Springy Apple Cable Savers

by muzz64 Oct 25, 2015
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Can you release the source files so we can modify dimensions? I'd love to be able to customize these to fit other plugs.

I don't mind sending these to you directly 'if' you design in Rhino but if not these files would have no value to you. If you do message me your email address.

Printed perfectly, however, didn't really fit our non-Apple brand cables, but still sort of works :) Great print though - no problems at all.

Could you make one without the supports?

The designed in support is critical to print the spring part. It will fail to print without it. This works well for most people. Just follow the instructions. ... automated support is almost impossible to remove

I see a lot of comments talking about the support in the center, this is by far the best cable saver design I have seen and printed but yea that support was a b*tch to remove

The problem is different slicing apps interpret designs differently and every machines prints differently... some find the support too loose so the spring doesn't form so well.. others find it sticks too much. I always try for the middle ground clearance wise...

I cannot get the support rod out without breaking it does anyone else have this problem?

Sorry to hear you are having problems removing the support. Thousands (and it is thousand's) of other people haven't had this issue. As long as you have a well set up / precise / accurate machine it should snap away okay. I assume you are following the instructions provided?

If that's not working you can clear it by positioning the print the other way up from the instructions and supporting it at the bottom with something that has a hole in it to push the support into. Doing it this way allows you to apply greater pressure and use a metal punch or similar (Small bolt or screw the same diameter as the support pin). A sharp tap directly onto the top of the support can do it.

I hope this helps.

First print was a bit too big

No version for the old iPhone 4S, huh? Shame! :D

Sorry but I don't have a cable for that model to measure up... I designed this for a friend who gave me their cable while I created a solution for them. You need that to measure and test...

Any chances of making it parametric? That way, this design would be more universal...

For things like this I believe they are better designed specifically for the cables concerned. If you get them a fraction out they don't fit or don't work. This locks it down to something that has been tried and tested. However, you are right that parametric would allow easy customisation but that would only work if the cable clips shapes (i.e. the connectors) was always the same but tey aren't. All too often the curvature etc. changes... there is a surprisingly large amount of variation out there.

Could you make these for the Apple Earbuds?

Unfortunately I don't have a pair of Apple Ear Buds to use to develop this but also have to think they would be too small and weak if you are referring to the ear bud end.

I tried this on Zmorph 2 sx printer and it failed. I did not use supports and maybe that will make a difference.

As the images show these print really well for many people.... but not everyone. To get a good result you need an accurate /precise well set up machine and slicing app. You also need an effective filament fan otherwise you will have problems with the spring and/or designed in support removal. Really good build plate adhesion is also critical as I'm sure you will already appreciate.

However, the single biggest issue is the instructions aren't followed so the prints are weak and break. You must use extra shells and high infill.

I hope this helps....

had for maybe like a month and the spring snapped off right at where the spring starts at the base. Kinda disappointed in that

Sorry to hear you're disappointed with the durability of the Apple Cable Savers. However, for many people they have lasted far better / longer which makes me wonder if you followed the print settings (instructions) provided. You need more shells and high infill (75%) to make them really springy as well as strong as possible.

Obviously these aren't mass produced commercially sold products but they usually perform their function well. However, PLA is a brittle plastic so more susceptible to breaking than other types of plastic. In addition, not all 3D printers print the same... you only have to look at prints from different machines under a magnifying glass to see that. Many machines leaves fine gaps so their prints aren't as strong as others. Chances are you won't see this with the naked eye but it all comes down to machine accuracy/precision and how well (finely) the slicing app creates the print file.

There is obviously good news in all of this... the fact is that in the month you had your cable saver on it could have saved your cable! Many people have had cables break very quickly as a result of just a couple of knocks when it has been fairly tightly kinked at the cable/base joint. The other good thing is these use less than 3 grams of filament to print... so they cost approx. US 20 cents to print... and if they do break you can easily print more.

Cheap protection I would have thought. It's not as if they cost a lot but they do help... even if not everyone's will last like a commercially sold product.

Would be better with a bit more space between coils, the current design almost cuts through the rubber sleeve of the cord when attempting to install.

I printed them in ABS Black (ABS works great and stronger then PLA) and after cleaning away supports they work great. I used the purge tower to allow the prints to cool enough between the layers. Printed on a FlashForge Creator Pro and used Simplify3D for the slicing and printing. You can see the pictures on the "Made" page I did.

I could not remove the post without snapping the spring. .2 layer. Any suggestions? The center was fused all the way through.

Sorry to hear you're having issues printing this. Unfortunately every slicing app and machine prints differently and not all are precise enough to deal with the fine clearances designed into things like this. However, rotating it on the build plate can help as it changes the tool path. It also sounds like your machine is printing it a fraction small so try scaling it up 2 to 3% as that could make all the difference in your case. Having said that you don't want to scale it up too much or it won't fit correctly. These have printed well for thousands of people so hopefully you can get a good result as well

These are awesome. I printed a set, and they fit perfectly. Thanks!


Made one. Great design. Had a little trouble removing the support, but no big deal. Prints very well. Thank you.

It'd be great to have these for Samsung Galaxy smartphones... anyone know of some i can download? Thanks

Sorry but I don't know of anything like that "yet"... but it could be drawn up to do the same job. I have a Galaxy myself and the standard cable is a lot more robust than the Apple one so didn't think it was an issue... but maybe it is. Have you and other people you know had problems with cables?

With the Apple cables this was relatively easy however for other phones there is a broad range of after market accessories so the problem is not all cables housings will be the same. If they are using a 'genuine' Samsung cable then this could be developed for that but it would not work with other housings. That, and the fact that Samsung cables seem stronger is the only reason I hadn't made up a similar thing before...

Printing this now for my husband. He kills ipod cables. thanks!

I have a challenge from my Tech class, to make something that can protect our school's charger for our Macbook Air laptops. I need ideas or help to do this plz! I tried to download this but the website said the saver is too complex. Thanks.

No idea why that would happen however message me your email address and I'll send the files that way


I find it odd that whoever is taking these models and printing them and selling the prints are using the thingiverse photo.

Thanks for letting me know. There's been a number of these recently. I'm obviously happy to share my designs for personal use but if they are to be sold then that should be discussed with me first. I'll add it to my list to follow up... the problem being that things like this takes time and that reduces time designing new things!

Thanks for sharing.

The spiral is fusing to the center post. Any tips?

Unfortunately not all machines or slicing apps work the same so the clearances set to work on one machine may not be quite right for another. These work great on my MakerBots. Filament can also make a difference. Not all PLA is the same... in some cases the thickness can vary quite a bit even within a relatively short length and that can affect clearances etc.

Anyway, if your slicing app and/or machine are printing slightly small, so the clearances have closed up a bit from what was intended, increase the scale a fraction. However, it can't be much otherwise they won't be tight/secure on the cables. Try 1%... and also try positioning it in a different place on the build plate (usually dead centre is best for fine things but may forward or back in the Y direction is worth a try. Last thing... try a different spool of filament.

Hopefully one of these makes the difference for you!

Neat design, though neither end seems to stay on the connector all that well for me, I can't pull the plastic part that covers the connector to remove the cable, just slides the plastic down the cable, and pulling the cable works but pulling on cables is a bit no-no for longevity, I'm considering gluing them in place but that could cause some problems with using stuff with small openings in the future...

I'm not 100% clear on what your issue is and whether it's too loose , so slides down the cable too easily because they're not locking in place correctly, or too tight which will also stop it locking in at all.

The fact is these prints need to be very accurate to work well due to the fine tolerance between too loose or too tight. However, as I'm sure you've seen lots of people have printed these with great results... so they work well.

For this reason chances are this is a slicing app or machine accuracy issue. No app or machine deals with fine details the same. Even your filament can make a difference as there's a lot out there that isn't of a consistent diameter.

My suggestion is to try and uniformly scale your prints up or down slightly as required. You should be able to offset the issues you're having through this.

Hope this helps!

i guess theres no way of printing this in abs? when im at the top the spring kinda bends with the printhead. guess abs is no good on small parts

ABS will not deal with the spring well and it will be too soft. A big part of the problem is ABS can't be cooled quickly like PLA with a filament fan. The filament solidifying quickly is all important in prints like this.

Printed with Stepcraft 420
Not as springy as I thought, but for PLA it's ok.

I saw the photo you posted and the result was rougher around the edges than those printed on my MakerBot's. Different machines, different slicing apps and even the filament all make a difference to output quality and also how springy they are. I've tried various types of PLA and believe me they are not all the same.... that could be worth thinking about as your prints look rough / stringy. Having said that, I'm not sure if your machine has a filament fan to help solidify the filament as soon as its been extruded. That greatly helps with things like this.

However, the single most important thing worth trying is to print it at 0.20mmresolution, not 0.1mm resolution, and with 75% infill as per the instructions. This will make sure the springy parts are almost solid so much more springy. The lower resolution also helps reduce the time the machine spends working in areas as it builds. That can result in a cleaner print regardless of the lower resolution,

Thanks for your advice, but I already tried other resolutions....it was much worse. My Extruder has a fan build in, which blows exactly around the nozzle. I'm Building a wind shielding case around my Printer at the moment. It isn't finished yet, but I think the results will be much better. The Filament I used is well known for stability not for flexibility. I'm sure your design would work well on the "right" material. In most cases I need filament, which is not flexible, but this time I'm printing for a friend, who really needed these savers.
My infill doesn't matter, because in my setup all Areas <20mm^2 are always printed solid.
Thanks for your design and help!

Printed with HobbyKing Fabrikator and it went very well. I did not understand fisrt why the center part was there and how to remove it. When i read with attention the explanation on your pictures i was quite skeptic : i can see it is genious !! Removing the center part is quite easy and give a very good final result. Great design.
Started production for my wife's, 2 sons' and own iphone, ipod, ipad .... Need one for MacBook power line ....

Pleased to hear it worked well for you... I try and make things that work well for people!

Great idea, sad that a new product needs to be "fixed"

Print it 4 time, unblt to puth the spring :(

Sorry to hear you are having trouble getting a good result with this... lots of others have printed them without issues. Please make sure you hollow the instructions provided.

Having said that, these print really well on a Replicator 2 and 5th Generation Replicator. Not all machines and/or slicing applications can deal with the detail and precision required to print things like this. Obviously I don't know what machine or slicing software you are using but these are all important factors with prints like this. Not all 3D printers are the same...

No No No!! you dont need to be sorry!
Thank you for sharing i try to print with M3d, maybe she not good for this.

I've got same problem on M3D. Can't get center pin out. It's fused solid. Printed 3 times. Once with PETG instead of PLA. Same issue each time. Not complaining, thanks for sharing your design, just letting others know they might have same problem with the M3D.

Interesting to hear that this is common to other M3D users. Sad have to say it but it has to be either a machine accuracy or slicing app issue. It could be that the slicing app isn't recognizing the clearances and making it solid.

However,, it may be that you can still get the support pins out by placing the print on a hard flat surface with a hole in it so the pin can be pushed out the bottom.. then use something like a metal punch the same diameter as the support pin and try and tap it down and out. Please note the spring would be facing up to try this. Worth a try....

Failing that try scaling it up a fraction. This can have a big affect when slicing depending on the points at which extra thickness is added

If slicing might be the issue then I'll try slicing it in simplify3d. Thanks for the tip

Comments deleted.

Nice design. What speed did you print these at? Thanks

No speed change from standard on a Replicator 2 so 40 mm/s outline speed. On a 5th Generation that is 20 mm/s. If you are having issues slow the outlines down a bit... however, on my MakerBot's I haven't had any issues. They print springs well with an internal support pin as included in this file.

Thanks for the response. I actually printed them already since I was in a rush getting ready for work, using my Dremel's Low setting at 120mm/s, with .3 layers and it came out excellent. Will upload it soon. Thanks again for the designs and reply. Keep em coming!!

Thanks for uploading the photo and I'm pleased to hear it came out well for you.