Design of the Week: VGA Plug for Apple Lightning Cable

By on May 2nd, 2022 in Design, news

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Lightning cable or VGA cable ? [Source: Printables]

This week’s selection is the VGA Plug for Apple Lightning Cable by Printables contributor dmeeze.

What exactly is this? It’s a customized shroud that you would place on top of your regular Lightning cable.

Why on Earth would you do this? It makes the cable look very much like a standard VGA cable. VGA cables connect PCs to old-style monitors, and are gradually falling into disuse. In other words, a quick glance at a Lightning cable equipped with this design would appear to be a highly undesirable old connector cable.

That could prevent theft in some cases. On the other hand, it does raise some suspicions in those who have more technical knowledge of historical cables.

dmeeze designed the item based on a strange tweet. They explain:

“Inspired by the viral tweet, modelled by me and printed by you, this VGA cable cover for your Apple Lightning cable is just what your inner 90s kid needs.

Included is a Fusion 360 parametric model so you can change the cable plug size (height, width, depth), the “neck” of the cable diameter and the cable diameter itself. You could even use it for a real VGA plug, i guess, killing the meme immediately.”

And here is that viral tweet:

Twitter user Elissa found a manufactured product that performs this function, inevitably in a Japanese market. The original product, “VGA Head for Lightning Cable” was apparently discontinued.

Two parts for the 3D printed VGA cable cover [Source: Printables]

Designer dmeeze decided to replace the missing item with a 3D printable version. The new design is a two-part piece that clips onto the cable from two sides. It will require superglue to bond them together, so it is a kind of permanent solution.

There are a couple of interesting variations of this concept, both at Printables.

Fake 3D printed VGA cable with real bolts [Source: Printables]

The first, by contributor A_Very_Brave_Taco, changes the tightening knobs. Instead of printing them, the idea is to steal them from an actual VGA cable. That’s easy to do, they just screw all the way out. They can be threaded into the fake VGA clip and it looks even more realistic.

3D printed VGA cable cover for USB-C connector [Source: Printables]

The other variation is by contributor Sc0tty, who modified the design to handle a standard Apple USB-C charging / data cable. This would be useful for a much wider range of devices, including this game controller:

Fake 3D printed VGA cable to a game controller [Source: Printables]

There used to be a day when I could mostly recognize different cable types by eye. That day, unfortunately, seems to have passed away.

Via Printables, Printables and Printables

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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