Tuesday, April 02, 2019

3D Printed Toothbrush Shelf

My wife and I both use an electric toothbrush and they used to reside on the vanity along with their oddly long cords. It really wasn't a big problem until I got into one of my de-cluttering moods and decided something had to be done. I had some space between the mirrors and above the outlets so proceeded to search for a suitable shelf on Amazon and Google. Hiding the cord was a must have and the main reason why I didn't find what I was looking for. There were some interesting takes on the problem but ultimately, I went in a different direction. Why buy something when you can make it fast and free?

Heard of 3D printing? I've designed a few nick-knacks in the past so the tool chain was already in place to make short work of this project. To the uninitiated, a three dimensional object can be created using a machine that builds up material (usually plastic) in layers until the desired shape is formed. I use the free online version of SketchUp to model my objects. A quick YouTube tutorial can get you up and running in no time. Getting access to a 3D printer is a bit trickier. If you live in Fairfax Virginia, like I do, the public library system has pretty good machines that you can use for free. You upload your model file (STL format) via their website, wait about 10 days, then pick up your creation at the closest available location. Maybe your town has something similar.

I've printed adapters to help install sliding kitchen cabinet drawers, bookshelf  pegs, a sliding barn door guide, and many other useful little objects.  And you can too. You don't have to be an engineer to think up something useful and bring it to life. You just need a PC and an idea.