Surface Mounted Push Buttons

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charles.yates
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:12 pm

Surface Mounted Push Buttons

Post by charles.yates » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:31 am

I've been trying to provide some surface mounted push buttons for my projects. I have an approach which works, but I'm unsure if there are better ways to do it.

The first type of button are these microswitches which I received erroneously in a banggood order (got a bag of 100 rather than the actually purchased filament I wanted :)).
microswitch.jpg
My attempt to surface mount them is currently just a bracket to hold the switch in place.
microswitch-bracket.jpg
The theory being that I can then merge these with the lid of my project and place the switches where I want them with everything printed in place.

The circular part of the switch sort of looks like this internally:

Code: Select all

xxxx ++++ xxxx <- surface
xxxx ++++ xxxx
xx   ++++   xx
xx   ++++   xx
xx ++++++++ xx
xx ++++++++ xx
xx   ++++   xx
xx   ++++   xx
xx   ++++   xx
xxxx ++++ xxxx
bb          bb <- button goes here
bb          bb
The theory being that there is room for a small drop in the + part, and this is, in turn, pushed up by the white button on the microswitch unless pushed down (iyswim).

It's very tight and currently tuned to print at 0.3mm layers (haven't tried lower, but suspect it should be fine) - as in the ascii art, it consists of 10 layers and theoretically allows a maximum drop of 4 layers (but this is of course less so the movement of the inner cylinder is barely perceptible - when the button is in place, you hear the satisfying click of the switch when you press on the circle).

Vaguely planning to extend this mechanism to other types of switches but wondered if anyone had any advice on the approach.

I've attached an STL of the bracket if anyone wants to slice it and check it out in more detail. Someone printing and taking a photo would be nice, but without the corresponding switch, it's fundamentally useless :) (well, it's useless with it too, but at least I get that nice click :D).

I should have space to further mount a button on top to make it less subtle, but as a starting point, this seemed pretty good to me. There maybe better ways to handle it? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Attachments
cleanup (repaired).stl
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willnewton
Posts: 474
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:32 pm

Re: Surface Mounted Push Button

Post by willnewton » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:56 pm

I immediately thought of one-piece Ninjaflex/Semiflex buttons. Then you would not need the free floating pin. Also, you would get some moisture protection if you required it, since there would be no holes or seams and the potential for a good seal to your panel. Maybe not water-proof, but splash resistant.

I have built control panels for home brewing, so I am coming at it from that aspect.

xxx +++++ xxx
xxx +++++ xxx
xxx +++++ xxx
x +++++++++ x
x +++++++++ x
x---bbbbbb---x
x---bbbbbb---x

Also, you could simplify your design to something like this. This would allow for different colors or filaments and also let your button sit flush, recessed, or protruding.

Not much wrong with what you have already if it is working for you.
I'm finally back to where I started two days ago!

A thread with some stuff in it I update every once in a while. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9
See some of my stuff http://www.thingiverse.com/willnewton/about

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jimc
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Location: mullica, nj
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Re: Surface Mounted Push Buttons

Post by jimc » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:40 am

funny I was reading this thinking that ninjaflex or semiflex would work great as a one piece button. I scrolled down and there it was. will beat me to it :lol:

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willnewton
Posts: 474
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:32 pm

Re: Surface Mounted Push Buttons

Post by willnewton » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:10 pm

Yeah Jim, once you use that stuff, you start looking at builds a little differently. Ninjaflex is one of those filaments that opens a lot of possibilities, as long as you stay in it's limits. I enjoy getting to use it.
I'm finally back to where I started two days ago!

A thread with some stuff in it I update every once in a while. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9
See some of my stuff http://www.thingiverse.com/willnewton/about

charles.yates
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:12 pm

Re: Surface Mounted Push Buttons

Post by charles.yates » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:05 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. The filament certainly sounds interesting - will have to see if I can source some of that :).

I've kinda left the button thing for now and am focussing on a couple of other (parametric) components - battery holder and a solderless approach to wiring up the switch and that seems to be working well:
2016-03-15 20.28.16.jpg
2016-03-15 19.32.24.jpg
Provides a hokey, but functional, laser pointer (there probably should be a little more to the electronics of the laser, but this project isn't the goal - it's the reusable/customisable parts which I'm interested in here).

I do really like the way the switch is wired up here - once the wires are inserted into the sides of the lower bracket and the switch pushed down, the connections are reasonably robust... wire trimming and case needed of course :).

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