I wanted a way to keep my most frequently used tools near my 3d printer that was better than a simple box. I'm a big believer in Adam Savages "first order retrievability" systems.
See, I'm an industrial maintenance technician by trade and I've probably bought a hundred tool pouches over the years trying to find one that holds wrenches so they don't fall out but are also easy to get to. Currently, my favorite tool pouch is the Veto Pro Pac TP3, though I've got the TP4 on the way so we'll see.
In any case, I've thought a lot about tool storage over the years. So when I started looking on thingiverse.com for tool holders, there weren't many that could meet my standards. I saw a lot of modular tool holders. People had designed their tool holder, then designed a rail for it to attach to and no two rails were the same.
I was just beginning to develop my 3d CAD skills but I decided to take a shot at my own design. One advantage I had over all the other guys was, apparently, I was the only one that knew about DIN rail. DIN, I think, refers to a German term that means something like "standard rail". I could be wrong about that and I should probably look it up before I publish this but then everyone wouldn't have a reason to comment on this instructable. ;)
Step 1: Design
As I said, I was still pretty new to CAD in general. You can see from the pictures that I hadn't learned about fillets yet. My design skills have progressed quite a bit since I designed these. However, while they might not be pretty, they are functional and that's what matters most.
But since my design skills were so limited, I'm not going to share with you the CAD files. It'd be too embarrassing. The .stls are available on Thingiverse.
The part that fits onto the DIN rail was the only complicated part about my design. I was worried I didn't have the design skills to model it correctly. Luckily, inspiration struck while I was ordering some parts for a project at work.
I imported the file for a DIN rail-mount electrical receptacle from a popular industrial suppler's website and sliced off the receptacle part. This way, even as unskilled as I was, the most complicated part of my design was done in about five minutes.
Step 2: Adding the Actual Tool Holder Part
Once I had the DIN mount, it was just sketch a shape, extrude the profile, rinse, repeat. (I want to point out that Grammarly *really* did not like this sentence.)
The first one has a little box to hold a razor-blade scraper, a thin slot for a putty knife, a wide slot for flush cutters or needle-nose pliers, a slot for a flat needle file, a hole for round needle file, and a hole for a precision screwdriver. The second one I designed to hold more needle files/screwdrivers, flush cutters/needle-nose and holes for hex keys size 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and 5mm. (my poor Grammarly)
Step 3: Finish
It's best to slide these onto the DIN rail rather than clip them on. I added the shallow holes to accommodate some little magnets I had on hand. I used them for holding my feeler gauge so I'd stop losing it. All in all, they turned out pretty well, I think.
I suppose the point of this instructable is to show that while 3d printing is about making everything custom, we don't need to reinvent the wheel. No need to come up with a new modular rail system. DIN rail is cheap and widely available.
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