3D printable designs for a suite of modular components to create auto-electrical installations.
This is an ongoing project. I recommend heading over to My GitHub project for the latest information.
Please note this project has a non-commercial license attached. You are welcome to use it as you see fit (subject to the terms of the license, linked to the left) but you must not use it commercially (so, you can't sell the work, nor pieces printed from the work). Any derived works must also be licensed as non-commercial.
The printable components in this project are intended to be compatible with the MTA Modular Fuse Holder System. The MTA Modular Fuse Holder System is available in the UK from such vendors as 12VoltPlanet and Polevolt.
The project originated from a need to include some electronics in an automotive power distribution system that uses the MTA system. The lack of a suitable module in the MTA range led to the design of a 3D printable enclosure that fits into the MTA frames or brackets, alongside the regular fuse and relay modules.
The project includes OpenSCAD source code to generate the following components:
- A lidded enclosure with a parameterised height
- End brackets with a parameterised number of module ways
- Module locks for the end brackets
- Standoff spacer to raise genuine MTA brackets (not needed with brackets generated from this project)
- An enclosure insert to hold a PCB and micro-relay. This is specific to my application, but may provide a useful starting point for your own design.
You can use modules generated from this project with its accompanying end brackets, or you can use them with the original MTA brackets and frames. Conversely, you can use MTA modules with the brackets generated from this project.
I designed this project to complement the MTA Modular Fuse and Relay Holder System, not to replicate it and certainly not to infringe any copyright. Use the project responsibly.
The standard MTA frames and brackets include a plastic locking tab to hold the modules securely in place. The same design can't be readily replicated in this 3D printed design for two reasons: (1) the tab would normally be printed in mid-air and I'm trying to avoid using supports and (2) the layer structure would be perpendicular to the plane of flex, making it weak and liable to break.
I had a rethink and generated a separate locking component that clips to the end bracket. Being printed separately, it can have the layers oriented parallel to the plane of flex, making it much stronger. It can also be printed completely without the need for supports.
It's not an entirely reliable locking system, yet. Under significant pressure, the lock can disengage. A few more iterations of the design may be useful, but it's reasonably effective and could be made more robust with a well-placed dab of glue.
An important note regarding supports
The only part in this project that requires supports is the enclosure (generated when make_body=true). Whilst you could use automatic supports, if you don't mind a fair bit of clean-up, I recommend using manually placed supports.
I use Slic3r Prusa Edition and manually place four 'support enforcer' blocks under the extending 'arms' from the body of the enclosure that slot into the end brackets. There's a small horizontal bar (part of the locking mechanism) that will probably end up being supported if using automatic supports, but the printer should be able to bridge the gap adequately.
In my experience, minimal supports are preferable to a lot of clean-up.