Adventures in 3D Printering – All Charged Up

We love our MakerBot Replicator 2 at Maniacal Labs HQ but eventually you get tired of printing off Portal Companion Cubs, Tardiss (Tardii?), gears, etc. It’s actually a lot more fun to create things that solve a real problem!

I recently got a new Nexus 5 phone and Nexus 7 tablet, both of which have the ability to utilize wireless charging pads. Since I’m lazy, this sounded like a good idea (I know, first world problem). The official Nexus wireless charging pad is $50, which seemed a bit excessive for what you get, so I found another from Amazon for $20 less. It works great but I wanted to be able to charge my devices while having them propped up at my desk, so they can still be useful. This called for a custom stand that held the charge and the device at an angle. I’d never designed anything near this complicated, but it seemed like a good time to learn how!

Queue 123D Design. Not being a professional at these things, I can’t really afford the fancy tools for such things, but I’ve found that 123D Design does a good job (though keyboard shortcuts would be welcome). A lot of caliper use, 2D sketching, and extruding later I wound up with this:

Nexus Wireless Charger Stand Design

Nexus Wireless Charger Stand Design

Not bad if I say so myself 🙂 But, first, a test print to check the sizing!


I made this quick little frame to make sure the charger would fit perfectly and it was a good thing I did because the hole was slightly too large and the corner radius was too small. Oops. Good thing too; the test print only took about 5 minutes whereas the full stand would take over 6 hours! Always to test fit prints!

So 6 hours later, I had an awesome little wireless charging stand.

The charging pad fits snugly into the recessed slot and includes a strain relief groove for the USB cable on the back.

It should work with other Qi Wireless compatible devices, depending on their size and placement of the charging coil. The bottom of the pad is situated 20mm from the bottom edge of the device and it should fit device with case, up to 14mm thick.

Mine, is definitely not the first wireless charging stand I’ve found but I could not find one for this specific charger. You can find the 123D Design and STL files over on Thingiverse. Any suggestions for updates are welcomed. If you don’t have a 3D printer and want one of these stands, let us know, we just might print one for you!

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