Universal Cable Shortener





Introduction: Universal Cable Shortener

The Cable Eater is a must have to reduce the length of a long cable
that runs off your desk and tends to be crushed by the wheels of your desk chair...

I designed this so i can keep my headset wire safe (2 meters long and 3mm thick), and thanks to it, I transformed my 2m long wire into a 30cm long !

Length gain : up to 99% with a standard 3mm wire !

See Step 5 to download the model and follow the print instructions.

Step 1: Place Your Cable

Take the A part, and put your cable in the center

Step 2: Secure It

Block your cable using part B, snap-fitting it on the A part pivots.

Step 3: Cover It

Snap-fit part C pivot to the part B center hole.
/!\ Make sure your cable is passing between the 4 little 'teeth' of part C /!\

Step 4: Just Roll and Enjoy It

Rollup your cable by holding Part C in one hand (part C should face the ground), while turning Part A CLOCKWISE (turning the other way might damage your cable) till the desired length !

To unroll your cable, do not turn the parts, it's not necessary. Just hold the 2 strands with both hands, and pull.

Step 5: How to Print It ?

Working with PLA, but ABS with its flexibility might be easier to assemble (didn't tried yet).

As there are some snap-fit parts, I would recommend to print at low speed (40mm/s and 25mm/s for small perimeters).

For a smooth finish and a tight fit, prefer 0.1mm layer height, but 0.2mm should do the work.

About the infill : As the A and C parts are pretty flat and large, you may want to keep a high density (75-100%). However B part infill can be reduced to 50%, but keep in mind that this piece will need to be strong and a bit flexible (mine was printed at 100% PLA, it's quite strong but not very flexible).

Heated bed is recommended for PLA to avoid wrapping issues.

Printing time (0.1mm - 40mm/s - 75%) : A part : 2h30 B part : 15min C part : 2h15

Standard version diameter : 10cm.

Small version : 7cm.



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Question: Could I take an old-fashioned yo-yo, modify it with plastic nuts/bolts, and get a retro version of your design?

    One of my rainy day hobbies is archiving this site's best of the best. This will be one of them. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Well, first of all thanks for your interest in this project !
    Second: you could/should ! totally do that ! And if you do, take pictures ! You can even make an instructable of it for those who don't own a 3d printer and do have a yo-yo

    If you want some extras pictures/measures just contact me.

    I couldn't figure out a good way to get both pieces to stay together so it wouldnt fall apart though.

    It seems a bit more complex !
    This is the most trickiest problem I had to solve in my design, I tried different systems before I found the more reliable. It ain't perfect though.

    Is there anything holding the pieces together in your design?

    Part A holds part B and part B holds part C, all by a simple horizontal snap-fit system (see assembly video on step 6).

    In response to using this for power cables. I don't know the technical jargon, but believe that power cables that are in use are not to be rolled up as it creates the tendency to overheat and electromagnetic field something or other.

    This is cool.

    I bet you can scale this device up to help with cable management for power cords and other parts of the under-desk computer environment mess.

    What do you think?

    1 reply

    Hi, I didn't try with power cords or even display cables, but I assume they are a bit stiff to be rolled in this design.

    It's particularly hepful with headset cables, mouse, keyboard, USB etc.

    However I can easily scale it up.

    Nice! But what keeps part A and part C held together? Maybe a couple exta pictures shoing the underside of part C would clarify this for me. We have a 3D printer at our library. I can't wait to print one of these for controlling excess wire lenghts.

    3 replies

    You're right ! This is not represented, I'll try to add a sketch of it.
    It's actually a snap-fit system just like part B clips with part A.
    Here, part C is basically a part A with just one central pivot that you'll need to slide into part B (which has a central hole).
    All pivots are enlarged on top to block the parts together.
    I shall do a quick tutorial video.
    Hope it's a bit clearer for you !
    Thanks for your enthousiasm

    The additional photographs are excellent. thank you.

    There's a quick video recap on step 6 now

    Very nice project. Perhaps a video of you putting it together and demonstrating its use would also help. Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Indeed I'll try to make a quick tutorial video as soon as possible.

    Wow, boy could I usee this! Where do I find the actual cable eater? Thank you

    2 replies

    Well, everywhere there's a 3D printer, there is a potential cable eater =)
    But the original cable eater is blue, and I keep it at my place :p

    Feel free to contact me privately if you want me to print it for you. For now, have no idea about the cost though (+shipping from France).

    Best regards.

    Thank you but I have no idea what or how a 3D printer works. Guess I' just behind the times.
    I love France and been there a couple of times. Great food!.
    Have a great day!

    Great design. I am adding this to my 3D printing list!