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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Kocur

Practical 3D Printing: Get Organized Using a 3D Printer

Intro: Practical 3D Printing

Every New Years, one of my goals always seems to be about becoming become more organized in my day to day life. It doesn't always go as planned in all areas of my day, however I've gotten much better at good home office organization. The best part? I've used 3D printing to do it!

I decided to scour the internet for the best 3D printable models that can help me get organized, and thought I would share the top ones that I've found. Several of these relate to keeping my 3D printing supplies organized, but there are a few here that just generally help around the house as well.


 

Parts Storage Trays



Storage trays are a staple accessory for me. As I get further along with more complicated 3D printing or electronics projects, I need something to help keep all of the small bits where the can easily be found. Even better than that, these trays are great for improving your overall organization for home projects, crafts, or nearly anything you can imagine where small parts are important.

This design is by walter from Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:796504

I've printed several of them and store them in a drawer with labels on the lids. Here's one I recently started with various small screws.

There are all kinds of designs out there for these type of items, so you're bound to find something that works for your specific need. Some of them are stackable too, so printing a few and putting parts in there can completely revitalize that old mess of a junk drawer in to a more organized pile of junk!

Organization trays are also an excellent project for beginner 3D designers if you'd like to make a custom one. Simple square & rectangular shapes make it very easy to work with in even the simplest of 3D design tools.


 

Allen Wrench Organizers

Anyone with a 3D printer probably has at least a few hex wrenches on-hand for various fixes. Even though I purchased myself a nice set with a case, I sill somehow tend to find myself with extras.

While a larger case to fit all of them is a simple project and nice to have, I really like this design by babbey. (on Thingiverse at: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1466138) It's simple and as you can see on the model page, it's a small holder that can mount directly to the printer. This lets you keep all of your common-use Allen wrenches handy!


 

Desktop Organizers


There are plenty of options out there for various desktop organizers of all shapes and sizes. I've tried to use several store-bought ones before, but they don't quite fit all of my needs. With the custom options made available from 3D printing, it's not too difficult to go out there and find one (or create one!) that fits your needs perfectly.

I ended up not keeping this file since it turned out kind of ugly (function first on this bad-boy!). I hope to redesign it in the near future and if I do, I'll make sure to update this article with a post containing a link to download it. In the end though, This was perfect to keep some things I use regularly on-hand and easily available.

Here are a few other favorites I've found that show the versatility you might see when searching for a desktop organizer. Much more exciting than what you could find in a store:

  • Modular, Super Mario themed organizer by paul_nowotny : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2092663

  • Recycle old filament spools with this design by maxistar: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3086061

  • A fairly traditional organizer, updated to have a phone charging dock by GuessyGames : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2710888


 

SD Card Cases

I take a lot of photos and videos, and I hate to ever get rid of anything. Sure, I might be a digital hoarder, but at least I'm getting to be an organized digital hoarder. Not to mention, it's easy to lose SD cards since they're so small, so having a dedicated space for them along with properly labeling them can go a very long way to ensure that photos and videos don't go missing.



I recently printed a great travel case. It's small enough to easily pack in my travel bag, but large enough to not get lost. Not to mention it's extremely robust so my SD cards will be protected no matter what happens.

Model by caryq627 on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1619362


 

Gaming Accessory Stands

My office is pretty limited when it comes to available space. In order to keep it form looking like a complete disaster area, I'm doing my best to designate everything with a 'home'. not only am I a PC gamer, but I also have a Nintendo Switch set up. With multiple gamepad controllers needing a space, I wasn't quite sure what to do. Usually the 3 controllers I have in rotation would end up tossed on my desk somewhere, ending up in the way and just adding to the overall cluttered look.

After a little searching on Thingiverse, I came across the solution to my problem. Not just one solution, but plenty of options! I'm talking about controller stands.

The model I personally use is by TheSkinkWorx (found at: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1618293) and while it says it's for Xbox One controllers, I've found that it works perfectly for my need to hold both Xbox 360 and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers.


It seems like a simple thing, but keeping these controllers up off the desk and organized in one place has been a good contributor to reducing my overall clutter. Another thing I like about this model is that it's modular. It's possible to print a single stand for one controller, or as many as you'd like and link them together.


 

Bathroom Organizer

3D printing isn't just great for organizing tools and gadgets. There are opportunities all around the house to use a 3D printer to get organized.

One of my favorite original designs is a custom bathroom cotton ball and q-tip organizer. This item is only partially 3D printed. It originally started out as a store-bought item that started to fall apart.

There was a metal base and lid that got tarnished and just looked terrible. instead of going out and buying a new one, I decided to fix what we had by using my 3D printer.



All I had to do was remove and clean the main storage compartment of the container, and then designed and printed a lid and base. I used Hatchbox Wood PLA filament, and I think it turned out nicely. I even found a small elephant to use as a handle and simply glued it to the top center with a little hot glue.


 

Now, go get organized!

Fortunately, when it comes to organizing these items, the possibilities are really endless using 3D printing. A quick search on any of the major 3D printing model sites will deliver plenty of results.

Hopefully these gave you some ideas on how to get organized using your 3D printer. While I'm still constantly battling clutter, with every one of these prints I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to the point where everything I own has a 'home' and organization will just be a regular part of my life. If nothing else, it's definitely helped me keep track of tiny parts when working on my 3D printing projects.

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