Introduction: 3D Printed Cord Organizer Spool
Is behind your desk a complete mess? Anything like the picture above? If so, I have created a cord organizer spool in hopes of addressing this issue. This project has a track a wire can run through, which then leads to a spool the cord can wrap around. This helps reduce the excess length of some cords so they are less likely to tangle with other cords.
I have created this device in a CAD model (Blender) which can then be 3D printed. For personal use, you will need 3D printing filament (see link below) and access to a 3D printer. If you want to model this design yourself, you will need a 3D modeling software such as Blender. It is also helpful to have small pliers or an exact-o knife to cut the support (excess 3D printed material) off. It helps to have some 3D printing experience (will probably take you no more than an hour to finish), but this was my first 3D printing project and it didn't take too long to figure out. I have tried to set this Instructable up in a way that you can learn 3D printing if you have never done it before. However, this project may take a little longer to complete without any experience (maybe two or three hours).
3D print filament for a Makerbot printer:
Step 1: 3D Modeling the Track
For those of you who don't want to model this device and simply want to print my version (attached below), please feel free to skip to Step 3!
For those who want to create their own 3D CAD model of this, I used the software "Blender" to design this device, so I will be explaining these directions in terms of how to design this on Blender. This first step is to clear the canvas by double clicking "A" on your keyboard and then clicking "X" to delete. Then click on Add (on the bottom left)>Mesh>Cylinder. Once this cylinder is created, find the button that looks like a cube (on the right, a little above the center). After clicking on this, rotate this cylinder on the y-axis 90º.
The next step is to click on the "Tab" key on the keyboard to go into edit mode. Then click "A" to deselect everything in the cylinder, then go to View (bottom left)>Right to center the camera. Then click "Z" to see through the cylinder, and then click "B" to be able to highlight parts of this cylinder. Highlight the top half, then click "X" and scroll down to vertices to delete this half. You can then exit out of edit mode by clicking "Tab"
To add thickness (for the sake of 3D printing), find the button near the cube that looks liek a wrench. Click on Add Modifier>Generate>Solidify.
Step 2: Dimensions and Locations of Each Part
These are the coordinates for the dimensions and locations for each part (including the track made in the last step). To start, you must click on the button two to the left of the cube, and click Metric (then go back to the cube). After this, open up the extra tool bar using the plus sign. Plug in the following values in here.
Dimensions: (2cm, 16.5cm, 2.5cm)
Location: (0cm, 0cm, 2cm)
2) Top of spool- Add>Mesh>Cylinder
Dimensions: (5.7cm, 5.7cm, 3mm)
Location: (0cm, 14.95cm, 13cm)
3) Bottom of spool- Add>Mesh>Cylinder
Dimensions: (6.7cm, 6.7cm, 3mm)
Location: (0cm, 14.95cm, 0cm)
4) Spool- Add>Mesh>Cylinder
Dimensions: (0.875mm, 0.875mm, 13mm)
Location: (0mm, 14.95mm, 6.5mm)
5) Flat part under track- Add>Mesh>Cube
Dimensions: (1.5mm, 16.5mm, 0.3mm)
Location: (0mm, 0mm, 0mm)
To combine all of these parts, double click "A" then hit Control>"J"
Step 3: 3D Printing
After combining all five parts, the next step is to save this model as an STL file. To do this, click on File (top left) and scroll down to Export. Then click on "Stl (.stl)" and save it somewhere you can find it. To open this file, you need to have Makerbot software (or at least software for a different 3D printer) downloaded.
In Makerbot, there are four buttons along the left side of the window. Double click on the middle two buttons to change the position (x, y, and z) and the angle. The bottom button can be used to proportionally change the dimensions of this model if it doesn't fit in your 3D printer (you will likely have to do this for the file I attached).
Once it is in a good spot within the printer, put a flashdrive into your computer and hit Export Print File, and save it to this flashdrive. You can then put this flashdrive in your 3D printer, and print this device!
If it asks you if this model will need to be printed with supports, it likely will need to. Once it is printed, just remove these supports with small pliers or an exact-o knife (you probably don't even need these tools, but they are helpful).
Step 4: Use
After this device is printed, it can be used as shown above! The purpose is to condense excess cords to organize the area behind desks etc, so this doesn't work as well with shorter cords, but works very well with longer cords.
I hope this device proves to be helpful! Either way, I would be more than happy to hear your questions or feedback, so please leave them as comments below. Also please let me know if this was your first time 3D printing/ modeling and if this Instructable was successful in helping you learn. I will try to respond as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading!