Introduction: Custom 3D Printed Pegboard Toolholders (Fits Any Tool Perfectly!)
Traditional pegboard holders have never been a compelling tool storage solution for me and many other people. I would go as far to say that some people truly hate pegboard. This is unfortunate as it is not the pegboard but the tool holders themselves that truly fall short. This is because a hook or other bent piece of metal cannot hold most tools securely. Additionally, most pegboard hooks can easily fall off of the pegboard, which is very annoying.
Fear not, for I have developed a solution. These custom 3D printed pegboard tool holders can be made to fit any tool perfectly and securely. Additionally, they have a custom mounting solution that prevents them from falling off of the pegboard. Below, I have a video of the toolholders and links to the files of all of my current designs.
Step 1: Mounting
The mounting mechanism of my pegboard hooks is twofold. First, the main load is taken up by screws threaded into the plastic mounts. These have screw heads that just fit into the hole of the pegboard. Once the head is inserted through the pegboard, the holder slots down until the threads of the screw hit the pegboard hole. Then, there is a 3D printed plastic pin that prevents upward motion. This means that the screw head cannot come up over the lip of the pegboard making it impossible to remove until the pin is uninstalled. Fig. 1 shows the toolholder being inserted into the pegboard. After it is installed, the locking pin is threaded into place.
Step 2: Designing the Tool Holders
I used Autodesk Fusion 360 to design all of my tool holders. As mentioned in the video, there is not science to the tool mount design. The basic principle is finding geometry on the tool that you can easily attach to in a secure, but removable way. To make this clear, I will outline my process for one of the tools I have.
Step 3.1 - Canvas
The tool in this example is a caliper. I chose this as it is a very common tool. The first step for any tool is to take a picture of it against a light background. This will be used as a canvas in fusion 360. A canvas is basically a translucent image that you can define the scale of. It is useful for getting an idea of how your geometry should look. To insert a canvas, click insert and then canvas.
Follow the steps as fusion prompts you. Then, the canvas needs to be scaled. To do this, right click it in the timeline or feature manager and click “calibrate”. Then, you can define the distance between two points.
Step 3.2 - Sketch
Next, start your sketch on the plane that you put your canvas. I like to start by tracing the outline of the section of the tool I want the holder to hold. This doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should be close. Then, I add dimensions and constraints to fully define it. A lot of this is arbitrary or whatever looks right.
Next, make these features into 3D geometry using extrudes, sweeps, etc. If you aren’t comfortable enough with CAD to do this, I would suggest finding a more in-depth tutorial first.
Step 3.3 - Screw and pin holes
After you have the 3D geometry, you need to add threaded holes for the screws and locking pins. The spacing of this is very important. Most pegboards in the US has 1in spaced holes. So, start a sketch on the back of the tool holder and add a horizontal line of small circles (that fit your screw thread) for the mounting screws. These should be spaced one inch apart. Then, add a locking pin mount either 24mm below or 26.8mm above the horizontal line. This hole should be directly above or below one of the mounting screws. That way, it hits a pegboard hole. The reason the vertical offset is not 25.4mm (1in) is because the hole needs to be centered after the screw slots into the pegboard. This accounts for the difference between the screw head and thread size. The mounting pin has two main circles to fit it. First, it has a 10mm thread and then it has a 19.3mm outer circle to leave space for the head of the mounting pin. After these are added and defined, add two tangent lines to the tool holder.
After this is done, extrude a tab that is 2mm thick and has a 10mm hole for threads for the pin to fit into. Also, extrude holes for the screw holes to fit into. Then, add modeled threads to each of these holes (6-32 for the mounting screws and 10mm for the locking pin).
Step 3: Print and Test
Congratulations! You made it through the designing steps. The next step is to print a locking pin (linked in step 1) and your design. Then, you can assemble and test it. It can take a few tries to get a good design for more difficult tools, but the payoff is worth it. Now, you have custom tool holders to perfectly fit all of your tools. They don’t fall off of the pegboard and, most importantly, they look pretty cool.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or suggestions, comment down below. Also, I would appreciate it if you could watch my video on these tool holders and sub on Youtube.
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