Frankenstein Light Switch Plate

by LoboCNC, published

Frankenstein Light Switch Plate by LoboCNC Jan 23, 2015

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177149Views 33937Downloads Found in Decor
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"Igor, throw the switch!"

"Yes, master."


It's coming up on Halloween so I figured it's high time I add versions without the built-in supports that have been giving some printers fits. Use the switchplate files: "xxx_nosupport.stl" and turn on the supports option in your slicer.

Just added: a 3 switch version for "Decora" paddle-type switches. It uses the same paddlenubbin used for the 1 switch version, and the same "Nx" blade used for the multi-switch (standard-type) switch plate. (If I get too many more versions, I'll need to add switchplate configurator utility.)

Just added: a single switch version for "Decora" paddle-type switches (http://store.leviton.com/1-Gang-Single-Various-Available-WSS0S-D0/dp/B00700SHBW#.VO4DJ_nF-ws). You'll need the paddle_switchplate, paddlenubbin, and the madsci_blade. This version is a little different: because the modern looking paddle would look out of place, I hid it entirely underneath the switchplate and it uses a nubbin piece that fits through the plate.

I've added 2 switch and 3 switch versions! The same nubbin part (1 per switch) is used for all versions. The standard blade part is used for the standard 1 switch plate, but the Nx blade (1 per switch) is used for the 2x and 3x plates.

I've also added an alternate version of the nubbin that prints on its side (and without support ribs). Use this version if your printer handles bridges fairly well.

Printed in PLA with 0.2mm layers, 3 perimeter shells, and 20% infill. (You might want to print the plate part a little hotter than normal to insure good layer adhesion.)

Rotating the plate + or - 45 degrees before slicing (or alternately, setting the infill angle to 0 or 90 degrees) will make the top infill lines run with the grain of the "wood", for a more refined look, or else across the grain, for a rough-sawn look. You'll have to preview the slicer output to see which orientation of the top layer lines you end up with.

All parts print without support, but the switch plate and nubbin have ribs that break away before assembly. If you have adhesion trouble with the built-in support ribs, try printing with a 1 layer thick raft.

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We made one of these just for fun. It works. We made the single. Printed on Lulzbot Mini.

I printed one for my son then my pastor thought it was so cool he had me make him one and put it in his office at church he shows everyone that comes on lol thanks

how do i know which item to use? i only have 1 switch (normal kind)

For a single normal switch, most people have had the best luck printing 1 each of the following files:

switchplate_nosupport.STL (make sure to turn support ON)

lol!!!! adorable!!! :-)

The proper name for this is a knife switch, from my occasional hobby of leafing through electronics catalogues for amusement. These terms are useful for searches related to this.

"Pull the lever Kronk"
"Wrong LEVERRRRRRRrrrrrrrr..."
"Why do we even have that lever?"

That is just about the best joke ever.

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Should the fins on the under side be removed to make way for the switch mechanism? I'm guessing the normal plate should be remove too?

Yes, the fins are support material that should be removed. And yes, the normal switch plate should be removed first.

please create an version for european switches :D

I made the handle on a makerbot mini by turning it at an angle on the build plate.

Ive gotta make this...

How much material would this item use in USD? Also, I am thinking of buying the following printers, please give me your recommendation regarding best choice. (1.lulzbot mini 2.craftbot 3. makerbot replicator)

Replicators are extremely overpriced and have closed casings. I regularly use a lulzbot and it is fantastic.

Whatever you do, don't get the M3D Micro.

Ah man, I was just gifted a M3D Micro!! Anything I should look out for?

You should get a Robo 3D R1

No, I have used that one and the lulzbot many times. The lulzbot is letter. It also has an open casing.

I'd go for the Lulzbot Mini

:D you are awesome! :D

I am probably being Frankensteinly stupid but I can't work out which files to print for a single rocker switch. Think our UK terminology is a bit different. Can someone send me a list of parts for that tyoe of switch. I think. apart from being fun, it would help my nephew who has muscular dystrophy. Thank you
ps I would like to do this before Christmas if possible ie today ! :-)

This. Is. Awesome.

Hi, the nubbin part of this are to small for the nubbins on my switches. Anyone have a Nubbin for the larger size ones? I think they are older switches.

I made a little plug for the center of the nubbin. I printed the single a while ago. made the wallplate and nubbin black, the blade and plug red. . The colors complement each other and the plug hides the actual switch part. Where would I upload the "plug" if you were interested?

Your plug is an excellent addition. You should just upload your plug as a new Thing and flag it as a remix of the original Frankenstein switch plate so that when people look through the remixes of the original, they'll find your plug.

Dec 2, 2015 - Modified Dec 2, 2015
roko11 - in reply to LoboCNC

I first printed the switchplate part on a OneUp. The build size was too small and I had to cut the original with Net-Fabb and then glue the 2 pieces together. It worked out very well. That pic is the one I made. I since then made 5 more for other people. I have the files available if you think I should upload the 2 pieces.

This project is a credit to you sense of humor!!
Shabtai Evan

Hello, I really love this print and was wondering if you would like to try a sample of our 1.75mm PLA or flexible filament and see how it works out! Free filament and free shipping, (United States only) just contact me at [email protected] and I can get you set up! Thanks and I love this print I'm going to try it out for myself and see how it turns out! Feel free to checkout our new website at http://thefoxsmart.com/

Your model has been selected as one of the Top Halloween models for the year! To see your model and other Halloween models search this in google and click on the first link: "3D Printing Ninja Top Halloween"

This is probably the best thing ever.

I hate to be that guy, but, can you make a 4 switch model?

Bassna did a 4-switch re-mix here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:655649

Frankenstein 4 Light Switch Plate
by Bassna

We have this thing printed in our makerspace. The only problem is that kids can't resist flipping it on and off!

Finally got around to printing this on my Dremel 3D Idea Builder (using black PLA) and it printed =perfectly=. I used the switchplate version that had supports already included; they removed =very= easily and cleanly. Here are the settings I used: .2mm layers, 3 perimeters, 3 solid layers top/bottom, 20% rect infill, 60 mm/sec speed, first layer height 90%, first layer width 125%, first layer speed 35%, no raft, no add'l supports needed.


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Hey all - I've finally gotten around to adding a version of the switchplate files without the built-in supports that were giving some people grief. Just print out the "xxx_nosupports.stl" versions of the files and then turn on your slicer's supports option.

Do yourself a favor and print a remix instead of this one. PITA.

The most difficult print on here....

Izma: Throw The Lever Kronk!
Kronk: Ok Izma!
Trap door opens izma falls
Izma: Wroooong Leverrrrrr

Can't wait to print this, then say MUHUWAHAHAHAAAA every time I use it.

I just got a glass bedplate (took it from a picture frame) and wow what a difference it makes
im having much better success printing
so ill have another go at this one and see what happens!

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Yes, you need good bed adhesion for the little supports to stay put. If using blue tape, wiping it with alcohol can improve adhesion. If that doesn't work, you can always print with a raft.

i love this thing but its kicking my butt trying to print it, what am i doing wrong? every time i get about 15% on the plate the little sprue in the center of the rectangle start to break off and eventually it gobs up the extruder & rips the whole thing off the build plate??? i have tried 4 times with no success....very frustrated!!!! but nice job on the model its awesome i cant wait to get it figured out!!!!!

Same, mine turned out all stringy and messed up here is an image.
any tips? what did i do wrong?

May 20, 2015 - Modified May 20, 2015

Could you possibly upload the source files? I have Solidworks and wish to tweak it. I love the look of this thing and don't wish to criticize, but it still needs a few things to make it work better for printing. I'm sure you noticed similar things personally as well as from the over 100 comments and 50 makes.

It took me forever to get it to stick and even then i had to use helper disks and plates which made the supports that much more difficult to remove. Perhaps upload a few different versions like one without built in supports so users may print it with the slicer's supports.


I'll look into cleaning up the source files and uploading them.

I have an M3D printer and it looks like I can only do this at 0.95 scale. Does anyone know if this would still fit onto a plate at 0.95? It doesn't seem like that much would really change, has anyone tried this?

At 95%, the mounting holes will be about 1/8" off and the screws won't go in. The cutout for the switch probably won't end up fitting either. Probably better to try splitting it into two pieces and gluing it together.

How does one split a model into two?

I know some slicers will let you split a model, but that may be a little awkward. Most CAD programs or programs like Blender or Meshmixer should also let you split a model. I use Solidworks, but it is kind of expensive.

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HI, great project... can you post a version without the gashes and worn look?

Thanks! If you check out the remixes, there are a couple of versions with smooth switch plates.

Holy crap, this is the first thing I seen when I made my account and this Is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, I have to make it

Apr 8, 2015 - Modified Apr 9, 2015

Thank you so much for making the three padle switch!

OK, by popular demand, I have posted a 3x version for paddle switches (paddle_switchplate3x.stl). I haven't actually tested it, so I'm only about 95% confident that it will work right

Apr 8, 2015 - Modified Apr 8, 2015

can you make the paddle switch for three switches?
PLease please, if you can do that can you try to do it by Thursday?I would love to print it on thursday.

OK, by popular demand, I have posted a 3x version for paddle switches (paddle_switchplate3x.stl).

Awesome! Any plans to make one that fits the newer rectangular switches? My whole house has the wrong switches.

The files paddle_switchplate.stl and paddlenubbin.stl should work with the most common rectangular "Decora" style light switches.

Can we get a version with no support material added?

This is my new favorite thing. However, my house uses these: http://www.saintstevensthingery.com/mybackpages/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/arrow3.jpg Can I have the original source files for the plate so I can make one for pushbutton switches?

Do you have a version without the cut marks?

Check out the re-mixes - I think someone did a version without the faux cracks.

Having trouble printing the thin strips inthe beginning any recommendations they are the one near where the acual switch would be and keep ripping off

Try printing your first layer a little slower and maybe adjust the Z homing height a tiny bit so that the first layer is pressed into the plate more. Both of these things will increase the adhesion,

I printed this on a robo3D and this printed with such great detail and I love it. I have only got one other print with this great detail very nice design thank you

Oh. God. YES!

I need to buy a printer and the first thing to be done is make a few of these. I haven't smiled this much in a long time. I LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing your design here.

Apr 5, 2015 - Modified Apr 5, 2015

Could anyone make a version of this for two normal light switches and a dimmer knob?

This is absolutely brilliant.

Could you post the source please? I would like to make the following two changes, and I'd rather not have to edit STL files:

  • Make the "metal" parts of the switch into separate parts, so they can be printed in a copper-colored filament (I don't have a dual-extrusion printer, but such a version would be fun)

  • Adjust the dimensions for various makes of wall switches found in other parts of the world!


Dec 5, 2015 - Modified Dec 5, 2015
mildmojo - in reply to jayeye

You can do it with a single-extrusion printer. Just swap in your copper-colored filament after the topmost surface of the baseplate has finished printing. You can "do it live" while it's printing, use your slicer's "Pause at Z" function if it has one, or pause the printer manually to do the filament swap.

Here's my print, where I swapped in bronzefill for the "metal" bits that stick up above the baseplate: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:165494

Frankenstein Light Switch Plate
Apr 4, 2015 - Modified Apr 4, 2015
ElmoC - in reply to jayeye

In regards to your first bullet item, there are already a couple remixes out there for it. Of course, my favorite is this one. :)


Edit: Rereading your comment, I'm thinking you were referring to the parts on the base, not the switch part. Sorry.

Frankenstein Light Knife Switch
by ElmoC
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Congrats on the feature! This is one my favorite things. Now do one for dimmers!

Apr 4, 2015 - Modified Apr 4, 2015

Can you make the padle switch for the 3x switches

I'll add this to my list of additions.

It's alive! Great idea I'm defiantly going to have to paint it and weather it. Thanks

any assmebly instruction pdf file?

LoboCNC - in reply to n2ri

No PDF assembly instructions, just do the following: First just replace the switch plate. Then press the nubbin on over the switch lever (should be a snug fit - wrap a little tape in the lever if it is too loose). Then insert one post of the blade into the socket on one side and then flex it slightly to get the opposite post inserted into the opposite socket.

really cooler the cool

I'm having trouble getting the nubbin pieces to stay on the switch... it keeps falling off while switching.

  1. Switch starts down
  2. Flip up - no problem
  3. Flip down - no problem
  4. Flip up - blade pulls nubbin off the switch and it rests on it
  5. Flip down - Nubbin falls off before turning off switch

Am I doing something wrong?

I put a piece of folded-up tape in the switch and it seems to hold a little better now. Hopefully that will stick :)

The holes were also too big for my screws, so I printed some washers to hold it. Let me know if anyone wants the STL (or Inventor file to modify)

It sounds like your printer might be printing everything a bit too large. Try scaling the parts in your slicer to 95% or so.

This is an appropriate use of technology. I wholeheartedly approve...

This is going in my shop ASAP

This is one of the coolest things I've seen. Great job!

creativity run wild. pretty darn AWESOME!

Cool a Knife switch!

Nice, I was logging into Thingiverse to pull down these files for printing, and here it is featured! Grats!

This is soooo EPIC!!

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Chuckle! Great design! Absolutely HAD to print one for the light switch next to the printer....Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

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Mar 3, 2015 - Modified Mar 3, 2015

Man this is AWESOME!
I made one for my friends B-Day coming up because he likes science and experimenting...Perfect!
Printed on Kossel delta printer

Printed this on my Davinci 1.0. Came out great. Excellent design.

What davinci settings did you use?

0.2 layer, 30% fill. Full build details are here:

Great video!

Great Imagination. Simply Awesome. I need this in my Lab.

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Feb 15, 2015 - Modified Feb 15, 2015

Been having some issues with the supports on the switch plate lately. First one I printed some time ago worked fine. But using a different filament with the 2x plate and having issues where one of the support will become unstuck, get picked up by the head and knocks another one off, and so on, until the print fails. Would it be possible to get some support on the support to reduce this from happening? I was thinking a cross-hatch pattern may help prevent this without adding much extra material.

Yeah, I've had this happen to me too once or twice. I'll look into adding more surface area to the first layer of the supports. In the meantime, you should be able to add a 1 layer raft in your slicer which should have the same effect.

I have been playing around with rafts this morning. Think I found a layout that is working for me. Will let you know in about 7 hours. :)

ElmoC - in reply to ElmoC

The raft helped. A couple supports bent and twisted, but didn't come loose. I'm thinking it something to do with the different filament and also I used Slic3r 1.2.6 on it. I have been seeing some strange results with that one. Anyways, once I get my knife switches printed out, I'll post a new picture.

I am just finishing up building out a makerspace for myself and my daughters and this is going to be the coolest light switch for our mad science laboratory ever! thank you for the awesome design!!

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Is there a reason for the nubbin to be printed the way it is? It seems to me that it would have more strength printed on it's side so the wings have the filament length for strength. Printed like it is, it only has the layer adhesion for strength.

I originally designed it to be printed the way it is because I was worried that if I printed it on its side (like Bassna's version), the ragged underside of the bridging might affect the fit. Strength isn't really so much of an issue with this part, but In retrospect, I think it will work fine on its side, and then I could eliminate the annoying ribs. I'll probably post an alternate nubbin soon that will print on its side.

Nubbin printed on side with the support removed works great for me.

@Lobo Also I just noticed about a newer feature in Simplify3D I am about to test out. It can basically do something like, 10% support (very thin lines, fast, less filament) up until 5 layers (or however many) then switch to say, 100% support (nice flat bottom to print object on). So you will have 5 flat layers of support before it prints the bottom of your object. Just an example.

Seriously, if this does not get featured soon, I am fully going to believe that being "featured" is a setup ;)

Congrat's on so many downloads and like's and collection's already. That's very good!

Thanks for the kind words. Maybe they are waiting until next Halloween to feature it :)

The only problem I am having is that the "Nubbin" when I place it on the light switch it will fall off in the down position. I can turn it on and it stays on but as soon as Egor throws that lever down the Nubbin falls right down to the floor lol, any suggestions. I was considering reprinting it and scaling it down by 1 or 2 % to try and give it a more snug fit. Ill try this and let you know if it works. This is an awesome design. I Absolutely love the built in supports. You have done an outstanding job. I really appreciate a designer that also has experience working with a 3d printer because they are able to incorporate design modifications that deal with normal printing issues. Some designers build very elegant models that just have a hard time printing period. Great Job

One other thing you can do (if like me you are too lazy to print another nubbin) is to just shim the inside cavity with a little piece of tape. I have noticed that the light switch paddles do vary in size from model to model, so you may have to make some adjustments one way or another.

Just as I had hypothesized, scaling it down to 99% of its original size worked beautifully. I'd like to have these all over my house but my wife won't have it lol

The nubbin's are small and easy to print, try to scale and it should work. It almost sound's like your nubbin is not tight enough on the switch itself. Mine are very tight, almost too tight.

Will the same screws still work to hold the cover to the wall as a generic one?

Yes, it mounts using the same standard screws.

I've tried to print this a few times now but each time fails because it just dumps filament into the air when it gets to the ribs. Would it be possible to get a version of this without the ribs so I can just add my own supports? Is anyone else having this issue? It seems the ribs don't start printing until after the second layer, so the nozzle is just too far away from the bed for them to stick.

Try setting a thinner line width for the first layer (you can do this in slic3r). The ribs go all the way down to the ground but if the slicer is using a thicker line width for the first layer, it may think they are too thin to print for just the first layer. (The ribs are 0.8mm thick.) If you still have problems, I'll post a version without the ribs.

Please post a version without the ribs

I had my width set at .4mm with the first layer set to 200%, so it's odd that it wouldn't have printed the ribs at .8mm thick, but setting my first layer to 100% seems to have resolved the issue.


I've just added a single switch "Decora" paddle-style switchplate the the STL files, and there is also a new paddlenubbin that goes with it. (Use the same single switch blade part.) Because the modern looking paddle would look out of place, I completely hid the paddle under the switch plate and the actuator nubbin now fits in a slot in the plate.

I'll look into it. Flipping these paddle-style switches should be easier than a standard light switch. Stay tuned...

yes please do!, my house is covered in these switches

I hope to have 2 and 3 switch versions posted later today or tomorrow. 4 is just silly.

Jan 27, 2015 - Modified Jan 27, 2015
Bassna - in reply to LoboCNC

Silly he say's! Well I happened to need a 4 panel for right by my front door, I just finished modeling it earlier after I got home from work. Printing it out now, about a 5 hour print. Will remix when it's done if all goes well :D

Jan 27, 2015 - Modified Jan 27, 2015
LoboCNC - in reply to Bassna

I just posted the 2 & 3 switch versions (all part of the same thing). You could have twisted my arm to do a 4 switch version, but now you've gone and done it. Look forward to seeing your version!

Thats awesome. This is one of the functionally coolest things I have seen here on thingiverse. Well done! Thanks for creating a 2/3 switch versions

This is awesome. I love the function and design. Would you consider a 2 switch version?

I'd like to request a 2 switch version as well for my garage.
I think I'll print this one as well and replace one of the light plates in the lab where I work :)

Great design. I actually printed this on my da vinci 1.0. The only problem I had was that when I tried to put the lever part into the docks for it in the base it broke them cause it was to big. Therefore I super glued a few back on and then sanded down the sides and inside of the docks. Works great now! Great design and thanks for posting.

I also printed this on my Da Vinci 1.0

If this doesn't become a "Featured Thing", then, well, Thingiverse has no soul.

Of course it's not going to be featured on Thingiverse. It's not by a Makerbot partner. That's one of the many reasons all my new stuff is on YouMagine.

Not featured on Thingiverse but it was on 3dprint com
So at least some recognition.

you got that right!

this is the best thing i have seen on thinigiverse in a long time! killer!

Love it! +1 for a 2 position one.

I think I'd need to modify the design to make it work as a 2, 3 or 4 position switch plate. I'll do that if there is enough interest.


So cool, great idea. I will have to put these all around the house lol. Do you think this would be able to be combined into 3 or 4 switch panels?

I am so putting this in my workshop LMAO

Awesome, will look nice in my workshop. Btw, it's called a knife switch ;)

lol this is awesome!