Laser Cut Wire Spool Dispenser

 

 

I build a lot of electronic projects.  A lot of times, the quality of the project is determined by the quality of the materials.  The wire I purchased has silicone insulation, and is 100% copper conductor.  Some now are copper coated aluminum, fairly common on eBay.  Absolute junk, avoid it!

While the wire I bought is great, the dispensing box is mediocre.  There are no dividers between spools, so the wire tends to tangle inside the box.  Bro, stay in your lane!

I found a 3D printed dispenser box on ThingiVerse, but it was flimsy, undersized, and made reloading the spools a pain.  The overall design was good, so I used it as a starting point to design my own.

 

 


Really good hook up wire.

The wires tend to move inside the box.

This is the 3D version I found on ThingiVerse.  Good design, but needed some mods to suit my needs.

I sketched out a simple design.

The 3mm (1/8") plywood was cut on a K40 type laser cutter, and dry fit.

Satisfied with the fit, all the parts were sanded with 300 grit, stained, and sealed with a clear coat.

For the body of the wire spools, I 3D printed these on my AnyCubic 4K resin printer.  These can also be made with a filament type printer.

Here's where you can see the modifications I've added.  There's a hole through the center of the spools to fit a 1/4-20 bolt.  That can then be put into a drill to reload the spools very quickly.  There's also a small hole in the sides of the spool, to put the end of the wire.  This holds the end of the wire firmly as the spool is spun.

With the wooden spool end caps glued in place, they are ready to load.

Using a 1/4-20 bolt, a couple of fender washers, and a nut, the empty spool can be attached to a drill, and spun to quickly load the spool.


Using a stack of 1-2-3 machinist's blocks, clamps, and Titebond glue, the dispenser was assembled and left overnight to fully cure.

The ends of the wire were fed into the laser cut holes in the face of the dispenser, and dropped into their separate bays.  No worries of them migrating into another bay.  I did not use a shaft down the center of each spool on purpose.  The drag of the spools, as the wire is pulled, stops them from free spinning when the desired length is reached.

The laser engraved sign was attached with 3M VHB tape.  With a twisting motion, the tape can be removed if the size of the wire is later changed
Here are the files to laser cut the parts:
Front
Back
Bottom
Sides
Dividers
Spool Caps
Wire Sign
For the spools, you can use a resin printer, or a filament type.  I've tried both, both work well.  For the resin, I hollowed the model, and set the wall thickness to 3mm.  Here's the link to the 3D printed spool:
Spool

 

 

 

 

Products Used In This Project:

 

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Last updated 02/20/22    All rights reserved.