Multi-Material Frankenstein Light Switch

by JuliaTruchsess, published

Multi-Material Frankenstein Light Switch by JuliaTruchsess Dec 1, 2015
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1821Views 384Downloads Found in Household


I wanted to improve the realism of LoboCNC's fabulous knife switch by printing the "conductive" parts in copper-colored PLA and the handle parts in wood PLA, so I separated the pieces and added dovetail joints. I also closed off the opening in the nubbin so that the lame ivory toggle of the actual switch is not visible (not shown in the photo).

I also made the handle fully round, since it prints vertically and support is not an issue.

For the baseplate I set a pause in the Z-Suite slicer at 39%, just above the surface of the plate. I printed the bottom of the plate in MeltInk silver PLA, then at the pause switched to Octave "Copper-Infused" PLA.

The switchbars are printed in Octave copper-infused PLA; the handle, crosspiece, and nubbin in FormFutura EasyWood™ Ebony (the nubbin in the photo is 3dom "Wound Up" coffee-based filament, but I ultimately changed it to ebony wood). The dovetails fit perfectly for me so that glue is not required, but a drop of superglue would make it even stronger.

Print Settings


Zortrax M200










A Z-Temp temperature control was used to lower extrusion temp to 215º for the silver and copper parts, and 225º for the EasyWood™. Support angle was set to 45 (light) and 30 (light) respectively, and support was easily removed. The slicer generated no support for the nubbin due to "enable bridging" being ticked.

Dual print fans running at 100% were used for all prints and no bed heat.

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Interesting that you uploaded it on my birthday. How'd ya know?
Im amazed by the few designs of yours I checked out, but I have to tell you about the extreme trepidation I would have in printing an electrical device cover from conductive filament. The obvious flaw is if the switch malfunctions and causes the cover plate screws to become energized, or even the conductive backlayer.
One type of printing Im playing with is wireframe. My most recent is Rodins Thinker, using HIPS. I also did Crouching Woman in wood-filled, but solid. WIreframe is neat, but conjures up issues where the nozzle is trying to make a triangle, and a short radius curve (like thinkers leg) with an overhang. Supports of any kind are disabled, at least in CURA. You have to babysit the entire print, and if...really when...the filament decides to extrude into thin air, you have to have a thin rod handy to hold steady near it on the next pass to let it cool close to its intended spot, hoping the next pass will catch it and re-attach to the structure. You can check my youtube channel for my prints...none so grand as yours however. A perfect search term would be "crouching woman wood pla" , or "thinker wireframe".
Wow, thats a lot more than I originally intended to type about the switchplate...hehheh.
Have a great weekend.

These filaments are not conductive at all, the metal content (if any) is extremely small.

Excellent addition!