Lowering Switch for Service Dogs


Support Block of Eclips, for who?

People whose switch is placed too high for a service dog to reach. Watch the first video to see the problem, the second for the solution. This solution, the Eclips, is what we are going to make!


1 make the object out of foam

First, we make exactly the form we want in a material that is easy to edit. The better this part is finished, the better the casted copies will be!

2 make the box for the mold

We will be have to make a box that will define how thick the mold will be.

3 make the silicone mold

We chose for an open mold, so no undercuts are required. The silicone can be casted into the box-shaped mold.

4 cast in the silicone mold

Now we have our mold, take good care of it, because it will be the crucial part to make a series of products. Mix the two component F16 and if wanted, add some color pigment for color.

5 final touch

After a break, the part is ready. Because it is an open mold, there are visible traces of casting. So take your flat file and start sanding off the sharp edges that were made on the upper layer of the casted product.

6 ready to assemble

Take all the parts together now, so you would have an overview.

Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies!

Step 2: Make the Object Out of Foam

What do I need?

foam - ruler - pencil - saw - drill bit 3mm - drill - milling machine - milling head 3mm - clamp pieces (leftovers) - screws

Let's Make!
A - Take a piece of foam of 20mm thickness;

B - Draw a rectangle width: 83mm (width of the standard switch) and height = 30mm;

C - Saw or cut exactly that rectangle and make sure the sides are perpendicular to the other sides.

D - With a pull switch, the rope isn't placed in the middle of the switch so measure and mark the x-coordinate where the hole for the rope should come so the rope can hang vertically.

E - Mark the y-coördinate to find the exactly point to drill. The thickness should be 20mm, so the hole should come in the middle: at 10 mm from the back

F - Take a drill bit of 3mm and drill through the block at the marked place.

G - Repeat with a drill bit of 6mm but make sure you DON'T DRILL THROUGH the object!

H - Mark the top and the back(=the side that will hang against the wall) so you won't make any mistakes in the following steps. If the pull switch its rope hangs down more to the right, make sure the foam block is placed with the hole to the right!

HINT: before starting to mill, take a test piece to get to know the accuracy of the milling machine.

I - Place the foam with its bottom up. Measure and mark the middle and draw the line. Measure symmetrical to that line to each side 25mm and mark those two X-coördinates. There is now 50 mm between the two marks. This means the screws will be 5 cm from each other.

J - Take a milling head of 3mm and install it.

K - Clamp the foam in the milling machine. make sure the bottom (=not the back, but the bottom) is placed up.

L- Set the mill at z-level 0 where the milling head hits the top of the foam. Set the machine from there to a depth of 20mm.If not possible, mill as far as you can, we can drill it out later.

M - Set the mill on x-value 0 where the milling head touches the side of the foam. Start milling 13mm far, the stop.

Take the Y-wheel and turn it right so the milling head will move 5mm to the right. Now turn back to the start position (5mm back again) and turn the wheel the other side to mill 5mm to the left.

N - Repeat for the other T-slot.

O - Now turn the foam, measure the depth, if not 20mm, drill it out until 20mm.

P - Check if the screws fit in! If not, take another screw or drill some more out.

Step 3: Make the Box for the Mold

What do I need?

leftover planks - saw - super glue - duct tape - foam block - tube 6mm - big tooth pick 3mm - pencil - drill - drill bit 3mm - drill bit 6mm - ruler -

Let's make!

A - Take any wooden or plastc leftover with a maximum thickness of 20mm

B - Measure and mark:

-Draw 2 equal rectangles: width = 120mm ; height = 50mm

-Repeat with: width = 40mm ; height = 50mm

-Draw the base: width = 120mm ; height = 40mm+(2 x thickness)

C - Saw the rectangles (make sure the angle is 90°!)

D - To avoid silicone in the hole of the foam, it has to be filled. Take a tube of outside diameter 6mm and a stick of 3 mm outside diameter (can be a brochette stick).

E - Tape the two sticks carefully together and place them through the hole of the foam. Make sure the total length of the sticks is larger than the width of the box for the mold.

F - Take at least 10mm between the foam and any wall of the box. Mark the X-coördinates on the side of the box where the tube has to come through. The tube will make sure the foam doesn't sink to the bottom of the box.

G - Because it is an open mold, the back of the foam is placed up, equally high as the sides of the box. The hole in the foam is placed at 10mm from the back, so the Y-coördinate is 10mm from the top of the upstanding side since the back is placed up.No silicone can cover this side!

H - To avoid misalignment, place a piece of double sided tape on the back(=the back you marked in step1) and stick another leftover to it so the back of the foam stays horizontal.

I - Clamp the two biggest rectangles together and mark where the hole has come for the pipe that is placed through the hole in the foam.

J - Drill a hole of 3mm through both sides.

K - Take one side and drill with a drill bit of 6mm trough the hole of 3mm.

D - Glue the rectangles on the base plane, check if the two holes are perfectly aligned and make sure they are all tight together to avoid big leaks.

E - To avoid the small leaks, place Duct Tape over each overlap so the silicone won't get away.

Step 4: Make the Silicone Mold

What do I need?

Two Components Silicone Transparant 22 - Two Components Silicone Bleu 22 - mixing bar - 2 cups - box for mold

Let's make!

A - Calculate the volume where the silicone has to come (count in the amount that will stick to the mixing cups!)

HINT: calculate in decimeters, so the volume wil be in liters!

B - Divide the volume in two because it's a two components silicone. Weigh half of the volume of the Silicone Transparant 33 and pour it into a cup.

C - Take another cup and repeat with Silicone Blue 33.

D - Take a big plastic cup and a rectangular stick to mix the two components together in this cup.

E - After mixing, the silicone is full of air bubbels. This is very bad for silicone! Put the cup in a low pressure machine or else just lift the cup a few centimeters up and let it fall. Repeat this until there are just a few bubbles left.

HINT: Don't wait too long. Once mixed, the reaction starts and the silicone will get less and less liquid.

F - Start pouring the silicone into the box you made in step 2. Do it slowly so the leftover bubbles can get away.

G - Stop pouring just before the silicone reaches the upper edge of the foam. Remember it is an open mold!

Step 5: Cast in the Silicone Mold

What do I need?

Silicone mold - pipe 6mm - brochette stick 3mm - duct tape - mold release - scale - two cups - a stick to mix (not round!) - Component 1 F16 (white) - Component 2 F16 (reddisch) - some paper to clean your hands - color pigment for polyester gel coatings

Let's make!

A - Wipe the sticks with the mold release wax.

B - Put the sticks trough the holes of the silicone.

C - Take some color pigment and mix it with the white component. (We used blue, so don't be confused, silicone is blue too)

D - Now mix the white component with the color pigment with component 2 (the reddisch one). The mix will be the color of the pigment

HINT: if you want a pastel color, don't add too much color pigment (it is very powerful!)

E - Now cast into the silicone mold. And let it react for a while (30minutes should do it)

F - Carefully remove the Block from the silicone mold so you can reuse the mold.

G - Now the Eclips Block is born! As you can see, many colors are possible. We chose blue because of the interior.

Step 6: Final Touch

What do I need?

Eclips block - abrasive paper

Let's make!

A - Because of the casting, the upper side has some sharp edges (=the back of the block). Take some abrasive paper.

HINT: use rough paper to make big changes and use softer abrasive paper to adjust the details.

B - Rub until the sharp edges are removed.

C - The Eclips block is now ready to assemble!

Step 7: Ready to Assemble: Part 1: Replace Switch

What do I need?

flat screwdriver - pull switch - crosshead screwdriver

Let's make!

A - Carefully remove the framework with a flat screwdriver

B - Unscrew the switch and replace it with the pull switch

C - Make sure each screw is tightened.

HINT: if you miss a screw, you 're screwed!

D - pull the rope through the framework

E - Click the framework back - be careful!

Step 8: Ready to Assemble: Part 2: Installing the Eclips

What do I need?

Ruler - pencil - drill - drill bit 3mm - screwdriver - 2 plugs (for M3) - 2 screws M3 - the Eclips block

Let's make!

A - Make sure the distance between the bottom of the framework and the screws is at least the height of the Eclips.

Y-coördinates: 30 mm inderneath the framework

X-coördinates: Draw under the framework a vertical line in the middle of the the framework. Measure and mark 25mm right of the line and 25mm left of the line.

B - Measure the length of the screws. DEPTH**=length screw - 6mm = the depth he drill had to cover.

C - To avoid drilling to deep: tape off the drill at **DEPTH**mm so you will know when the have to stop drilling.

D - Put in the plugs!

E - Screw in the screws. Check if they still stick out 6mm.

F - Place The Eclips between the bottom of the framework and the screws.

G - Pul the Eclips down so the screw heads would slide into the T-slots.

The Eclips is now installed!

Step 9: Ready to Assemble: Part 3: Making the Support Knot

What do I need?

rope - marker - Eclips

Let's make!

A - Pull the rope through the hole of the Eclip.

B - Pull the rope down and mark on the rope the top of the Eclips.

C - That is where the knot has to come. So take the rope out of the Eclips again.

D - Make a double knot at that very place.

E - pull the rope through the hole of the Eclips again.

F - Test if the forces are absorbed by the knot.

If not, try again, if all good, you 're doing great!

Step 10: Ready to Assemble: Part 4: Make It Dog Friendly

What do I need?

a thicker dog friendly rope - a little ball - a marker - a lighter/lucifer - shrink tubing - your dog

Let's make!

A - Watch the tutorial to make a monkey fist.

B - Call your dog and measure the ideal length of the rope for the dog to pull on.

C - Mark the rope at that ideal lenght. Take some extra and cut the rope.

D - Take the shrink tubing and put it around the smaller rope.

E - Now knot the thicker and thinner rope together.

F - Now shove the shrink tubing over the ugly knot and heat it with a lighter or lucifer.

The support for pull switches for playful service dogs is now ready! Congratulations!



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    4 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like it's really quite helpful. Nice to see projects like this on Instructables.