Battery adapter - Convert four AA to one D cell

by MaikaiGuy, published

Battery adapter - Convert four AA to one D cell by MaikaiGuy Nov 3, 2012
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No power due to Hurricane Sandy... and running out of D cell batteries for the flashlights... :-\

Got a bunch of AA cells... hmmm... Let's put that 3D printer to good use while we have the generator going! ;-)


10% fill, one shell. Print with raft and support. Yeah, it makes them ugly, but who cares? Nobody will see them. They will be inside a flashlight.

You'll need some 18 gauge wire and a soldering iron. Pointed pliers or at least a good pair of tweezers help too. A 1/16 drill bit or an awl or a very large pin to clean up the holes, because the support may have blocked one or two of the holes.

Lace the 18 gauge wire through the holes. You'll need about 7 or 8 inches (sorry I forgot to measure that). Start by making a 90 degree bend in the wire about a quarter inch from an end. Feed the wire through one of the center holes so that this bend is on the side opposite from the batteries. The long traces going out to the end holes will be the contact points for the batteries. Take a look at the pictures.

Long Island has run out of feul, which is why we're rationing the generator and I need these darn flashlights in the first place! :-\ If that were not the case, I would simply go out and buy some copper tape for the two ends. Since the copper tape store was flooded, has no power and a huge tree crushed it's roof, bending the wire around and soldering will have to do. :-)

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Hi, I tried to place 4x AA Mignon NimJH cells together, they dont fit into my Fenix TK70 flashlight.
Am a newbie to 3D printing.
Would / Could you modify your Thing! battery adaptor to have 3xAA as a second Thing!

Remix - Battery Adapter - convert three AA to one D cell

Thanks for picking this up PocketBrain! I saw the e-mail from Thingiverse for your version, but missed the one from Lupo123.
Sorry Lupo123! If I would have seen your message, I would have jumped on it. Been on vaca. ;-)

Aw man, a quick search shows that you stole my idea! ;-) Thank you for saving me time by sharing. :-) I had the idea a long time ago, after noting that rechargeable AA batteries off the shelf had around 2500 mAh capacity, the C cells had only like 2700, and D cells were suspiciously lightweight, and had only 2700 mAh capacity. Hmmmm! As long as the AA NiMH cells are from the same batch, they can be paralleled well, and three AA cells fit well inside the envelope of a D cell. I was going to make it a cylinder with three AA sockets, but your top-cap/bottom-cap solution is sexier! Definitely going to print this out. Lots.

I would love to buy a couple of these from you if you ever consider making any more.. :)

Great job! Fits the AA cells perfectly. Still have to wire up the first one, but already planning on printing up dozen sets and giving them to friends and family for power outages. And to convert an old giant Maglight to rechargeable AA's.

You do realize that 4 "AA" batteries does not give the same voltage as 1 "D" right?
1 "AA" battery has the same voltage as 1 "D", the "D" just lasts longer.  You could be dangerously overpowering your devices if you use this thing.

D-cell batteries have the same voltage as AA-cell batteries of the same battery chemistry.  This configuration uses batteries in parallel.  It indeed provides the same voltage as a single D-cell.

You would only be correct if I had "stacked" the batteries, like some items using multiple batteries do.   Or perhaps you are confusing the greater current available from a D-cell over four AA=cells.  That won't matter, other than allowing a real D-cell to last longer in the application.

Thanks Joe!  Hope you're OK over there.  We're holding the fort so far.  I'm learning all kinds of new disaster skills, like how to defeat the anti-siphon mechanism in cars so we can get some fuel for the generator. :-)

It appears to me that this model could be modified to print without support. These are awesome, btw.

I smell a derivative. ;-)

Can't believe you not only created this, but even managed to post about it!

Mother Nature, you can't win!