Parametric Probe Holder

by billgertz, published

Parametric Probe Holder by billgertz Nov 16, 2015

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This object features Open in Customizer

So you have some DMM, Oscope or other equipment probes, but they seem to "walk away" or fall to the floor? Why not round them up with this parametric probe holder!

Why this can hold any cylindrical thing. Why not tools, syringes, test tubes (change clasp arc to closed loop), drafting pens, white board or chart markers, or whatever you need to keep handy and organized.

Just download or, better yet, open in customizer and edit it for your probes. Simply enter in number of probes, the shaft diameter and guard dimensions. You can leave the rest at the defaults if you really want to get in and get making.

You can optionally change the mount hole diameter, fastener (screw or bolt) type, and if you want a countersunk mount hole.

You can also edit some advanced options for even finer control over the holder, but it's strictly not necessary.

Lastly you can make a tailored or bespoke holder to hold many different kinds of probes in one holder by editing the build_vector variable in the code. Download the thing and read the instructions in the Tailored or Bespoke Holder section below - the build_vector isn't available in Customizer.

Print Settings

Printer: Felix 3.1

Rafts: Yes

Supports: Yes

Resolution: 0.2 to 0.4 mm

Infill: 20 to 40%


Print at higher resolutions for a better looking part. But let's be honest, this is probe holder - nobody is going to care what the holder looks like. It just has to work; use the lowest resolution and fill that you dare, but still gives you a sturdy part. Suggest you print this thing on its side (rotate x-axis 90 degrees) with supports so the mount hole and round mount tab print clean.

Tailored or Bespoke Holder

Step 1: Find build_vector

So if you want to make a tailored or bespoke holder, you will need to download and edit the .scad file for this object. You will find a vector (OpenSCAD for Array) commented out in the file (see lines 76 to 81 in the screenshot below). Locate all the lines for declaration of build_vector to the very end of the declaration. This includes the line that contains ]; by itself.

Commented out build_vector

Step 2: Activate build_vector

Now simply remove the double slash // at the beginning of each of these lines (like the screenshot below).

Activated build_vector

Step 3: Edit build_vector

Now edit the vector for your probes. For example you have two pair of probes:

  • 2 DMM Probes: 8.4 mm in diameter with a circular guard 12.5 mm in diameter
  • 2 Oscope Probes: 11.2 mm in diameter with a circular guard 14.6 mm in diameter

The edited vector would look like the screenshot below.

Example build_vector

Step 4: Generate

Now generate the GCAL and export the STL. If this is your first time using OpenSCAD; it's easy! Just hit the GCAL generate button (highlighted in red) and then the STL export button (highlighted in green) from the edit window (shown below).

Button locations


Customizer Parameters

Edit the parameters to make the probe holder as needed. In Customizer the OpenSCAD code generates a holder that will hold many probes of the same type.

The customizer and variables in the source are divided into only general, fastener and advanced sections:

  • General

    • Count
      Number of probes for this holder
    • Probe Diameter (mm)
      Diameter of the probe shaft or handle
    • Guard Width (mm)
      Diameter of guard along the width
    • Guard Depth (mm)
      Diameter of the guard perpendicular to the mounting plate
  • Fastener

    • Mount Hole (yes/ no)
      Make holes in mounting tabs (yes = make holes)
    • Mount Hole Diameter (mm)
      Width of screw used to mount holder to cabinet or wall
    • Fastener Type
      Type of bolt or screw head
    • Countersink (yes/ no)
      Countersink the mounting hole (yes = countersink)
  • Advanced
    Normally just go with the defaults but alter at your own risk. Changes here may make unprintable parts.

    • Holder Height (mm)
    • Mount Thickness (mm)
    • Clasp Arc (degrees)
      Set arc width for the maw of the probe clasp (360 = closed loop holder)
    • Clasp Thickness (mm)
      Wall thickness of the clasp
    • Clasp Clearance (mm)
      Space between neighboring clasps
    • Resolution
      Line segments used to make a circle. Note the higher the number the longer the render will grind making your part. At "Insane" it may take longer than 30 minutes before customizer coughs up your part.
    • Oversize (mm)
      How much larger to make the clasp diameter for a good fit

Revison History

This is the eleventh revision (v0.8.9) that has implemented the following fixes since the original:

  • Migration from previous project
  • Added guard depth and build vector
  • Beta code release
  • Added oversize for better clasp fit
  • Changed to clearance rather than proportional object modeling
  • Removed edge filleting
  • Fixed clasp attachment calculation and clarified wording
  • Fixed right tab placement (thanks to furicks)
  • Smallest probe diameter improved to 4mm
  • Smallest probe diameter further improved to less than 1mm
  • Tweaked clasp attachment to work better with smaller probe diameters
  • Fixed clasp build modules for cleaner clasps
  • Added option to create without holes in mounting tabs (thanks to RobinSwa)
  • Modified guard width and depth limits to up 20mm guards in Customizer

Seems the design is (mostly) stable but evolving.

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Thanks, I'm blushing...

This is a first class useful project with 1001 applications. Thank you

Jan 6, 2016 - Modified Jan 6, 2016

what are the tools on this thing, I am actually really into pneumatics right now and I really like this thing. congrats on the feature.

Sorry may have misunderstood your question - the tools being held by the thing are digital multimeter (DMM) probes. Hope that helps...

This thing was developed using OpenSCAD, which can be found at www.openscad.org. It is a programmatic based 3d modeling or CAD system. Thanks, glad you liked it and hope you find it useful.



Very useful. I have a feeling I will return to this customizer now and then from now on. Thank you very much!

Wow thanks for all the detail. I think I will print 3 today.