[Maker’s Note] Modular 3D-printed Drill Bit Shelf

by Yun-Han Lin

Preface

Storing drill bits has always been annoying to me, and I am not fond of the following approaches that I find most people use:

1. Hanging storage rack

2. Storage box

3. Everything in a drawer

4. Holes drilled on wooden blocks

Before I started, I also looked up some designs on Thingiverse, but I did not find anyone particularly intriguing (check out the designs here). Hence, I might as well make one on my own!

Structure / Design

I have always liked building things using modular design, because it is easy to replace parts or add extra ones if necessary, which fits the needs of our studio. The size of the work we tried to build was small, with the smallest hole to fit a 9mm drill bit. For this reason, I decided to simply use interference fit to assemble the parts and tenons and slots for fixing.

Production Process

1. Multiple templates: There are several types of drills, including hex-shank, round-tipped, short-length, flat, etc. The following are the templates for different specifications.

2. Parametric Design: Fusion360 provides a certain number of modules for parametric design. The program is quite handy in spite of occasional errors. The size and length of the drill bits could be automatically adjusted through the program, but we were not able to put in the variables for the markings, so there was no need to manually edit the variables.

3. Special design for Masonry drill bits: Masonry drill bits have a tip wider than the shank; for instance, an 8mm drill bit comes with a shank of only 6.3mm. Because of this, the size of the slot must be customized.

4. Eextra care in the direction of 3D-printed parts: It was the first time that we had to take into account the strength of 3D-printed parts, as the force of the hung object falls onto both sides of the hook. Either side might take on more stress, which is likely to break the side over time. Therefore, we used assembly components to make sure the entire structure does not fall apart.

5. Markings: I put extra effort into the markings, as I tried to use two-color 3D-printing in the first place, but later I realized that marker pens would do just fine.

6. Hanging storage for hex-shank drill bits: These bits are used less often, so there is not much need for expansion sets. Therefore, a one-piece, honeycomb-shaped structure is enough to make a simple and nice storage for all these tools.

Conclusion

At first, we were a little worried that the structure might easily come loose, but I have not encountered any problems after using the shelf for 2 weeks. Generally speaking, I am quite satisfied with the design, and it was the first time I came up with a very practical modular design. If you want to try this design, while some experience in using Fusion 360 is recommended, welcome to contact us through Facebook or Youtube. Perhaps one day we will make the information available for download on Thingiverse!

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