While coming up with a soccer goal design, I realized that the pieces I was using to create the soccer goal could be used in multiple types of projects.
Originally, I was trying to solve a problem my family has with soccer goals. Almost all of my kids play soccer so there’s always a goal up in our yard but it doesn’t collapse down well at all. I wanted to create a soccer goal that fully collapsed flat and can hang on the garage wall.
6. Conduit and 3D Printing Projects
1.Conduit and 3D Printing
I started with cheap conduit from the hardware store and my intention was to 3D print fittings for it to connect together and spike into the ground. I realized that those 3D fittings could be used for any additional things to be made with the conduit.
Using Fusion 360, I was able to model out the soccer goal as a whole but then I was also able to model all of the 3D printed fittings I would need. When you’re creating something in Fusion, you need to have as many real world measurements as possible. Using digital calipers, I was able to get the measurements I needed. The best part of taking these measurements and putting the parameters into Fusion is that if I change conduit sizes, I can quickly change the parameters in Fusion.
3.3D Printed Fittings
I started by sketching out the post that would fit perfectly into the conduit. I added a through hole so I could put a bolt through to tie the conduit and post together. Once the post was finalized I was able to design the different pieces that would go on the post to fit in the conduit. I started by creating the spike for the front and a loop for the spike to go through to lock it together. Next, I created the hinges for the top and the back so I modeled one that would work for both places.
Once the hinge was printed and working was when I ultimately realized that this could be used for so many different things – the possibilities are honestly endless. We could create a system of objects that could all connect to conduit and end up being projects way cooler and bigger than just a collapsible soccer goal.
While I continued to work on the soccer goal, my design grew and changed based on neighborhood inspiration. I realized I was going to need a gusset to hold both sides into place. Since I already created the base for the conduit, I could quickly create a new connector to 3D print for the gusset. Using 50% infill I created a snap on connector that can hold the gusset in place but also snap off to fully collapse the soccer goal.
5. Cutting Conduit
Once all the connecters were 3D printed, I moved on to prepping the conduit. Using a pipe bender with angle markings, Meighan and I bent the conduit into the shape of the soccer goal. Using a bandsaw, I trimmed down the conduit to the right size before connecting it with the 3D printed fittings. After that, I cut two equal length pieces of conduit for the gussets. To finish it out, I zip tied a replacement soccer net to the goal.
6. Conduit and 3D Printing Projects
Using this same 3D printed post, we could build anything we wanted onto the end so we could use conduit for all sorts of other projects. I challenged some of the team to come up with other ideas that could use the same conduit and post for the 3D fittings system. Anthony created a huge light stand to use while we’re shooting. He made feet for the pipes, a knuckle to adjust a boom arm – all 3D printed.
Meighan came up with a decorative magazine holder using 90 degree fittings to connect the conduit together.
The soccer goal works exactly as I imagined it would and collapses so easily. Using the conduit and 3D printing, Meighan and Anthony were inspired to create super different and awesome ideas. What could you do with the same things? Let me know!
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- Glowforge (laser)
- X-Carve (CNC)
- Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printer
- Ultimaker 3
- Original Prusa i3 MK 3
- Form1+ SLA 3D printer
- Silhouette Portrait (vinyl cutter)
- All filaments, 3d printing supplies from MatterHackers