mini-makes: desktop organizer – concept

the concept

If you’re like me, you’ve got a handful of USB sticks and SD/microSD cards here and there and a little bit everywhere. Not to mention, you have small objects cluttering your desk. I have a small metal cup that I purchased to keep my pens, pencils and the like, but I didn’t have a good place to keep my USB sticks and memory cards. I have looked online but could never find a desktop organizer that looked how I wanted nor offered the features I needed. Now that I have a 3D printer on the way, what could be better than designing and printing my own desktop organizer? So, that’s what I intend to do.

My desktop organizer needed to have the following features:

  • Quick access storage for USB sticks and memory cards
  • Hold pens, pencils, and the like
  • Hold smallish tools like tweezers, screwdrivers, and scissors
  • Securely store my Pixelbook Pen Stylus
  • Have a catchall for storing random items that I don’t always need quick access to

the design – first try

After I figured out my requirements, I got to work. I started up Fusion 360 and started modeling from scratch. I had seen an organizer of some kind on Thingiverse that was box shaped and I thought that would be a good place to start. I knew I wanted to separate the pens from the tools, so two compartments for storing those items was needed. After a first pass, I came up with the model you see below. I dub it Desktop Organizer Version 1.0.

the design – redo!

As you can see, this first pass resulted in a rather large footprint organizer. The catchall was literally a catchall bin below the memory/USB area. The slots for the USB sticks and memory cards were plentiful and easy to access but did it look too simplistic? I consulted with my brother and his input was clear and simple: “It doesn’t look sleek.” He added that maybe I could provide a drawer or a door of some kind. The gears started turning in my head and I went back to the drawing board. Version 2.0 was in the makes and my creativity was flowing. After a couple hours (yes, hours.. I’m still learning Fusion), I came up with this design and even added a logo branding to the front.

Desktop Organizer 2.0

The new design takes my brother’s input and incorporated them into a, what I think, a sleeker design. Overall, the organizer takes up a smaller footprint because I realized I didn’t need that much space to store pens and pencils. I did sacrifice some USB and memory card slots, but there are enough to store the ones that I will use most often and with quick access. The rest can be stored in the catchall drawer until I need them.

Even though my cloud credits are limited on the free license, I figured, why not render the motion so I can show off my first, true 3D model of a functional object. So, here is one of the storage door opening to reveal the slots for USB sticks and memory cards. Apologies for the slow motion animation. I couldn’t figure out how to speed up the animation and even if I did, I didn’t want to use my limited cloud processing credits to re-render.

And here is one showing the catchall drawer opening and closing.

As you can see, there are two large pockets to hold pens/pencils/markers on one side and tools on the other. A dedicated spot for my Pixelbook Pen is easily accessible and is shaped to cradle the pen perfectly, without ruining the tip (see image below).

and now we wait…

Now, all that’s left is to wait for my 3D printer to arrive in 2-3 weeks and I can print this out and see how it works in real life. Hopefully, it’ll be fully functional with the first print. But, this is my first time designing anything functional in Fusion 360 and I am a total noob when it comes to 3D printing. Therefore, I fully expect to be a lot of tweaking once I print it. I guess we’ll find out. I’ll be sure to update this post once I’ve printed this and report on my results, mistakes and all. Until then…!

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