The original Thing by bookmake was nearly a perfect fit for Maplin’s “Minature Microswitch with Roller” (Maplin product code N97AQ), except the gap for the lever arm and roller wasn’t quite right – didn’t extend far enough towards the left.
So, I took their STL in to Fusion360, cut away a bunch of the “out” side of the filament guide path. A test print revealed that the part was also a little too small along the Y-axis such that the switch was being clicked just by putting the microswitch in to position, so I stretched out the space between switch-holder and filament path by 1.5mm to solve that. (The part is not just rescaled in whole – I cut it in a couple of places and stretched just the necessary area.)
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get Fusion to behave to resize the lid in the same way, so I just trimmed it back. It still works (the lid helps hold the switch in place), so I’ve called it “good enough”.
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Thanks for the link! It’s not the most exciting creation in the world, I just tweaked someone else’s hard work to make it fit the microswitch I had – so I figured it would be good to upload my files in case other people were in the same situation but lacking the skills or time to do the changes for themselves.
As soon as I’ve got the time, I will be wiring this up to my Pi running OctoPrint (with a plugin to do auto-pause if the switch triggers) – through an Adadruit Prototyping Pi Plate Kit to handle the practical "how am I actually going to connect these wires to those pins" thing.
I’ll be using the Normally Closed contact on my switch – the filament then holds the switch "open" by keeping it pressed as it passes through. But as soon as it runs out, the switch will return to normal, close the contact, and cause the print to pause. The plugin can be configured for either NC or NO operation – I’m going with this way round as I am also going to have a toggling push button wired in parallel as an "emergency pause" sharing the same GPIO pin input.