Box Shelf Clever Attached to Wire Rope




About: My Name is Daniel Aeschlimann. During the day I am a Mechanical Engineer. During the evenings I tinker with witn my 3D-Printer, my CNC router and with Arduino. Some projects i record on video and upload them...

For storing all of my tinkering stuff i created this box shelf.

(The first video is a short version of the second one witch has German explanations to this project.)

Every box is either dedicated to a specific tinkering project or stores general tinker material. The idea is to have thous boxes next to each other witch contains related content.

Wile designing this shelf, my goal was, to create an unique example of using the belt friction for holding an item on a wire rope.

The *.stl files witch are provided fits with an box with an depth of 10.8cm. But you can also design your own side parts witch fits to your box.

You will need for this project:

  • 3d-printer pilament and 3d-printer
  • Wire rope Ø2mm
  • Wood stick Ø6mm
  • Wood stick Ø8mm
  • Screws and Dowels
  • Cardboard box
  • and some basic tools

Step 1: 3d Print the Side Parts

If you have access to a 3d printer, you can printout these side parts. If not, you can print them via someone from the 3D-Hubs community.

This parts are easy to print and don's need any support. But i recommend to have the following detail in mind wile slicing the model for 3D-printing.

The parts are designed with a constant wall thickness of 1.8mm. If you choose a extrusion with of 0.3mm the printer will make six perimeters for each wall.

Step 2: Cut the Wooden Sticks to Length

The two 3d-printed side parts are connected by four wooden sticks. Now cut the sticks to length.

The length of the sticks depends on the length of the box. Im my case i cut the sticks to 19.5cm. this ist 2cm longer than the box is long.

Because you need four sticks for one box shelf, and you will made more than one. So i recommend, to setup an stop block an use some adhesive tape on the vice to mark the length.

At the end of this step, you have to use your sandpaper to finish the cut.

You Need:

  • Wooden sticks with a diameter of 6mm
  • Handsaw
  • Sandpaper

Step 3: Assemble the Box Shelf

Now we can assemble each single box shelf.

Depending on the print quality you have to rework the holes with a drill an a countersink.

Now you can simple press the wooden sticks in to the holes of the printed side parts of the shelf.

If the fit is tight you will need a hammer. If it is loose try it with some glue. (3D-prints and wooden sticks are both not very precise.)

Step 4: 3d Printing Wall Fixture

If you need this wall fixture depends on the way you can hang up the wire rope.

This wall fixture is designed similar to the side parts of the box shelf. It prints also in the same way.

You also need two of these small brackets witch you can screw into the wall.

Finally there is a wire rope clamp i designed for an other project. You will also need two of thous for securing the upper end of the wire rope. You can see how they work in the video.

Step 5: Mounting the Wall Fixture to the Wall and Attach the Wire Rope

Depending on the material of your wall you can screw direct into it or you need some dowels.

To connect the screw fixture to the wall fixture you need a wooden stick with 8mm diameter.

You need:

  • Drilling machine
  • Drill
  • Dowel
  • Screw
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum cleaner for cleaning ;-)
  • Wire rope Ø2mm

Step 6: Attach the Box Shelf to the Wire Rope

The last step ist the most satisfied one.

We have to attach the box shelf to the wire rope.

As long, as there is no weight on the shelf the height can be adjusted easy. If you ad some weight on the lowest shelf, the upper ones will be hold in place by the belt friction of the wire rope.

Shelving Contest 2016

Participated in the
Shelving Contest 2016



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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very slick idea. It looks like a metal or plastic drywall mud trough can be used instead of a cardboard box. Either would be a more permanent solution with an open top for easy access to parts, tools, etc. or use as a planter. The metal box will rust eventually, so be prepared for the character change, or spray it with an appropriate clearcoat lacquer to maintain its pristine polished look.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Your ideas are great. If you can add the necessary geometry to your thing, you can attach it to the wire rope like i did.


    2 years ago

    I love the style!! 3d printed are cool, but I think that (avoiding the empty spaces) they would look cool also made out of wood


    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you. I also thought about making it out of wood. I already have some ideas how to make it with my desktop CNC router.


    2 years ago

    I would love to make these but sadly I don't have a 3d printer. Yet.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I recommend to build (buy) one.

    You can also get the parts printed from the 3d-hubs community.


    2 years ago

    I like the idea and find it very original. have you tested out how much wheight you can attach to the rope? for example boxes full with screws/nuts , or other metal parts ?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    In one box i have 4 Nema 23 Stepper motors they are over 1 kg. It is no problem to have this weight on a single shelf. The weakest point is my wall support. It has to carry the weight off up to 7 boxes. But if needed it can be reinforced.