Building Your Electronic Gadgets

3D-Printed Custom Phone Charging Cradle

PWM Controller

My wife’s new cell phone has a protective cover on it. As a result, it won’t fit into any of the standard charging cradles. This became a great project for practicing with SolidWorks and trying out a 3D printing service. I did this in 2013, and even now in late 2014 the quality of hobby printers is still too low for my taste. We’re still in the dot-matrix printer stage for home / small office systems.

This 3D PDF shows the model I created. You need to view it in the stand-a;lone version of Acrobat Reader to view it in 3D. It won’t work in the bowser Acrobat plugin. (Hold down the primary mouse button and move the mouse or trackball to rotate the model.)

This is what I got back from Shapeways . Most 3D printing services prices are based on the volume of material used so I spent some effort on making all the walls as thin as possible and hollowing out wherever I could.

I recycled an old USB adapter cable and connected a low-friction connector onto it. This is what the phone plugs onto.

This is the completed charging cradle. It’s still in constant use, and probably will be until the contract on the phone is up.

  Posted: 2013.02.13       Updated: 2014.08.15