A Small, Quick, Useful Model, All Done In A Few Hours

A little while ago I downloaded a cable strain relief model from thingiverse.com: [U]https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:726678[/U]. I printed the right angle version, as I couldn’t see much utility to the straight version.

It worked OK, but would pop off too easily, and I felt that the right angle being the bottom of the Surface was the wrong way. I decided to create my own remix, using much thinner walls and, of course, having the right angle at the top.

I printed 2: 1 for me & 1 for my wife, as we both have Surface Pro 5’s. I printed them early last night, and then installed them. My wife wasn’t thrilled with the original one, but she says this one definitely works better. And, she likes that I printed them in orange (instead of black) because she can see hers better.

Also, as with my previous project, I created it 1st in F360 and then tried to duplicate the design in FCAD. Both were successful. The FCAD design took longer, again because it lacks the little ‘helper’ features like automatically finding the midpoint of lines, dimensioning while drawing, easier to use offset planes, more versatile cutting capabilities, and much better filleting. Most of all, in F360 all the design features appeared as expected. As @Geit has pointed out, sometimes FCAD, due to what I consider a flaw in its rendering engine, causes features to be misplaced in a model. This happened to me on this model. When I went to cut the retangular hole for the LED on the connector, it cause the first cable retention ‘tunnel’ to be moved to the side of the model. It took a while, trying different techniques, to get both features in the proper place at the same time.

Here are a few image captures from F360 & FCAD, plus a photo of the finished product:

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These 2 are from F360

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These 2 are from FCAD

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Finished product (printed from F360 design)

The walls are 1 mm thick (instead of the 2.5 mm of the thingiverse.com model). This makes it much more flexible for inserting the connector and cable. The LED hole is a little larger so it’s easier to see.

The “misplacing” happens when using faces to place sketch on. Using datum planes and offsets avoids that.

Also using external geometry like importing purple lines from other sketch is a problem as soon as you change a prior sketch for the same reason.

As long as you edit your way down the list everything is fine. Editing something in the “past” will change the naming of lines and edges and break the future. This is partly fixed with the 0.19 beta, but you may still run into trouble, so I always suggest to work around to be on the save side.

Hmmm, I believe I used datum planes for everything (as per your suggestion a little while ago). But, I did also used External Geometry. How else could I use previous sketches for reference?

Well, that is the issue. There is currently no secure way to work around this. The only way is to name measurements in the first sketch and use those named measurements to obtain curtain points in other sketches using the centre point as only global reference.

It’s been a long time since I did core OS developement. You are much more up to date. How much work do you suspect it would be to update the FCAD engine to use persistent naming?

Well, they main question is that they did think this is a good idea in the first place, was a bad idea. :smiley: Now with all the workbenches in place it is hard work to get the references right.

However, the realthunder version got a ton of fixes merely every day. https://github.com/realthunder/FreeC…eases/tag/0.11

You can see the change notes on that page, too.

“Fix sketch constraint renaming problem”, seems to be another big one, if it is the one I experience a lot. Happens that your names get replaced, so “BackFaceGrooveSketch.constrain_Diameter” gets converted back to “sketch123.constrain_Diameter”, which you can imagine is not nice when all links get replaced by that generic name and non of your sketches have the default naming, anymore.

As always, how something at the core affects downstream features holds up development. Nothing ever changes. This is a big one though. Unless it does get fixed, it’s going to really stifle future improvement.

Is there a way to update my current 0.19 release to incorporate the latest fixes?

RealThunder is actually one of the core developers. This repository there contains many bugfixes not yet added to the main 0.19 branch.

So, no way to add them to my install then, at least not without recompiling.

I have always three or four versions installed. Thanks to linux and appimages.

No installation required.

Very nicely done.

Here’s version 2. It’s lighter, easier to connect to the Surface, and fits the cable & connector better:

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Irv, if you want to print a cable saver for your Surface Go 2, I would use this one over the previous. I have attached a ZIP of the FCAD & STL files.

surfacepro3to7_cableSaver3.zip (433 KB)

Here’s a different version designed for the Surface Pro Dock’s connector (it’s a lot bigger & has a different shape from the regular connector). I designed it in Fusion 360. It’s printed in PETG @ 240C/80C & took around 40 min. I tried printing it in PLA, but it was too stiff & brittle.

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That looks like a good candidate for TPU though I have never been able to successfully print it.

Not sure about TPU – I’ve never used it. That said, PETG works really well: stiff enough but also flexible enough.

I’ve tried TPU but was never successful with it. It was some cheap Chinese stuff off Amazon which may have been part of the problem. I may try it again I have an extra printer that i could dedicate to it. I may try it again some rainy day when I’m bored

I printed alot with TPU recently and it is not that hard.

50% of the normal PLA speed, a modified temperature, disable supports (you won´t get support off anyway) and avoid a brim if possible. On glass you need a good amount of paper glue (UHU Stic) or the TPU won´t stick at all.

Works like a charm. I got a 800g spool for 18 Euro last year. TPU is lightweight, so 800g TPU is roughly the same length than 1KG of PLA.

Good to know about the weight difference (and the need for glue).

Don’t think I used glue when I was trying to print it. I’m going to fire up the Powerspec I3 and give it a try again. It has a direct drive extruder