Introduction: 3D Printed Ping Pong Storage

About: 25-year-old mathematician in training, who loves to make things, DIY style. Mary believes homemade gifts are the best gifts, and is always on the lookout for a new project to make. Hobbies: Crocheting, playin…

We recently purchased a ping pong table, and suddenly had a clutter problem that we didn't have before: ping pong balls everywhere! Not to mention paddles. I very quickly saw the need for a better storage solution than the "scattered all over the floor" solution that we were using.

After perusing the internet and pinterest for a while I didn't see anything that I liked. Most solutions involved mounting something to a wall. Our table isn't near a free wall, so I decided to make my own solution to attach them to the table. A new ball is always within arms reach!

So I booted up Fusion 360 and my 3D printer, and got started. You can download my files here, but if you have a different table model, I'll go through the steps to reproduce this, so you can make yours to fit your table perfectly.

Step 1: Measure Support Bar

These holders are designed to snap onto the support bar beneath the ping pong table. You'll need to take some measurements before we get started. These measurements are used in the next step.

(1) The height of the support bar (mine was 100mm)

(2) The thickness of the support bar (mine was 6mm)

(3) The thickness of the support bar at the bottom (mine was 20mm)

Step 2: Sketch in Fusion

Both holders use the same sketch for the clip that attaches it to the support bar.

  • (1) + 7mm for the height
  • (2) + 1mm for the top clip (because we want this to be tight)
  • (3) + 2mm for the bottom clip (this can can be a little loose)
  • make the holders 2mm thick (tip: select edge, and press o for outline, to easily do this)

(1) (2) and (3) are from the previous step

Step 3: Extrude

After sketching extrude each holder the length that the final product should be. I found that 170mm was perfect for holding 4 ping pong balls. For x balls use a length of x*40mm + 10mm.

For the racket holder I used 60mm which is more than large enough to hold my racket, with a handle width of 30mm.

Step 4: Add Finishing Touches: Ball Holder

For the ball holder, we need to add edges. To do so, extrude the edge 1mm, and then extrude the same sketch again, but from an offset plane. See pictures for how to do that.

If you want to print without supports, you can also add chamfers, which along with looking nice, allow the top edge to print without supports. (I used a 10mm and then a 7mm chamfer).

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches: Racket Holder

For the racket holder we need to make prongs to hold the racket. To do this create a new sketch with a simple rectangle which you can then extrude to create two simple prongs.

Then add chamfers to smooth the edges. I used two chamfers, with values of 12mm followed by 8mm. This leaves a nice curve that hugs the paddle.

Step 6: Test

Whenever I design something like this, to save on filament costs and time, I print a small test before printing the whole thing. This allows you to ensure it snaps on properly without having to print the entire object.

You can use Fusion to quickly cut blocks out of your print, but it's usually easier to just cut it in the slicer.

There are some things for which you might need the full print to test out. In this case, after I had successfully printed a sliver of the holder and made sure that it snapped securely onto the support bar, I proceeded to print the whole holder. Once finished, my husband pointed out that I could quite easily add a second row of ping pong balls above the first. Something like that is hard to think of by just looking at the design, but seeing it printed out and attached to the table made it obvious. So be prepared to reprint the whole thing again if a wave of genius hits you after the fact.

Step 7: Print

Make any modifications needed from the test session. Then slice and print!

Print Settings:

Ball Holder:

  • 20% infill
  • No supports
  • 10 hour print (about $3 and holds 8 balls)

Racket Holder:

  • 20% infill
  • Supports needed. I used a support enforcer to only generate supports over the tips of the prongs
  • 2.5 hour print (and only 60 cents!)

Step 8: Done!

Clip onto your ping pong table, and load it up! Your ping pong room will look amazing (and so organized)! I am a fan of having a "place for everything and everything in it's place" and this was just what was needed.

I opted to print in black to have it blend in and look like it's a part of the table. A bright colour would also look nice to add a pop of colour!

Declutter Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Declutter Speed Challenge