3D Printer ROV External Power Adapter



This describes my approach to powering the OpenROV at my desktop with an external power supply using a 3D printer to generate most of the physical parts.

While working with the ROV out of the water I wanted to power it externally other than from its batteries. A 3D printer allowed me to design and print a battery adapter to connect an external 12V power supply to the power leads of the ROV.

The Sketchup model and STL files can be found here on Thingiverse:



  • 3D Printed
  1. 9 20mm spacers
  2. 1 inner end cap plug (negative terminal)
  3. 1 outer end cap plug
  4. 1 terminal clamp (positive terminal)
  • 1 set of “AA” standard battery terminals (spring and plate)
  • 2 60cm pieces of wire capable of 12V @ 3A


  1. Print out all 11 3D items
  2. Construct adapter tube (Negative terminal)
    1. Tape 9 spacers together to create a 180mm tube
    2. Insert one wire (negative) through tube and through inner end cap plug
    3. Solder flat battery terminal to wire coming through inner end cap plug
    4. Push flat battery terminal into inner end cap so that it sits flush
    5. Insert inner end cap into 180mm tube
    6. Slide outer end cap plug over wire coming out of tube
    7. Glue or tape outer end cap plug to tube
    8. Construct positive terminal clamp
      1. Inert positive wire through hole in the side of the terminal clamp
      2. Solder spring terminal to wire
      3. Attach soldered terminal to clamp with hot glue


  1. Remove all batteries from ROV battery tubes
  2. Insert adapter tube into either battery tube
  3. Push down adapter tube so that it fits snugly in battery tube
  4. With adapter pushed down place a piece of tape over the top it so that it does not become loose and fall out
  5. Attach terminal clamp to ROV’s positive terminal lead
  6. Attach wire to sufficient 12V power supply

- Marcus


Nice! This a slick solution :D Here at the HQ we just have buckets of batteries, We should be getting a 3D printer soon so I'm excited to be able to efficiently power the ROV. Thanks for posting this!