3D Printing

You Won’t Believe What This Student Did to Solve the Greatest Design Failure of the Modern Age

Dan Jones has a problem. Being a modern design student, he’s encumbered with a small living space and an unwieldy cell phone charger cord. And it was simply ruining his life. Thankfully, 3D printing is here to help.

Apart from being an emerging design talent, Dan is a textbook case of first world technological malaise. We may hold in our hand a device capable of accessing every bit of information in the entirety of modern history — so small that it can be… smuggled… into prisons — but that power comes at a price. A price that can leave users overwhelmed with the responsibility of owning it. It is a beast, it must be fed, and it must be fed often. At least until I ace every level on Peggle. So we feed our beast with a cord that delivers the sweet, juicy power that fuels our access to pictures of cute animals and the ability to snap inappropriate selfies. I’ll let you decide which is which.

cat selfie

Okay, real talk, power cords really do kind of suck. They are always in the way, wrapped around things that they shouldn’t be wrapped around and there is a special type of rage reserved only for that day when you had your phone plugged in all night but you neglected to make sure the cord was plugged into the wall. You mean I have to go a whole day my phone half-charged? When faced with such an annoyance, Dan used 3D printing to solve it in a clever way that suited a client of one. That’s kind of what 3D printing at home is supposed to be, right?

Dan Jones Cord Holder 3D Printed

Dan designed a wall mount to place around his wall socket, in SolidWorks, and printed it in PLA on a friend’s Ultimaker. The mount ingeniously allows Dan to wrap his power chord around the plug, snugly preventing it from being a workplace — or homeplace — hazard.

The fact that all of our devices need different cords to power them really is one of the greatest design failures of the modern age. It is a failure of tech companies that they don’t have a standard charger, and even worse it is an intentional failure. Ask yourself how much you paid for your last charger and then ask yourself again why the corporations that run tech companies don’t want to adapt a standard charger. It may not be a failure that costs people their lives, but it is a failure based on the basic premise of what technology is supposed to do for us — make our lives more convenient and simpler.

Dan’s simple and elegant solution to his own personal power cord problem is exactly why I am so drawn to 3D printing. Yes, the toys are nice. Yes, the fancy lasers and innovations are cool. Yes, watching3DS gobble up start-ups like I gobble up 3D-printed gummy bears is entertaining. But, ultimately, 3D printing promises a future where we’re not just stuck with the failings and greed of big business. It promises a future where we don’t need other people to customize our lives for us.

Please go visit Dan Jones’design blog and see how he made his power cord holder. It’s the least he deserves for being such a good sport about this post, but he also has a great blog full of some really awesome printed objects!

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