Fully Parametric iPod Wire Manager

by wchlm, published

Fully Parametric iPod Wire Manager by wchlm Jan 5, 2013


An OpenSCAD design for an iPod wire manager based on measurements of whatever portable music player you own. It does not actually have to be an iPod, but all connections have to be on the bottom.

Excess earbud wire can be wrapped on the spool behind the iPod. Slits permit the wire to be "tied down" at an appropriate length for your current use -- e.g., shirt-pocket length. Or the wire can be fully wrapped when the device is not in use.

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Alter the OpenSCAD file by replacing the parameters at the top with those appropriate to your iPod. There are six in number: the length, width and depth of the device, the overhang at the top and sides, and the uncovered length at the bottom. The program computes all other values from these -- including the height of the spool pedestal, which it gets by matching the volume under the spool-cover overhang to an empirical measure of the volume required to hold the wrapped wire of a typical pair of earbuds. (I thought this was a nice little touch. :-) ) Rounded edges courtesy of Minkowski sums.

Design and stl's were produced on a Macbook Pro (June, 2009) using OpenSCAD 2011.12; stl's were optimized at cloud.netfabb.com, though no errors had to be fixed. Slicing was done using Miracle Grueâ„¢ (thanks, Joe!) from the MakerWare environment. The design was printed in PLA on a Replicator 2 (thanks, Crystal!) at HackManhattan.com (thanks, everybody!). Following printing, the spool was attached to the holder by melting the ends of the spool pegs down inside the holder with a soldering iron protected by a small piece of aluminum foil.

I found it necessary to print the holder and spool separately. The spool had to be printed on a raft, because it was too difficult to de-adhere from the bed otherwise. On the other hand, the holder, which was printed vertically to minimize overhangs, failed with a raft, because it began to break loose from the bed during printing if a raft was present.

John von Neumann famously said "With four parameters I can fit an elephant" (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann), but efforts to date to materialize that vision (http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2011/06/21/how-to-fit-an-elephant/) have been unconvincing. However, I think I have made a convincing case that "With six parameters I can fit an iPod!"