Introduction: Wire Wrapping Tools Made Inexpensive. I Made It at TechShop.

Picture of Wire Wrapping Tools Made Inexpensive. I Made It at TechShop.

Goals: 
   To make wire wrapping tools more affordable for hobbyists.   
   To demonstrate how easy ideas could be made into reality at TechShop.

Background:
       What is wire wrapping?  It is a way to make connection without using solder. 

Work & Design Description:
        I imported The Hex shape from a Screw Driver bit from GrabCAD.
Then I modified the tip.  It is this simple.  The wire wrap tools are made to do either be clockwise or counterclockwise wrapping.  It would become clear with the CAD drawing (to be added).
        The CAD dimension illustrates the complete concept.  The final part dimension tuning is up to the user.  I am still learning to make 'perfect' holes, especially very tiny holes using Maker Bot - Replicator 2.  
        I went to a local store and bought one. Being new to wire wrap tools, I did not know what to check.  I was disappointed that the store only sell AWG #30 wire wrap tool.  I believe that enthusiast use mostly AWG 18 to 24  #22 being most common for solid wire for breadboard and #18 Stranded for Flexible Jump Wires.   

Result:
        After a few trials on the Maker Bot, I got a functional unit.  I was able to wire wrap AWG #18 stranded wires on a female headers with long legs designed for wire wrapping. The connection is very strong.  I could make different sizes and keep them my tool box.  The PLA material is so rigid.  I think this tool could last for a very long time.
         I tested AWG #22 solid wires and found that I could wrap around the LED legs. I first spread out the legs to give it some space for the wires to go around.   For the wire wrap long leg pin headers, we could only use the more flexible stranded wires.  The ones shown in the picture are AWG #18 stranded wires.  You need to twist the strand fine wires first, before inserting to the wire wrap tool.

Wire Wrapping Process:
       The pictures below show step by step wire wrapping process.  Attached STL file is for a counter clockwise wire wrap.  If I have more time, I would make one for clockwise.  As a right handed person, I find CC wrap is better for ergonomics.  Please let me know your opinion and feedback.  Thanks.

Feedback Needed from Community Members:
        Anyone here could tell me what is the smallest hole we could make.  What are your Maker Bot machine parameters to get best small tubes?  What is minimum hole diameter and wall thickness.  Please send me links or forward to other who might know the answer(s).

Comments

gwlinn123 (author)2017-02-23

I realize it has been quite some time since you posted this, but 3D printing has vastly improved since. I would like to try your design if you would post the STL file.

In any case, thanks for taking the time to post. I have a metal wire wrap tool but it is limited to small diameter wire. I would like sometimes, maybe mostly, use 22 gauge. A plastic tool should work out fine for home hobby use. I generally print with ABS, but here, I would use Nylon for strength after proving the design.

blorgggg (author)2013-12-07

This is great! can you post your design file?

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