Another Successful 3D Print

The magnetic reed switch I put on my gate sensor has been problematic. There are several inches of play between on and off. Since the reed switch is on the hinge side of a 20′ gate, that translates into the gate being open nearly 2′ before the reed switch senses it is open.

Particularly nasty is the fact that if the switch incorrectly senses the gate open, the controller will actually OPEN the gate because there is no control on the gate controller that will only close the gate (the control will open or close the gate depending on the last operation).

I decided I should some how use a lever snap switch to sense the gate position. However, using a snap switch would require a much more elaborate mounting system.

Hey wait, that’s why I bought a 3D printer! I thought about it for a few days and came up with this design:


The ‘jaws’ in the box will guide the flat aluminum tang into the groove where it presses against the lever of the snap switch. You can’t see them in this picture, but the lid has tabs to allow for easy alignment on the box – the thingiverse boxes I’ve printed so far don’t have any guides which has been noticeable. I also designed in weep holes for water to drain out the bottom and vapor to evaporate out the top. The switch is waterproof, but still, the box should take wx into account.

Today I printed the box. I should mention, I’ve been using

to verify and fix my STL files. I don’t understand why, yet, but my exported diagrams have issues – mainly holes that I simply cannot detect. Netfabb fixes the holes and gives me a printable STL file.

I had a few problems with the prints, but nothing like the PLA prints I was working on last time. ABS has, so far, been much easier for me to deal with.


It is still very cool to see an idea turn into reality.


This entry was posted in 3D Printing, c-3dprint, Gate Sensor and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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