Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all. Fairly new to the forums but thought I'd share a DIY I've been having some fun with lately.

Tools:
Drill
Wire strippers
Electrical tape
Bare hands!

Materials:
3D printed dock
USB female socket
Phone charging cable

The project came about because I wanted a place to put my phone in the car where it could charge and not rattle around all the time. I know there are clip on style ones available for vents/windscreen but decided to try come up with something a little neater/integrated with the car.

My idea was to integrate a charger and dock into the existing removable cup holder "divider" in the center console. So basically design a new "divider" to hold a phone and charge cable.



Initial concept of how the phone would "sit" within the console



Rough orientation the phone will sit in relation to the divider



Measured up OEM divider with some calipers, measured up the phone and this is what I came up with! First cut of the design in solid works



You can make out the charging pin below. Integrating it with the dock was a small project in itself!



First prototype 3d printed - a few clearance issues which were sorted out in rev 2



Close-up - you can make out the charging pin. Turned out to be a bit of a challenge to integrate the pin with the main body but got there in the end.



Pulling apart the center console trim to run the wiring. Coming from a euro car I love how easy it is to pull these cars apart!

Console trim removed first. Wiring disconnected from switches for ease of access to remaining trim



Shifter surround trim removed.





Small piece of trim adjacent to the cigarette lighter removed, required small amount of force



Pulling apart the cigarette lighter trim - this is where we will tap the power from.



Tapping the cigarette lighter plug



Now for the slightly scary bit - drilling a hole in the console for the USB outlet! A Christmas tree bit is perfect for this kind of thing but unfortunately I didn't have one on hand. Had to physically grind most of it with a dremel - didn't have any drill bits large enough.



Usb outlet installed directly underneath "divider" to keep out of view.



All wired up. Inline fuse installed b/w USB and lighter also. I routed the wiring to the right of the shifter and followed the path of the OEM wiring with a few zip ties. All in all pretty easy



And done! I'm relatively happy with the results. Nice easy place to put the phone without it getting in the way of anything and looks OEMish. The show unit can be disconnected easily for future removal, basically goes in/out the same as the OEM divider. The only issue is its printed out of pla which get soft around 50 deg, quite likely to be a summer issue! Will see how it goes anyway - I can always get it reprinted in ABS which has a much higher heat resistance. Enjoy!







 

·
2015 Corolla LE
Joined
·
507 Posts
I have to agree. Good idea. Was it available or did you design it? It looks like it would only fit a few phone models, but looks and I assume it works great! 3D printing has endless possibilities. There are many applications for cars interiors and exteriors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have to agree. Good idea. Was it available or did you design it? It looks like it would only fit a few phone models, but looks and I assume it works great! 3D printing has endless possibilities. There are many applications for cars interiors and exteriors.
Haha thanks! Yes I designed it myself. Based it around the iPhone 5c but I'm sure the 5 and 5s would fit also. Now basis of the design is complete it would actually be quite easy to change a few key dimensions to fit any other phone model! That's what I love about 3d printing, its makes design/manufacturing so customisable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Nicely done! Did you or will you publish the STL and/or source file somewhere online?

Also, did you print in ABS or PLA? I've read "bad" stories of melting PLA in car, just wanted to know if it was a real concern.


I've been looking online for info on how to remove the console part near the accessory plug for a while now and this is perfect.
Thanks a LOT for the photos!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Nicely done! Did you or will you publish the STL and/or source file somewhere online?

Also, did you print in ABS or PLA? I've read "bad" stories of melting PLA in car, just wanted to know if it was a real concern.


I've been looking online for info on how to remove the console part near the accessory plug for a while now and this is perfect.
Thanks a LOT for the photos!
Anyone interested in the STL file to print the part shoot me a pm. Pla gets soft around 50 deg C which is close to what a car will reach in summer. Abs has much higher heat resistance so is the material of choice!

For anyone looking to learn how to remove trim these cars are actually quite forgiving. All trim can be pulled apart by hand and its easy to figure out as you go without any guides, don't be afraid to use a little force. No screws, everythings held by clips. The plastic is very tough and hard to break. The only trickier bit is the trim surrounding the cigarette lighter. You really need to remove the blank switch "plugs" on the trim. Slide a butter knife (or another sharpish tool, carful not to marr the plastic) around and edge of the plugs and lever out. You can then grab the trim and is much easier to remove.

 

·
Stupendous TN Member
2015 Corolla LE Eco
Joined
·
415 Posts
This is really great! Awesome DIY. I don't know much about 3d printing, but was this a cheap mod? Like if we used, for example, that abs material to print the dock?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This is really great! Awesome DIY. I don't know much about 3d printing, but was this a cheap mod? Like if we used, for example, that abs material to print the dock?
ABS plastic is one of the most common materials in 3d printing and is fairly cheap. The main body from memory cost around $30 to print.

For anyone new to 3d printing this is a basic idea of how it works:

Design the part with CAD software > produce an "STL" extension file of the design (industry standard format) > find a 3d print service to produce the part > 3d print service sends the part to you

The hardest part is actually producing the design itself as you need be familiar with CAD software. The actual 3d printing process is generally fairly easy

This is a good website to check out and explore if you're new to the industry:

https://www.shapeways.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
This is about ~1-2$ worth of ABS at most if you have your own 3d printer.
Only costly part is the printer itself! You'll need one capable of doing ABS, which is ~$500 for a usable RepRap kit.

You should look at www.3dhubs.com for some local places that can print your parts. Some of them have super cheap prices since they are run by a single hobbyist. I'd start a hub if I had the time and my printer output was where I want it to be :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This is about ~1-2$ worth of ABS at most if you have your own 3d printer.
Only costly part is the printer itself! You'll need one capable of doing ABS, which is ~$500 for a usable RepRap kit.

You should look at www.3dhubs.com for some local places that can print your parts. Some of them have super cheap prices since they are run by a single hobbyist. I'd start a hub if I had the time and my printer output was where I want it to be :).
Yep that's another great website. If your in a major city chances are there will be a 3d printer within a few miles!

Your right the material is quite cheap so when printing your basically paying a fee for the machine time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I've actually had a few people ask for a bit more detail on the trim removal so here it is. Honestly its not scary at all and there is little risk you'll break anything. But hopefully this gives people a little more confidence to have some fun with interior mods!

Step 1.
Remove "cupholder trim" surround. Grasp the rear of the trim as shown and pull vertically. This will only disconnect the rear of the trim. Don't try and remove it completely just yet.


Step 2.
Repeat at the front end of the trim piece. Here you are only looking to just loosen the clips fixing the trim in place, don't expect to move it much just yet.


Step 3.
You'll notice the silver bezel around the shifter is now slightly raised due to the movement of the cupholder trim. Youll now be able to get your fingers underneath it. Grasp it at the rear and pull upwards to remove.



Step 4.
You can now fully remove the cupholder surround trim. Grasp at the front and pull upwards. If you have switches in the trim you can now access the underside to disconnect the wiring plugs. The trim will still be attached to the handbrake gator but the gator can be removed easily enough from the handbrake . It just slides over the top and can be pulled off with a little wriggling.


Step 5.
Loosen the shifter surround trim. Grasp it at the rear and pull upwards to dis-engauge the clips holding it in place.


Step 6.
There is a small piece of trim on the drivers side and just below the cigarette lighter trim. From the bottom end of the trim, grasp and pull towards you to disengauge the clips. It helps to the get your fingernails in the gap where it meets the surrounding trim (red circle) and pull.



Step 6.
We can now remove the shifter surround trim. To disengage the last remaining clips located adjacent the cigarette lighter pull towards you. You'll notice the shifter will now be blocking removal of the trim. Start the car, move the shifter out of the way and pull the trim free. At this point I would disconnect the battery in preparation for any electrical work you'll be doing.


Step 7.
Remove the cigarette lighter trim. Easiest way I found is to remove the blank switch "plugs". It will then be easier for you to grasp the trim to remove. Use a trim removal tool (or a butter knife, but be careful not to mark trim) to leaver out the plugs.


Step 8.
Grasp the cigarette lighter trim and pull towards you to remove. You can now remove the electrical plug to the lighter and access power supply wiring. I tapped the lighter power supply by cutting the plug off completely, stripping back both lead ends, and recombining with 2 new leads. I used crimps but if you're handy with solder and heat shrink that is the way to go. I then wrapped with a liberal amount of electrical tape to keep everything looking clean and OEMish. Note that the cigarette lighter negative is the white cable with black stripe.




Step 9.
Your now done! Crack a cold one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ok, I've had few pm's recently from people interested in getting these printed. What I've suggested is doing a bulk print, and sending out the docks as a kit with all the parts needed for the DIY (USB outlet, USB charging cable, wiring, crimps, fuse etc). If anyone else is interested let me know and I'll add you to the list. Once I have some numbers I'll work out how much the print will cost us. Keep in mind the design is based on the iPhone 5/5s/5c but if enough people are interested in other phone models it wouldn't be too hard to tweak the design.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top