The blog blog.tommy.sh has a great post about designing your own potentiometer knobs:
Who needs to buy new potentiometer knobs when you can make your own? Armed with patience, calipers, and a 3D printer, this is quite doable. (Note: this advice will also apply to rotary switches and encoders!)
Why would anybody even want to “reinvent the wheel” when commercial potentiometer knobs are plentiful and readily available?
- Control uniformity: A project may use different types of pots side-by-side, each with different dimensions or shaft types, and fitting store-bought knobs may not match. By making knobs that internally match different specifications but have identical outward appearances, you can abstract away the underlying technical differences and have a consistent interface for the user.
- Custom position markings: I recently made an instrument with D shaft pots, all mounted at odd angles to the enclosure, and I wanted their “0” positions to point in a way that my store-bought knobs wouldn’t allow. By making my own, I was able to have a custom rotation degree that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!