Category Archives: openscad

an OpenSCAD script for 3d printing potentiometer knobs

I learned some OpenSCAD!

OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-7
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-1-1
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-2-1
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-3-1
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-4
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-5
OpenSCAD - potknob_parametric.scad-6
MeshLab v1.3.0-1
MeshLab v1.3.0-1-1
MeshLab v1.3.0-2
photo
photo

This script has a *lot* of variables you can tweak.  I don’t even feel like I’ve put everything into this script that I want to, either.

an incomplete list of parameters you can adjust:

  • knob radius
  • knob height
  • shaft hole radius
  • shaft hole height
  • set screw inclusion, radius, and location
  • flatness of shaft hole
  • rounding on top (thanks very much to http://iheartrobotics.com for the articles on edge rounding!)
  • indentations
  • directional indicators
  • plus a lot more!

About

One of the most stressful things about making multiple copies of an electronics project is reliably locating interface controls that you like. Maybe you can locate them one time, but can you locate them a year from now? two years from now? And how much do they cost?

For example, I found some slide potentiometer knobs at Mouser.com for about $0.50 apiece two years ago, and they ran out of them… forever. I tried sourcing them elsewhere, and the best I could find was a seller that had them for $4.00 apiece (!!wtf!!). So that really sucks.

One strategy is to buy in bulk. But, buy too few and you may run out and pay twice for shipping.  Buy too many and you  end up with unused knobs sitting around not making your money back. That also sucks.

Round potentiometer knobs are somewhat readily available. But still, they can be from $0.80 to $5.00 each, and if you can’t find enough for your project, that can be problematic. Mostly I’m tired of paying multiple dollars for things that should basically cost $0.25 apiece. Aesthetics are important too, so having options beyond what’s out there is nice.

A different strategy is to print them yourself as you need them.  No shipping, no running out, and you get to call the shots on how it looks and how it fits. Now, I like this way. Plus, for my project, making the knobs just goes along with the rest of the stuff I’ve done myself.

knobs

Well… some are better than others. Limited success is better than no success at all.

Download

Click here to download the parametric potentiometer knob generator OpenSCAD script.

License

Creative Commons License
parametric potentiometer knob generator by steve cooley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at sc-fa.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://sc-fa.com/blog/contact.