The great thing about having a 3D printer and open source CAD software is the ability to make accomplishing projects easier. In short, I had some electrical conduit to run and I wanted to mount it along a steel structural I-beam in CubicleLabs. I found some clamps that would work but they were too expensive and I didn’t particularly care for them.
My solution was to design and install my own clamping system. I am not sure how useful this solution is for anyone but me but none the less. I have shared it with the world wide web.
How it Started
The west-bay are of my building doesn’t have any outlets which is highly inconvenient. My plan was to run 3/4 inch conduit with two 20 Amp circuits. Looking at my options, I really didn’t like the idea of drilling a bunch of holes in the rather thick outer, metal, skin of the building and I certainly wasn’t going to punch any holes in the structural beams to supports some wires.
When researching components for clamps, I didn’t particularly care for any of the options. They were either too expensive or they looked like an unnecessary amount of work to do a simple thing. I then decided, that I am going to just design and 3D print my own solution in ABS plastic.
The initial idea was that I would use a screw to secure the clamp into the I-beam by creating additional pressure but I ultimately decided to just reduce the throat size of the clamp.
The great thing about this design is that it is easily adjusted to accommodate for different sizes of conduit or different materials to clamp onto. This is making me think about how I could potentially use this to clean up some of the other conduit mounting in CubicleLabs. I am super happy with how it has turned out and how it looks.
I ended up only needing one every 5ft. Any more than that was unnecessary. I originally intended on installing one every two feet but quickly established it provided no benefit.
I can also comment on the fact that printing these clamps at 25% infill was strong enough to support a 10ft stick of PVC conduit dangling as I am installing the pieces together. The strength and flexibility of 3D printed ABS is far better than I anticipated.
Using FreeCAD Real Thunder edition from the Snap store on my openSUSE Tumbleweed machine, I took to designing this part. It’s quite a simple design, perhaps not perfect but it does the job with exceeding satisfaction.
Files can be downloaded from Thingiverse. The FreeCAD source file is included here so, if you can possibly use this for something, it is available for modification. I am not sure for what other uses it would have but varying the throat size will allow for different sized things to clamp onto.
I am incredibly happy with how this turned out. It was less expensive than the commercial offerings, installs easier and looks a lot cleaner. I will be using this as a base model for some other work I intend on doing to make the conduit run in CubicleLabs look much better and far more secure.
3D printers combined with CAD software is exceedingly awesome.