A 3D printed multimeter stand with LED illumination, one-handed resistor measuring station, capacitor discharge, LED tester, cable tidy, and more.
When Daniel sent us photos of his curious looking multimeter stand, we just had to find out more. What we soon learnt was this spooky looking 3D printed multimeter stand had a few tricks up its sleeve, so to speak. We caught up with Daniel to find out more.
Thanks for getting in touch with us Daniel. Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
I’m a father of three, I do electronics as a hobby and also studying it via distance learning through university. It’s an exciting field to learn, and I especially like reading up on the history of electricity and the discoveries along the way.
Phew! Sounds like you have your hands full! Tell us what got you on the path to electronics and 3D printing?
My folks got me onto BASIC programming in the 80s which set an early pathway. It wasn’t until recent years that a few successful repairs of electronic items around the house got me interested in learning it more deeply, including a curiosity on how things such as radio and transistors do their magic. 3D printing came out of a need to enclose my projects in a nice package to cover up the nest of wires, but it has become a great creativity tool.
Oh, the memories of writing BASIC code. We’re spoilt for choice with coding now. What inspired you to design and create your multimeter stand?
I couldn’t find many interesting multimeter stands out there, so I have had a go at my own. I’ve named it the E2R “Easy 2 Resist” multi-meter stand.
I’ve designed it to suit the many shapes and sizes of multimeters that I own, even the big analogue meter, plus there are a few tricks up its sleeve.
- It keeps the multimeter’s cable tidy and tucked away in the “Cable Eater”. The Cable Eater actually tunnels under the stand and ramps up the back, so there is plenty of length to tuck away.
- It has a unique “Easy 2 Resist” resistor measurement. Only one hand or finger required. Just plug the standard probes (i.e. standard size with the 15mm length of exposed needle) into the eyes and whizz through a bunch of resistors in no time. Can also measure two at a time for parallel resistance measurement.
- It has a basic capacitor discharge and LED tester station.
- For the lighting, I have used 7 x cool and warm white LED strip segments to shine through and bring out the patterns and text. The wiring is fed through holes in the back of the stand and up through some strategically placed holes. .
Wow! Very clever. We are curious about your interesting design. Can you tell us more and also how you power it all?
I’m a horror fan so some of that brushed off on the design. The design is a deserted and haunted fairground to rest your multimeter on, with an entrance where you can tuck away your meter’s loose cable. The ‘eyes’ are where you can plug in your probes to measure a bunch of resistors in no time. The design came way after the main features of the stand were functional and I knew what I had to work with. My daughter had the idea of a slide and steps down the sides of the front entrance which adds to the theme park look.
The lighting can be powered by 9V to 12V, hence the dc socket and switch at the back. The additional sections are the LED testing station (holds a 3V coin battery so can quickly see if an LED is working) and a capacitor discharge station (holds a resistor so you can bleed a capacitor).
The design is amazing and the lighting effects look awesome. What printer do you use and what’s your goto CAD program?
I have a Flashforge Adventurer 3, which has FlashPrint as the slicer. I really appreciate the plug-and-play aspect of it after previously owning a Creality CR10-S printer which could do larger prints but was a lot more maintenance required on my part. Being my first foray into CAD design, the program I used was TinkerCAD.
With regards to the print, getting it to print well enough without supports was a challenge but worth it, as I didn’t want to have to scrape away supports after each print, especially in the hard to reach areas. I used a lot of angles to achieve this. The beauty of having a 3D printer is being able to make design changes anytime and re-print until it is satisfactory.
Having access to your own printer does come in handy. What would a reader need to do in order to modify it for their own multimeter?
It’s a one-size-fits-all design. I’ve used it with the small Digitech QM1500 up to the large Digitech Analog QM1020 and two models in between (QM1524 and QM1323), so as long as your meter is within that range it will sit nicely on it. There are some spots to add your own rubber grip to help hold your meter more firmly if required (PLA is not very grippy unfortunately).
A universal design, brilliant! How do you use the resistor measurer, LED tester and capacitor discharge features?
Using the E2R (Easy 2 Resist) mechanism is as easy as plugging your probes in the eyes of the stand. You just need to use standard size probes with the 15mm or so of exposed probe.
Then you can just place your resistor on the probes and use one finger to apply the pressure to the resistor to get a reading. Tip: For higher accuracy readings, keep your finger slightly to the left or right of the resistor body (as pictured). This is mainly relevant for higher resistances where your own body’s resistance can affect the reading, in this case if your finger is making contact with both sides of the resistor.
The LED tester works just by fitting a 3V skinny coin battery in the space there. Then you can quickly test any basic LEDs to see if they light up.
The capacitor discharge station has some holes where you can place an appropriate resistor, for whenever you need to do a quick capacitor bleed.
The cable tidy can hold a length of almost 20cm because it tunnels underneath and ramps up at the back. This means at the end of a fun day of electronics, you’ll can put your multimeter on its stand and neatly tuck away the cables (as pictured).
What else should our readers know about this project that we haven’t already covered?
Adding light inside the multimeter stand, although not mandatory, really does bring it to life. It has been designed to shine the colour of your filament through (as pictured) whatever spray paint colour you use (I personally like orange or green filament, spray painted with black and a touch of gold). When spray painting, you are best to spray at angles so you don’t cover the text and gaps too much. There are holes at the back of the stand where you can slide in LED strips and wiring, and also space for a 9V battery. I recommend ‘cool white’ led strips to shine the filament colour through whatever paint job you do. Optionally, connecting 12V DC will give the full brightness of the LED strips. For sturdiness, I recommend rubber feet under the stand to stop it from sliding.
I have shared my design for your readers to print their own. Its dimensions are 140x140x95mm to suit most 3D printer capacities.
It can print well without supports. A Raft is recommended though. And these are the settings I use on the Flashforge Adventurer 3.
I’ve put up a quick video on Instagram to demonstrate its features. https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kwTEKgd8j/
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. We’ll pop this file onto our website for our readers to download. We hope your E2R finds itself haunting workbenches all over the world. Thanks for sharing.