Cost Savings Using OpenJSCAD

Back in June I gave a talk at Big Sky Dev Con about using OpenJSCAD to make real things. I described how I got started with making, starting with implementing games and simple simulations as a kid, which evolved into coding apps for helping with my knot hobby which has lead to making interactive widgets using OpenJSCAD on my blog. I explained how quickly and easily interactive 3D widgets can be made using OpenJSCAD. Because it is so quick and easy to use, it can be a real cost saver, too.

Before the talk, my friend, Rob Irizarry, reached out with a great example of how it can be used. He needed help designing a simple plastic spacer so we could 3D print several of them. He had been working with Hoplite Industries, a Bozeman based cyber security company, which was in the process of mounting several power distribution units (PDUs) into their server racks. The racks needed special spacers that the PDUs mounted to. Hoplite was in need of several spacers and the only way to get them was to order expensive mounting kits. Since the spacers were the only pieces they needed out the kit, the cost would have come to $22.50 per plastic spacer. Here's a screenshot of the product page:

Mounting kit that included the needed spacers.

Mounting kit that included the needed spacers.

Rob came over and we took measurements with some calipers. I was able to quickly put together a design for him and print out a pile of them in exchange for some beers and an enjoyable evening with him and his cousin. It was so quick to design, in fact, that I coded up and printed another one during my 45 minute talk at Big Sky Dev Con (see below for the whole video). 

You can play with the OpenJSCAD widget below to customize your own. Or play with the code for it directly here. The full video of my Big Sky Dev Con talk is also below!