More 3D Printing

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A 3D Printing Project

In the past I’ve made a small number of posts about my nephew’s saga of problems with his first 3D printer and how he part built the different one he’s got now.

If you haven’t seen those posts and are interested then you can find them – here! And other bits that have been 3D printed have appeared in my projects such as the the tops put on the canes when I did some yarn basket weaving – here! and many more.

Since he first got a 3D printer, when everything that he printed were designed by others, and downloaded by my nephew from the Internet from a site called Thingiverse, he has started doing his own designing of little things.

The project I’ve got to show you today is one such project he did for me.

I have a large supply of alcohol markers, water markers, etc., in a large rack by the side of my bed as shown here – easy to just pick a few colours out, get into bed, and colour on a lap tray.  (It is a bit taller and with more pens in by now as this is an older photo.)

But when I want to do colouring sat with my mother in her room, or in the kitchen or sitting room, or even outside sat in the garden in the summer, it means choosing and pulling out the colours I am likely to want to use, of whichever type of pen I’m going to work with, and carying them where ever I intend to do my colouring – and usually missing out a colour that I find is essential as soon as I settle wherever to do my colouring, thus meaning getting up and dragging myself back to my room to collect the missing colour.  And that usually happens more than once a session.

So I decided to buy myself another set of alcohol markers that I liked the look of – and have in a bag to carry around for the times I’d want to colour somewhere other than my room.

And if I had them in a bag I’d need some sort of inner support to hold the pens in place tidily when carying, that would allow me to store the bag, and thus the pens, on its side when not being moved around.

And this is where my nephew, his designing, and his 3D printer comes in.

Designing And Printing Marker Holder

I showed him lots of different pen storage – both the ones I’ve got in my room as well as photos of several different types online.  I said I wanted the bag to hold all the pens I had of the new type – Prism Craft Markers from Hunkydory – and let him decide by himself how he thought would be the best way to go about creating the support/rack to go inside the bag.  I haven’t seen any others using the exact same style and method as he came up with.

A bit of measuring.  Counting the Pens. A bit of designing in Tinkercad.  A bit of converting to the right format for the 3D printer in Ultimaker Cura.  And away he went 3D printing.

He even did some time-laps recording of one of the layers of the marker holder being 3D printed using his Apeman Action camera – he’s got a slightly earlier version of this one – here.

Then it was down to me to stick the layers together.  He’d designed the base layer and the two other layers with a recess/groove at each corner to accomodate corner pieces.  He was thinking that we might use metal corners for strength and stability, but we decided to try the cheaper option of PVC first.  I cut the long piece into 12.5cm pieces using a hacksaw and then started to glue them to the 3D printed layers, starting with the base, which I left to get a good stick for several hours before starting to attach the top layer.

I put strips of tape cross ways over the outside corner of the layer – so that the corner wouldn’t stick to the surface I was working on or my fingers if I accidentaly squidged out some super glue from the join and then I positioned the top layer in place before putting glue on one of the corner recesses.

It was then turned and pressed to my work surface to make sure that the corner posts were flush with the top of the 3D printed piece, and then I wrapped the tape around.  This isn’t enough to hold the corners in place while they stick, but did help keep my fingers from oozing super glue while I pushed.

I found I could get the corners to make good contact with the printed piece by putting three fingers in three of the holes on either side of the corner post.

And then pushing with both thumbs against both sides of the corners (obviously I couldn’t take the photo with both hands holding in place so I had to remove one to give a better photo of what I mean)

I worked all four corners until they were stuck in place.  I think I might have had a quicker grab if I’d sanded the recessed corners a bit where the PVC corners were going to glue onto to make it a bit smoother, but they did stick quite well.

I then cut a piece of thick packaging cardstock into a 5cm wide strip which I folded in quarters and taped the ends together to make a hollow square tube.

For attaching the middle layer I put the super glue on both sides of each corner and slid the layer into the middle of the holder at an angle.  Once it was within the corner posts I started lifting one side and slid in the square tube before dropping the middle layer onto it so that it was positioned at a level 5cm from the bottom layer.

By being careful about this very little of the super glue rubbed off on the inside of the corners as it went into place and it was held at exactly the right level, without any chance of it sliding down, while I used thumb and next finger of both hands to pinch and push together opposite corners of the marker holder to get the superglue to bond.  And then did the same with the other opposite corners.

Then it was simply a case of sliding out the cardboard that had held the middle layer in place and start putting pens into the holder.

Oh, and printing and makeing a 2nd one the same as, because of the size of the printer my nephew had decided to make each layer enough to hold half my pens.

This Is What The Marker Holder Looks Like

So, having removed all the tape and the support, I started sorting out pens into numerical order and putting them into my marker holder.

As you can see, we decided to leave the pens with the length of the cap above the holder to give room to grab hold of them without too much being out that they would fall out when on their side.

My nephew factored the size of the holes for each pen when he decided on the size of the holes after his initial measurements.

He believes that the same size holes will be suitable for several of the different alcohol and water markers I have should I require more marker holders in the future.

He is also going to offer the file for others to use to print their own marker holders.  He’s talking about doing so under a Creative Commons Licence, but hasn’t worked it all out yet.  I’ll let you know when he does.

And this is them on their side as they will be stored and when being used.

I printed out a sheet from the Hunkydory website and coloured in each numbered circle with the corresponding colour as the colours on the top are not a good representation of the colour you will get when using the markers.

I would highly recomend that anybody who has any colouring media prints out a grid, whether supplied by manufacturer or print your own, and then colour in a small area with each pen so you know exactly what colour you are working with.  Always print the grid/swatch panels onto the same type of cardstock you would be using with that type of media.

This Is What We Used


Now it’s my turn to do a bit of designing.  I have some denim fabric ready, and some wadding, and with a long ruler in hand I’m starting to design the bag that is to old the pens for carying around.  I need a firmish base and sides squared off at the correct size for my pen holders.  I’m thinking of adding a pocket for my work in progress and board that I use under the cardstock when colouring.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’ll be back with the bag to show you in a couple of weeks hopefully.


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4 Replies to “More 3D Printing”

  1. Wow Gwyneth this is an amazing project. It looks so professional and it is so useful. Have a great weekend. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  2. What a fabulous project, and congratulations and well done to your nephew for working everything out and making something so useful. xx