Bring order and stability to your Maker country and get those lounging around resistors into an appropriate 3D printed nifty little resistor storage box.

Quite some time ago I ordered five E12 series resistors that I received in a plethora of plastic bags. One plastic bag for every resistor value. And since there are 12 resistors in each series, I had 60 plastic bags with resistors ranging from 10 Ohm to 820 kOhm lying around. That is the antitheses of orderliness and usability.

Browsing Thingiverse I came across this nice little resistor storage box.

Storage box and drawer STL

Each box has 12 drawers to hold all resistors from one E12 series. Printing five (actually six with a test print) boxes and 60(!) drawers was a lengthy process.

Resistor storage boxes and drawers

The result is ok. Though deliberately choosing a low print quality for the drawers (=less printing time) combined with warped backsides of the boxes required some reworking with a cutter blade and sanding paper. I use super glue to stack the boxes on top of each other and put the resistors into their drawers.

Putting resistors into their drawers

The drawers have a 17x6mm cavity at the front that can be used as a label field. Labeling the drawers is mandatory since there is not much sense in putting resistors into drawers without knowing which resistor has which resistance… Drawer label fieldUnless, of course, you like to compare the color rings with a resistor color table. It would be an interesting idea to build a simple Arduino-based auto-ranging ohmmeter and attach it to the top or bottom of the storage box phalanx; note to self for a later project. A label writer with 6mm tapes helps in creating and easily attaching the labels. Another solution would be to print, cut, and glue the labels. Hand writing might be an option, or you could even 3D print the labels which would be yet another fine Sisyphean task.

Now that the drawers have been labeled and all resistors are stored in their according drawer we have to think about where to place the resistors. When simply put on a table it will be hard to read the resistances of the drawers at the bottom of the stack of boxes. Moreover, the drawers can easily be pushed and pulled which is good for accessing the resistors but bad if the stack of boxes is jerked and the drawers start to slide out by themselves. Or, even worse, the box gets knocked over and spills all resistors on the table and floor. In order to properly read the labels I would like to attach the stack of boxes to the wall at eye level. And I want the boxes to be slightly tilted upwards so the drawers will not slide out by themselves.

Let’s create a wall mount with SketchUp!

Resistor box wall mount 1

Resistor box wall mount 2

You can download the STL file here. The next picture shows the box holder screwed to the wall. The holder looks distorted but this is due to the chosen perspective for the photography.

Resistor box wall mount

Finally, the stack of resistor boxes is super glued to the holder. Major achievement: “order and stability in our [resistor] country.”

Resistor box on wall mount

“Resistance is futile!”

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