Introduction: UNPLUGGED: Security & Design
This cover plug it´s a project that was created with security in mind, as well as home decor, and of course the revolution of 3D printing that lets you to customize.
Step 1: Take Measurements of the Wall Outlet
To begin with, make sure you get the interior as well as the exterior measurements for the wall outlet socket you would like to cover. This may vary depending on the type of wall socket used (our measurements are based on a standard European plug), but some common measurements to consider include:
- Depth of socket
- Width of interior/exterior part of outlet
- Height of interior/exterior part of outlet
Step 2: Create Model Using CAD Software
With all of the measurements made, use your preferred CAD software to model the base of the outlet cover, which we will later add the decorative motif to.
The following are 10 steps for modelling the outlet cover base:
- To begin with, create the base circumference of the plug, using the diameter measured, as well as the distance between the two prongs.
- Once you have the model made for the circumference of the plug, simply extrude the image to adjust for the depth of the outlet measured.
- Make sure to make the prongs long enough so that your final outlet cover can be securely plugged into the socket (it is also a good idea to make the prongs slightly thicker, so they are studier)
- For European plugs in particular, make sure you take into account the possible different shapes of the interior of the outlet, again, so that our final product fits securely.
- Now that we have the model for the socket part of our base, simply add on top of that a large square to cover the exterior part of the outlet. Note: if you would like to make your motifs interchangeable, make sure to include that as part of your design here, like for example adding an extruding cylinder to attach the motif cover and be able to remove it easily as well.
- Adjust the width of the square cover so that it covers the outlet all the way back to the wall.
- We also recommend rounding out the corners of the square base
Step 3: Design and Model the Decorative Motif for the Cover
With the base model done, the next step is designing the decorative motif you would like to use!
The easy way to do this is by using vector images, which you can then edit with your modelling software to add volume and design contours and edges. We used a width of 0.3 cm, but it varies widely depending on the motif you are trying to use, and if you're considering making it interchangeable later. Another part that is important to consider in this step is the spacing between the base and the motif, for interchangeable models it is better to leave a little more space, and it will give your outlet cover more depth.
Once you've adjusted the spacing and the width of the motif itself, add a hole to the model (with the same diameter as the cylinder you created on your base). It is good practice to create this whole in the middle of the motif, but depending on your design this may not be possible, in which case you should make it on the thickest part of the model.
Step 4: Print Your Outlet Base and Decorative Motif!
In this step you will decide the presets for the 3D printer (which will vary depending on the model of printer you are using of course).
In our example, we used a Z resolution of 0.25mm, with the Fill set to medium. Keep in mind that the higher the Z resolution, and the thicker the fill, the longer it will take to print your outlet cover.
Step 5: A Little Sanding for That Polished Look
To give your outlet cover a more professional finish, it's a good idea to sand down the parts a little bit before gluing them together.
For gluing the parts we simply used Epoxy, which is usually best to apply using a fine paint brush, as this will minimize the area covered by glue so there are fewer residuals later.