THT Resistor Organizer (3D Printing Required)

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For a couple of years, I've had my resistors stored in plastic folders.

It kinda worked, but it bummed me out ever time, I had to look for a certain value.

Living in an apartment, space will always be a factor. Until recently, I haven't had much space, so compactness overshadowed the need for convenience.

Kits like Joe Knows electronics are great for compactness, but I find them a bit tedious for regular office use.

Instead I wanted a dedicated shelving system, that wouldn't take up all of my workspace.

Thanks to RubyFOX for the 3D model design. This instructable is purely a documentation of "How I did it".. The design is made by RubyFOX, but along the way I found a couple of obstacles. Lets get to it!

Step 1: Word of Warning

If you don't have a 3D printer, you have 2 options: buy one or pay for a 3D printing service.

Buying a printer:

Printers like the Creality Ender 3 have really come down in price. Around 200 USD is really a great price. They get pretty decent reviews and do to their low price, are widely supported by communities around the web.

Paying for 3D printing services:

This is definitely an option, but the costs are still so high, that printing something like this shelving system would cost more than an entire printer. I got a quote from Shapeways. Their service would cost 291 USD - for 30 units, not including the inner part.

Conclusion

Buy a printer, borrow a printer or look no further.

Step 2: Get the Files

If you're new to 3D printing, go and check out some 101s, like this one: printing 101.

Once you feel confident, go ahead and get the printing files.

Go to Thingiverse and get RubyFOX's files. Perhaps tip the fine gentleman.

Step 3: Tread Lightly and Adjust

Ok, you've got the files, now don't just send them directly to print.

Look at the model's footprint from last step - its really small. Chances are, that your printer will knock em right over. Mine did.

You need to add a brim! I tried several times without it, and sometimes it worked but I almost always ended up with failed prints.

Also, The FOX logo is really sweet, but it restricts a lot of material from the bottom layer - so I added a raft, together with the brim this is holding up really well. Several prints without failure.

The screenshots are from Slic3r. Just added 1 layer and left all settings default.

My printer has a 0,4mm nozzle head, ("so what?" you're probably thinking) You need to resize the OUTER model to accommodate the slightly bigger inner part. I found that rescaling to 103% works really well.

Rotate the inner part. The trays are very unstable, and gave me the most trouble. Rotating them, to lay flat helps with: print speed, stability during printing and aesthetics.

Step 4: Bed Adhesion, Bed Adhesion & Bed Adhesion

Really, bed adhesion.

With the brim and raft, my prints are doing really well BUT I feel my printer is pretty darn well calibrated. If you're in doubt, try printing a BENCHY!. This little sucker will tell you within 2 hours how well your printer is doing.

Make sure that your bed is clean, rinse it with alcohol (not vodka) and wipe any mammer jammer fingerprints off that sucker. You can add gluestick, painters tape or hair spray for extra adhesion.

I've added a picture for reference. It illustrates how the parts look with brim and raft. Notice, do not let them overlap. I repeat DO NOT LET THEM OVERLAP. If you so desire, the strongest and most sturdy approach is to manually design and add brim / raft. Thereby creating one large coherent bottom layer.

Step 5: Launch the Print

Make sure to watch the first layers go down properly. The first couple of minutes are critical. If anything looks a bit off, cancel the print - you'll thank me later. Print tall and thin, usually isn't an issue until you reach a certain height. The filament will pull a bit when applied, and If you remember a bit of physics:

Torque = radius x Force.

I.e. the bottom layer is pulled with increasing torque as the build takes height. So again, bed adhesion is key.

Step 6: Time for Coffee

You know what to do

Step 7: Coming Along

Printing takes time.. But once these guys starts popping out, fill em up with resistors!

Whatever kind of label you wish to use, cut them into 11 x 6 mm (0.43 x 0.23 inches)

This step takes time as well. Keep coffee within reach.

Step 8: You're Done!

Follow my advice on bed adhesion, rotation and you'll be fine.

Step 9: Finale Thoughts

Hopefully, you've had more luck with these prints, than I did initially.

So what did these suckers cost me?

- The PLA i bought came from prusa at 21 EUR (24 USD) for 1 Kg.

- 31 completed units at roughly 7 gr. pr. set = 217 gr.

- 165 gr. waste

Total

PLA expenditure = 382 gr.

*Cost = 8 EUR (9.2 USD)

*Time, Mains power, coffee not included

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    7 Discussions

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    raphan

    2 months ago

    This is a really nice design. Actually, my resistors are in perforated plastic bags, one bag per value, and stored in an A5 binder with separators for units, tens, etc. This isn't usefull indeed but cheap and not cumbersome. Of course I would prefer drawers but, until now, I haven't found the right size, this is why I like your design.

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    mjbirdraphan

    Reply 2 months ago

    I was going to suggest the same thing. I find it very useful, unless I'm trying to store resistors (or disc capacitors) that I've removed from old electronics. Then the leads a short and it's hard to get to them at the bottom of the pocket. But I can find the value I want in maybe 3 flips, so I think it's very usable.

    But the little drawers are a cool idea. Our local public library has 3D printers available for use by the public. For free.

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    Alex in NZ

    2 months ago

    Beautiful, and scale-able too! I love the elegance of the final product. Thank you for showing this :-)

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    gm280

    2 months ago

    I understand your delima. I too have literally tens of thousands of new and used electronic parts. And even though I have them separated in little plastic bags with labels, every time I want a specific part, it is a major chore to go through all those bags to get to the one you want, which most of the time is near the last bag of parts you look through. Part dividers cabinets/drawers are really the better idea. And you have some interesting compartments as well. But when I buy parts, I always buy them in bulk, just for the next time. So unless I built the compartments a huge size bigger, I wouldn't be able to get them in one that size. But very nice organizing technique for sure. Thumbs Up.