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WALLY - Wall Plate Customizer

by TheNewHobbyist, published

WALLY - Wall Plate Customizer by TheNewHobbyist Feb 7, 2013

Challenge Winner

Description

CUSTOMIZER CHALLENGE CONTEST WINNER - Useful Category

Update v1.3: Added 3 plate sizes "Standard", "Junior-Jumbo", and "Jumbo". If you've got a larger hole in your wall these may help.

So here it is, my first model designed in OpenSCAD. I found something that would really benefit from being a parametrically designed model: Wall Plates. I've created a OpenSCAD model that allows you to pick from a list of 18 types of connector/outlet style which then generates a 3D model correctly oriented and modeled to be immediately 3D printed.

So what options did I include in this file? Well I’ve allowed the user to pick any width from 1 to 5 “plates” wide. These were measured off the standard electrical box sizes and should match screw holes in your existing boxes. The list of available plug and outlet styles is listed below:

1. Blank Port
2. Toggle Switch (Takes up entire plate)
3. Duplex Outlet (Takes up entire plate)
4. Rocker/Designer Plate (Takes up entire plate)
5. Keystone Jack
6. VGA Port
7. HDMI Port
8. DVI-I Port
9. Displayport
10. Cat5e/Cat6 Port
11. USB-A Port
12. USB-B Port
13. Firewire IEEE 1394 Port
14. DB-09 Port
15. PS2 Port
16. F-Type/Coaxial Port
17. S-Video Port
18. Stereo Headphone Jack

With the exception of #2-4 all of the plug types are modular and be placed on the top, bottom, or centered on a generated wall plate. All of the ports (excluding the outlets and keystone jacks) are designed to accommodate DataPro.net’s panel-mount cables.

I asked a Mathlete friend of mine if he could calculate the possible number of plug and plate combinations and well, the number is big, real big. He estimates that you can generate a total of 850,789,801,599 possible permutations. Making this possibly one the most customizable objects currently on Thingiverse. If you'd like to check his math here's some nerdy details: thenewhobbyist.com/wall_plates.txt

Also I've included more details and a few additional pictures in a blog post here: thenewhobbyist.com/2013/02/designing-with-parameters/

Change Log:

Update v1.1: Stopped by Home Depot and picked up some wall plates to make a few corrections (thanks 3dsteve). I corrected the screw locations on the "toggle", "outlet", and "designer/rocker" plates. If you've generated one of these you may want to re-generate it.

Update v1.2: Added "Long Toggle Switch" for laird.

Update v1.3: Added 3 plate sizes "Standard", "Junior-Jumbo", and "Jumbo". If you've got a larger hole in your wall these may help.

Recent Comments

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This is awesome thank you for this. I am gonna be printing a number of these. :D You Rock.
I need this for a round plate!
Thanks for making this. I have looked everywhere locally, and cannot find the 4-gang plate I needed. This may be the first thing I print when I get my printer in december!

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Instructions

1. Open WALLY in Customizer by clicking "Open in Customizer"
2. Pick your plate width
3. Select the plugs or full plates options to fit your needs.

Note: Three of the plug types fill the entire faceplate (Toggle Switch, Rocker/Designer, and Duplex Outlet) selecting one of these will ignore any option set in the bottom hole of that plate.

4. Print
5. Install your customized wall plate
This is awesome thank you for this. I am gonna be printing a number of these. :D You Rock.
I need this for a round plate!
Thanks for making this. I have looked everywhere locally, and cannot find the 4-gang plate I needed. This may be the first thing I print when I get my printer in december!
Are there any threads/pointers to custom adjusting the size of each plate separately? Situation: double light switch toggle box was placed so close to the left end of the backsplash, that a standard plate hangs over the tile on the left. I need to narrow the outer left side of the plate by .6 cm or so (and maybe the right side to match), while keeping the standard distance between the toggles.Any pointers on adjusting the plate side would be welcome.TIA.
I actually had to do this for a friend with an unusual plate setup. I found the easiest way for me to do it was to just export a plate from Thingiverse and make the small modifications in Google SketchUp.
Love this app made a bunch already, however was wondering if there any way to accommodate the round 20a 250v outlets? Like this;
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Prograde-20-Amp-Double-Pole-Single-Outlet-Ivory-R51-05821-0IS/100357020
I haven't looked at this project in awhile. When I get a chance to revisit it I'll add that to the list of updates.
That example plate... putting a VGA monitor, then an AC Power, then a dual clip (ethernet, audio, any keystone), then a display port/dvi...
total violation of the best practices. keep your high voltage separate from your signalling. your video, audio, and internet should be in a low voltage area, not tied beside a 60hz AC power signal. thats how you get interference.
I had two wall plates in my apartment that were pieced together crap-jobs and I was able to design and print out really nice black ones to match the rest of the plates in the apartment. You deserved to win this one - excellent idea and design! You could probably start a small side business and website just configuring and printing these for people. Heck most folks would probably pay 10 tp 20 bucks for a hard to find customized wall plate in the color they liked. High fives 3d printing brother!
Well
There even more bnc. sma, speaker,grommet sizes, other
Hi Wally,
Love it great job. Hey what about more on the same plate. Like offset up to 6 keystones on same plate. Also maybe RCA connectors so you have feed through for video and dual rca for audio. That would work for component video also red, green, blue. I think it would be great to put 6 connectors on single plate depending on size. Take look at datapro option for plates you can do the same.
I printed out a custom wall plate that I needed for the house that could not be found in any local big box department store. Perfect fit. Fantastic work!
Please forgive if this has already be asked. Is there a way to get a 2D eps of the design for laser cutting (I'd like to make a stainless steel faceplate for multiple video connections)?
is there any way to customize the plate further with labels for each port? now that would be awesome! thanks!
It's something I'd like to add when I get a chance to work on this again. I've been working on other projects but this is still on my todo list!
Hello TheNewHobbyist (Chris)! This is a fantastic implementation in OpenSCAD, and we at DataPro couldn't be more pleased that our cutout dimensions helped bring it about! If there's any other dimensional information you might need, just let us know and we'll dig it out for you.

We printed a 1-gang plate with the USB-A cutout and a keystone on our new Replicator 2X and noticed that while some keystones will fit in the frame you designed (F-Type keystone, RCA, PS/2), a network jack doesn't have enough clearance to rock into position the way keystones are supposed to.

You might also consider adding some supports behind the mounting points for the plate itself. See this image for reference: i.imgur.com/WKvUavA.jpg

Seriously, great job on this. We hope you'll remember us when you're famous!

Thanks!
Thanks for the info guys, I've noticed the keystones are on the tight side too. I'll make sure to adjust that in my next update.

Good idea for the mounting supports, I hadn't considered that.
mixing low voltage and high voltage in the same electrical box is against code in most places.
Great work for our community can't see more of your design. Props
Isn't this something that should only be installed by a licensed electrician?
And hence only have limited usefulness for most people?
Or are you by publishing this, encouraging illegal home wiring practice?
Illegal to install a faceplate? Where do you LIVE? It'd take a special kind of person to get injured or otherwise do it unsafely - those people probably shouldn't be trusted around anything that moves or gets hot, either.
Have you been to a local hardware store in the past few decades?
Eirinn - in reply to bvac
Basically all the electrical items in the hardware store will have written on them: "May only be installed by a licensed electrician". At least where I'm from. His point may still stand.
No, no, and no?

It's not even at the level of replacing a light switch (which is generally legal for a homeowner to do themselves anyhow). It's replacing a decorative cover over it, which doesn't even interact with the electricals.
a single keystone plate can have slots for up to 6 keystones, it would be a great additions to this file.
Please keep in mind that actual wall plates have fire suppression additives for obvious reasons. Our 3D printer filaments do not, and will burn quite nicely.
jballard - in reply to
not that im aware of, they are made of many materials including wood, and nylon, both burn readily.
The flamability standard for wall plates in USA is UL514D, other countries will have similar standards. The standard requires a plastic flame rated for UL94 V0 or UL94 V2. Check out ul.com/global/eng/pages/offerings/industries/chemicals/plastics/testing/flame/
for what the flame ratings really mean...
For jballard: being not aware of something and knowing it is OK, are two very different things...
"check out" lowes.com/pd_325975-77652-WW018D-WT_4294722561__?productId=3880971&;Ntt=wood+electrical+outlet+plate&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dwood%2Belectrical%2Boutlet%2Bplate&facetInfo=

Thats wood, and its at a big box store, so...whats your point. And
UL Standards are voluntary (although local governments may require UL rated products to meet some of their building codes). UL is 20% marketing gimmick and 80% "If we get sued, we can say our product was safety tested by an independent laboratory." You can make/sell/use a tissue paper outlet cover with no UL mark if you want to. It's your American right. It's only a question of liability... which may have been spirit of macegr's comment since he said "keep in mind" and didn't say "don't make this." :) It's certainly not dangerous for networking, A/V, or coax. You might want to think twice about using on 50A 220V welder outlet though. :)
Great idea, very useful!
I used this to make, and print, a 'Full Plate - Rocker/Designer' switch plate. Those are the ones that have the single large rocker switch for turning on/off the lights.

The rectangular hole for the switch is too large. The switch dimensions are: 65.5mm X 32.5mm. The design prints out a 70.7mm X 38.5mm hole which is too large for the standard switches.

The mounting holes for the switch plate also turn out to be in the wrong place. The distance between them should be about 96.5mm and this program prints them out about 82mm apart. It looks like the measurements were probably made from the ends of the rectangular hole for the switch, rather than down from the top of the switch plate.

I did not try other designs after the first one had the incorrect dimensions. This is a great idea, but it may need a little more work.
Thanks for the heads up, I picked up a few plates after work and have made the corrections you pointed out. Thanks!
Do you have dimensions for the correct size of the rocker cutout? I used the dimensions from this rocker: i.imgur.com/RmbXq2b.png

But since it sounds like it's a little off I'd like to adjust it.

You're right about the screw hole locations, I used standard box width for that plate, I missed that they were slightly different. Thanks for the catch.
Thanks for the info, I'll look into this later today.
I attempted to make one that is 3 panels wide but the customizer does not let me type in the plate width area. I chose the three panels and it only creates the first one. Other than that, COOL!
There is a slider under the "Plate Width" label. If you move that to the right it will add additional plates. Let me know if you have any additional trouble!
Thanks! The slider was not visible in Internet Explorer V9. I opened it in Chrome and it worked.
I'm going to use this in my new shop.
amazing thanks !!!!
Looks like someone just won the useful objects challenge ;)
hahaha, I called it ;)
Yes, congratulations!
Thanks all! I'm excited to get experimenting with dualstrusion!
Very nice! Thank you!
I love the idea of text labels. If you have any trouble with Write.scad, I'm happy to help!

I have some vertical sliders in my house. They are like this: kyledesigns.com/product/SPS600-DPDT-TOGGLES/Old-Style-Long-Toggle-DPDT-Switch-Plates.html .

The opening is (by the tech sheet) 2 23/32" (1.718") tall by 15/32" (0.468") wide.

I'd love to have 3D printed faceplates with labels for which slider controlled which light.
I've added both text labels and your slider to my v1.1 check list. Thanks for the spec sheet, shouldn't be a problem to add that.
Very cool. I look forward to replacing all of my faceplates. I've got two spools of "glow in the dark" just dying to be used for this!
Added the "Long Toggle Switch" for you. First time I've seen that plate cutout, let me know if it works for you. I followed the dimensions on the page you linked so I imagine it should be fine. Text labels are still in the works!
brilliant! Exactly what 3D printing is all about.
What you need, the way you need it...
Spanish or european 220V Schuko Please. ;-)
This should be featured.
Holy cow! Awesome first OpenSCAD contribution!
Very cool. Feature request: text labels. :)
Hmm 3D printed (recessed) text or spots for slip in paper labels? Actually both of those are pretty good ideas :)
What about Braille ?.
Both would be great, but who needs paper when you live in The Future and can print a whole new plate if you ever want to change it? :) (though it might be tough to squeeze legible recessed text in such a small area, but worth a try!)
It was pretty easy to add - subtract the writing from the faceplate. Use write.scad and offset down from the edge. Want me to send you the code?
That would be great! Like... "Fire the LAZZOR"
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