Sep 15, 2015 | By Alec

Smartphones and 3D printing have been an excellent combination for years, and which among us have never 3D printed a new smartphone cover? However, with a brand new project, Adafruit reminds us that we can do a lot more for our phones with 3D printing technology. Adafruit’s in-house geniuses the Ruiz Brothers have just shared their designs for a Qi wireless 3D printed charging stand.

This creation is truly an amazing one, while it is remarkably simple. Key is the Qi wireless module and transmitter, which is developed by the Wireless Power Consortium with the express purpose of transferring electrical power over very short distances (up to 1.6 inches). A perfect tool, in short, for creating a smartphone stand in which you simply place your smartphone to charge without requiring to fumble with wires. However, the stand itself will need to be plugged into a power source, but that does little to diminish the coolness factor of this project.

What’s more, it is also remarkably simple to build, the Ruiz Brothers explain. ‘This simple design allows you to quickly change the mounts to customize for your device. The universal Qi transmitter works great with devices that already include a built-in Qi module!’ While some Adafruit projects are absolutely packed with electronics, this particular charger only requires the Qi charging receiver and the transmitter modules, a MicroUSB cable, a 5V power supply, and some 3D printed parts. What could be easier?

The stand itself is completely 3D printed, and can be done on any FDM desktop machine featuring a minimum build volume of 150 by 150 mm. It can also be done in either ABS or PLA (or any other filament like PET, nylon and others), and don’t require any supports. Printing itself was done at 230 degrees, with 10% infill and two shells. ‘With a parameter of 2 shells, theres only a few areas where tolerances really matters - the wire cutouts and the mounting holes,’ they say. The Adafruit guys used their Printrbot Simple Metal, but most 3D printers will be just fine though a heated bed will probably have better results. The STL files for the two parts can be downloaded from Thingiverse here.

The assembly and testing stages are a bit more complex, but even then much easier than what we’re use to from Adafruit. Essentially, it is very important to make sure all the parts fit and the cutouts aren’t too tight for the parts. The wires themselves can be hidden by first unsoldering them from the coil before putting them back into their place upon attachment. The PCB can be placed on the back of the stand (screwed in place), with the USB ports facing towards the bottom for easy use.

Finally, all you need is to plug in the microUSB cable to an available power supply (a 5V port or a computer port) to take this amazingly cool stand into use. This must be the ultimate 3D printed accessory for any smartphone. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive