3D Print a Home Automation Switch

If you are the kind of person who won’t use cheap Sonoff modules to control AC powered devices, we don’t blame you and you should probably stop reading now. However, if you don’t mind a little exposed AC wiring and you have a 3D printer, you might be interested in the second generation of [530 Project’s] in-wall light switch.

The 3D printed switch fits a standard box and uses the guts of a Sonoff controller. These work with all the popular ecosystems such as Alexa and Google Home. And they are cheap. Like, really cheap. If you already have a 3D printer, even counting the cost of the filament these are going to be a small fraction of the cost of a commercial switch. You can see a video about the device, below.

Of course, for the price you pay for a TP-Link or other WiFi switch, you get a store to return it to, certain assurances that it won’t burn your house down, and — you know — someone to sue if it does. Those are probably all good things, but on the other hand, there are plenty of these modules around and assuming you know what you are doing, there is no reason to think they are going to explode, cause sterility, or any other bad things.

This is the second version of the Sonoff switch and it uses the switch built into the Sonoff for the local activation. Even if you are afraid of the AC line current, you might find a use for the clever toggle actuator [530 Project] put in the design.

If it makes you feel better, you can see a factory tour — these aren’t coming out of someone’s garage. You’ve probably noticed that since these Sonoff devices have ESP8266s inside, they are highly hackable. In fact, he has some custom firmware he uses with the switch. Among other things, it lets you trigger a reset by holding down the switch.

15 thoughts on “3D Print a Home Automation Switch

  1. “Of course, for the price you pay for a TP-Link or other WiFi switch, you get a store to return it to, certain assurances that it won’t burn your house down, and — you know — someone to sue if it does.”

    Assurances one’s insurance will not decline a claim.

    1. This is what i logged in to post.

      If this causes a fire that burns down your house, **your insurance will not pay one cent for the damages**.

      Sad thing is I guess renters who have no savings will still do it. They don’t lose anything if the property is destroyed and you can’t sue them for what they don’t have.

      1. Why would the insurance not pay?
        What if you were soldering and somehow something caught on fire – insurance would cover it.
        What if you created something that overheated and started a fire – insurance would cover it.
        I think that the insurance will cover it, unless they can prove arson…

        1. Read your insurance policy. If your electrical component doesn’t meet the safety standards of your area (UL for much of the would, CSA in Canada), the policy doesn’t cover any loss caused by the uncertified device.

          In looking this up just to double check, I also found that in some jurisdictions though not everywhere, you are criminally liable if anyone is injured or killed if you install components that aren’t safety certified.

          An accident when you’re soldering or cooking for that matter is not remotely the same as installing equipment that fails in a way that causes a fire. Homebrew circuitry has no place in an electrical system.

          1. This is why I’m fond of using “remote” fobs and a UL listed wireless controls. The chance of disastrous failure mode is very slim (the only one I could think of would be if the switch is switched on and off at high speed until it fails in some odd way). A literal firewall.

          2. “Homebrew circuitry has no place in an electrical system.”

            Given what I have seen on this site over the years I wouldn’t make such broad statements. For ANYTHING that can be done, someone here can do it. Most of our homebrew circuitry does not belong in an electrical system but no doubt somebody here has every applicable UL and CSA code memorized and is capable of producing items that not only fit all codes but are safer than the stuff we buy in the stores.

            The rest of us just need to realize that we are not that person (yet) and everything will be ok!

          1. So now you’re surprised that people who didn’t read the agreement don’t know why the insurance company doesn’t have to pay out?

            I want to say that the ignorant get what they deserve, which I would have thought would be a common sentiment here. But you make it sound like I excepted too much of the users at HaD. You’re saying here’s people a place for people smart enough to homebrew their own IoT light switches and yet not smart enough to read their own insurance policy. It’s really just sad if true.

    1. It will meet specs as far as containing all connections inside a junction box, but even using a normal switch that is not UL certified will not meet the building code and void your insurance.

  2. The problem with most of the current ESP based devices (e.g. Sonoff) is that they do not have UL certification. Without it insurance underwriters can deny a claim if they determine a device installed was the root cause of a fire. That goes for both the people owning and renting properties.

    Even if it does have certification I still do not trust Chinese relays.

    1. actually chinese product specially relays are getting way better, though sonoff quality is due to it very low cost, but it can hold on half the proclaim capacity lol, but there is other Chinese product are very good and expending to the European market. Certified products also

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