Make a Shelving Unit With 3D Printed Parts

About: I immensely enjoy being part of the whole Maker Community.

Need a small shelving unit for your home or dorm room? This durable, contemporary unit will do nicely. No nails, screws, or bolts are needed to hold this shelving unit together. Its spiral feet allow a bit of swaying without falling over. It is simple to assemble and disassemble, making transportation easy. You can't buy this anywhere. The only way to get one now is to make it yourself. I think you will be happy you did.

The shelving unit shown in the photograph is 27 1/4" high.


3D printing filament, Printable Spiral Furniture Feet; 4 - 3", 8 - 5", 8 - 6" Dowel Tubes; 14- 9" edge stips; 4 - 1/4" diameter oak wood dowels; 3 - 1/4" height, 12" x 12" plywood boards; wood glue; craft shears; 7/64" drill bit, masking tape, tool for cutting dowels (pruning shears, rotary with cut-off wheel, Easy Cutters). Optional: Acrylic varnish, paint brush, 5/16" vinyl tubing (to replace 8 - 5", 8 - 6" Dowel Tubes).

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Step 1: Preparation Step 1 - 3D Printing

Determine how tall you want your shelves to be. This will determine the number and height of dowel tubes you need. Four 3" tubes should be printed for the purpose of viewing the spiral feet.

I wanted one shelf to be 10" high; therefore I printed 8 - 5" tubes. I wanted the second shelf to be 12" high and printed 8 - 6" tubes.

Print 4 Spiral Dowel Feet

Print 14 edge strips

Note: You can use 5/16" vinyl tubing instead of printing the 5" and 6" tubes.

Step 2: Preparation Step 2 - Plywood

1. Mark your plywood corners.

  • Measure 7/8" inch from each edge. Draw circles at the connecting corners.

2. Drill holes through at your marking using a 7/64" drill bit.

3. Use wood glue to paste edging along sides of plywood.

  • Use craft sheers to cut edging where needed.
  • Secure edging to plywood with masking tape.
  • Wipe away excess glue with a wet paper towel or cotton cloth.
  • Remove masking tape after 1 - 2 hours.

Optional: Paint entire shelf with acrylic varnish and allow to dry.

Step 3: Assembly - Step 1

1. Thread dowel through 1 plywood panel corner and 3" tube.

2. Place threaded dowel in one Spiral dowel foot.

3. Align remaining Spiral Dowel feet with corner holes.

4. Slip remaining 3" tubes over dowel feet, under plywood.

5. Thread dowels through plywood and 3" tubes. Place ends in Spiral Dowel feet.

6. Add remaining tubes and plywood to reach desired height.

Step 4: Assembly - Step 2

1. Mark dowel at top of last plywood board.

2. Remove plywood board.

3. Cut dowel.

4. Replace plywood board.


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