fit and Mount the Brackets
Check that the backets still fit on the transformer as desired.
Put the bottom one around the base where the cord comes out, and the top one about 2/3 of the way up. Place the transformer on the desired mounting location with the brackets attached. Mark the place where the bracket edges hit the wall.
Remove the transformer and secure the brackets to the wall with 3 screws.
Now, when you are ready to charge your vehicle, just slide the transformer into the brackets, coming into them from the top, and then plug in both ends.
NOTE: When the car is not charging, we use the brackets to keep the dirt and water off the extension cord, too!