In this instructable I will show you how I designed and built sleek looking protein bar holder for my bike. I bike to work everyday and felt the need for some sort of container to hold a protein bar or two in case I get hungry.
I decided to 3D print the holder as it is very easy and the end result looks more like a professionally designed product than just an amateur solution.
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Step 1: Measurements
The first step in the design process of something that has to interact with other things is to take measurements of the things that already exist. In this case, the protein bar and the bike column were the things that I was designing around.
Its always good practice to take your time with measurements as they will pay off later. You dont want to reprint a part just because you didnt zero your caliper or mixed up the measurements. My practice is to draw a rough sketch of what I am measuring.
If you are planning to do any designing, digital vernier caliper will be your best friend. They are so cheap now that you cant justify not having them. Just buy one.
Step 2: CAD Design
I designed the protein bar holder in solidworks because I have access to it through my university. But you can use Fusion 360 for your design. I didnt do a sketch this time because I was on a time crunch so I went straight from the idea in my head to CAD.
I divided the holder in three parts, the main body, top cover and door. I spent a lot of time on the door closure mechanism and decided on a notch based friction fit. The hinge design was just M3 screws with loose fitting on the outer part and tight fitting on the door itself. This resulted in a makeshift hinge.
The top cover is secured to the main body using M4 screws and nuts. I could have just made the hole small enough for forced threads but I wanted something more durable and removable. So I made slots for M4 nuts. I could have hid the nuts by having the slot inside but that was causing some issues which I didnt want to fix.
Throughout the design, I was thinking of how I will print it. When designing something to be 3D printed, you always have to take overhangs and design complexity into consideration.
Step 3: 3D Printing
I used 0.4mm layer height and 10% infill. This was the first time I used such a thick layer height and it turned out great. I was able to print the main body in 5 hours.
The first 3D print had some dimensional issues. But that is to be expected. With almost all first designs, there will be issues. Especially because I was using coarse settings and the tolerances for that were different than what I had used in the past. The second one revealed some more issues but the third one was perfect.
I printed the door and the top cover and then reprinted them due to some issues.
Once everything was printed and tested, I could proceed to assembly.
Step 4: Assembly
Assembly of this holder couldn't have been simpler. With a project like this, the main part that required effort is the CAD and printing. The more time you spend on that, the less hassle it will be to assemble.
Just screw in the door. Tighten the M3 screws in as much as possible without binding the door. Test the door closure and file the notch just a little bit for the perfect friction fit. This will depend on your printer.
Push in the M4 nuts. You might have to force them just a little bit. And then mount it to your bike.
I had to put some double sided foam tape on my top cover to ensure that the fit was nice and secure. I just used the tape as a piece of foam because I only stuck it to the cover and not to the bike itself.
I loaded the holder with some protein bars and I was ready to go.
Step 5: Conclusion
I hope you like this little project. With such a project, there is not much to explain as the design will differ a little based on your bike and the protein bars you want to carry. I just wanted to give you guys the idea I had and show you how I implemented it. I would love to see variations of my design.
Thank you for following along and supporting what I do. Let me what you think about it in comments below and please do vote for me.
Runner Up in the
Outdoor Fitness Challenge