Introduction: 4-in-1 MagSafe Charging Station
Two months ago, Apple released the new iPhone 12 series. One of the best features of this new phone was something called MagSafe (more on that later). We began to think about what we could build that involved MagSafe and came up with the idea of making a 4-in-1 MagSafe Charging Station.
For this project, you will need:
A 3D Printer
2x (at least) rolls of different colored PLA filament
1x Apple MagSafe Charger
1x Apple Watch Charging Cable
1x Anker Powerport Atom III Slim
1x Qi-Certified Wireless Charger
1x USB Type-A extension cable
1x Micro USB Cable
5x 608 Ball Bearings
10x Round Neodynium Mini Magnets
1x Hot Glue Gun
3x Hot Glue Sticks
1x Roll of Electrical Tape
1x Regular Paper Printer with a scanner
1x Computer with Autodesk Fusion 360 and Simplify 3D (Ultimaker Cura will also work but you can achieve more control over your print with Simplify 3D)
Step 1: What Is Magsafe?
MagSafe is a new Magnetic Wireless Charging technology that Apple announced alongside the new 2020 iPhones. It is capable of charging your phone at speeds up to 15W, as opposed to regular wireless charging, which can only charge up to 7.5W. Magsafe can also hold up an iPhone 12 using the magnets built into the phone and charger.
Step 2: Measurements
In addition to the Magsafe and Apple Watch chargers, we will be using a wireless charger that is Qi Certified and an Anker Powerport Atom III Slim, which will be used to power the station with just one plug going into the wall.
To measure the qi wireless charger, we disassembled a commercial wireless charger and took the PCB with the coil on it (The first image above). Then, we placed this PCB on a piece of paper and drew its outline, and scanned it using a printer into our computer (The second image above). Next, we imported this scan into Autodesk Fusion 360 as a canvas and retraced the geometry using Fusion's native sketch tools. Lastly, we extruded the different parts of the PCB model based on measurements we took with the calipers (The third image above).
However, we did not need the exact dimensions of the Anker charger (The fourth and fifth images above) so all we had to do was use digital calipers to get a rough idea of the dimensions of the charger (The sixth image above). We then used these dimensions to recreate a rough version of the charger in Fusion 360.
Step 3: Creating the Top Piece
The top piece would be a horizontal bar with a MagSafe Charger on the left and an Apple Watch Charger on the right. (The fifth image above). Instead of measuring these two chargers, we were able to download the CAD files from a website named GrabCad (The first and second images above).
Using these, we were able to create brackets around each charger to hold them in place (The third and fourth images above). After test printing and modifying these a few times in Simplify 3D, we had two working brackets.
The next step was to create a horizontal piece to connect the two brackets. By using the loft feature in Fusion 360, we were easily able to connect the two pieces. We then printed out our top piece with the two brackets combined, to hold the MagSafe and Apple Watch chargers (The fifth image above).
Step 4: Creating the Base
The base will include 5 608 ball bearings (for weight), the wireless charger, the Anker Charger, and a USB extension cable to provide an additional charging option.
Our initial design was to only have 4 bearings with a stack of 2 on each side (The first image above). However, after deciding to add the USB charging port, we shifted to a 5 bearing design with 3 on one side and 2 on the other, with a hole in the center for the USB extension port (The second image above). The third image above shows our final test print before printing the base. It houses all the parts mentioned above. Also, to make it look nicer, we added a wireless charging logo to the center.
Step 5: Creating the Vertical Piece and Final Touches
The last step was to create the vertical piece to connect the base with the top piece. To to this, we created a cube in the form workspace F360 and modified it to our desired length. We also added tome pillars at the bottom for more support. The image above shows the vertical piece.
Finally, we added some final touches to the station like carving our channels in the horizontal and vertical pieces for the cables.
Step 6: Finally, We Finished!
After months of hard work and time, we had completed the project! The Charging Station could now charge up to 4 devices; one through MagSafe, one through the Apple Watch charger, one through the Qi Wireless charger in the base, and one through the USB port in the base.
Above, you can see some images of the completed 4-in-1 Magsafe Station!