Introduction: 3D Printed Charging Dock Station
One of my friend approached me with his Lenovo tablet that doesn't charge anymore because of its USB C port is not working. It was few months ago during the lockdown so no Lenovo service centers available. She need to fix the problem asap because she is a teacher and online classes going on because of the pandemic. I removed the USB C port and reached out the market to find the exact component. But, not available!. I can't even order that from china that time. The delivery time is longer than 30+ days. And no idea it's gonna arrive here or not. I found out the Lenovo tablet supports a charging dock station. But, not available in my country to buy. Luckily I'm Over smart in Tech and I decided to make one with the help of 3D printing.
Step 1: Lenovo Tab M10 HD Tablet
It was a '10.1 inch 2/32GB M10' model tablet from Lenovo. This amazon link will give more technical details. It's a very nice product which comes with a USB C type port. My friend were using the port probably it was a rough use. so any way no more use with the USB C port it broke some how. Luckily tis come with a Charing docking station feature. But Lenovo does not sell the dock station with the tablet. It sold separately. So, my friend don't have one. Unfortunately not available in India also it's hard to ship and deliver online products those days.
Then I thought I have 3D printers and enough filament leftover for printing. So I decided to help her by making a DIY charging dock station. You can see in the figure one side of the tablet have 2 golden plated connection pads and 2 guiding pockets on left and right. I assume one of the pad must be ground and other one will be the +5V power inputs.
Step 3: POGO Pin From Mi Band 3 Charger
The docking station needed a spring loaded golden plated connector for attaching and detaching without any lose connections to the tablet. Those type of connectors are called Pogo pins so Luckily I arranged an old MI band 3 charger from my friend which is still good. Then I removed the unwanted plastic-rubber material from the charger connector like I shows in the picture to make it flat. It has 2 spring loaded pogo pins and also those have same spacing which the tablet pads have.so it will make accurately aligned contact.
Step 4: Designing in Fusion 360
So I measured all the measurement I want from the tablet and started to design in Autodesk Fusion 360 Software. Instead of making whole design I decided to do test to check it works or not. So I printed the design in my 3D printer with a blue PLA filament.
Step 5: Printing and Testing
I stopped the print like in the above picture. And didn't let the printer to complete the job because I only need the bottom part to test. Then I removed the USB plug from the Mi-band charger cable and assembled the Pogo connector through the Test printed part. It was a nice fit! and very stratifying one. Also the test was successful as expected and tiny modifications are needed. You can see that in the picture.
Step 6: The 5V Input Micro Connector
For the Input to the docking station I needed a micro USB connector. So the we can plug an external 5V charger into it (Micro USB is very common than the USB C type ). I didn't have any micro USB connector or breakout boards. So I Used a Micro USB 5V 1A 18650 TP4056 Lithium Battery Charger Module and removed the unwanted section from it like in the picture.
Step 7: Completing the Design
So using those mentioned materials in the above steps and test error Informations I completed the design in a 2 component product. It also hiding the USB Micro circuit boards and the Pogo connector cable inside. Then I sliced in Ultimaker Cura then Printed on my printer each parts separately.
Step 8: Inspecting the Print Results
The results are awesome and well printed. Also all the Components fits very well. All are ready to assemble.
Step 9: Assembling-Thread Inserts
M3 Threaded inserts are used to screw for holding the both 3D printed parts in place. Very easy to use the inserts for projects like this and just need a soldering iron to insert them properly.
Step 10: Assembling - Soldering
It's Not a big deal to solder all. Only have 2 points +5V and GND to know which side is GND. I checked the tablet pogo pin pads with the help of a Digital multimeter and 3.5 mm audio aux cable. One terminal of the aux cable is ground so its easy to find GND so the next pad must be the +5V input. After that I closed it suing the second 3D printed part with the help of two M3X10 Hexagonal screw.
Step 11: Finishing...Hey,It Works!
So the project is completed and it works perfectly. Then I gave to my friend she was so happy! and she was able to continue her online teaching classes with it. Also It is more easier to charge with it because we can take the tablet any time needed.
Step 12: Files and Other Resources
It was an nice helpful project according to the situation. I dont know it will helps others as well. May be your tablet will be different than this. But this documentation of my experience at least will give an idea about the project also adding the files below for you to explore.
- 3D Printed Parts
- 2 X M3 Threaded Inserts
- 1 X Micro USB 5V 1A 18650 TP4056 Lithium Battery Charger Module (for micro USB)
- 1 X Mi band charger Connector (for Pogo pins)
- 2 X Hexagonal M3x10 Screws
The '.stl' Files are given below
And for the fusion360 file and the step files visit Vectorbag.com
Participated in the
Fix It Challenge