3D printed wire twister

If you’re building a machine that uses steppers and moves around a lot, you’re going to want to twist wire pairs together. I designed a 3D printable wire twister that uses Wago lever nuts to hold the wire without requiring any tools. It works for 24-12 gauge wires.

There are two main pieces- a fixed clamp and a spinning clamp that you put into your electric drill/screwdriver. If you have a bench vise, the fixed clamp isn’t really needed- I’d just snap the wires into a Wago and hold the Wago in the vise.

Full info and link to CAD stp file is here.

Video here.

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Suggested feature:

For power screwdriver use, make the bit for the spinning end fit standard 1/4" drive.

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I made it an 8mm hex because I was afraid a 1/4" shaft wouldn’t hold up well, especially if you twist thicker, stiffer wires. As the wire twists tighten, I think the shear forces on the layers in the shaft combined with the tensile force of pulling the wires tight as you twist them would snap a 1/4" shaft very quickly. I was actually tempted to go all the way to 12 mm but decided that it might be impractically large for many people who might use it. OTOH, it seems like most of the power tool companies’ consumer products are almost all 1/2" capacity, so maybe I should have gone larger.

Or maybe redesign it to fit on a steel shaft. That would transfer the sheer forces from the shaft to the body of the tool that could be made larger in diameter without worrying about whether it fits in a drill/screwdriver. You’d have a problem with the shaft trying to chew up the plastic.

All this time I’ve just been chucking one end straight into my drill, holding the other end by hand (or clamp/vice/tape for long sets) and cutting off the damaged bit like a Neanderthal.

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I used to do that, too. Trying to strip the wires after twisting messes up the twist. I use a lot of teflon insulated wire and it used to slip out of the drill chuck when I put tension on the wires. If I clamped it hard enough not to slip, it messed up the insulation.

With the Wagos, you strip the wires first, then twist and the wires are ready to be soldered or crimped and the twist stays neat.

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