Here is a towel ladder I have made with PVC pipes and 3d printed parts.
I've made it to enter a contest for 3D printing in the bathroom on cults3d .
Files are on this page :
If you are interested you can download files, Openscad sources are in and you can throw an eye on them. If you like the design please give me a like on cults, for the next couple of weeks it could help me in the contest ;)
You can also give me a vote in the PVC contest here on Instructables if you think this instructables deserves it ;)
So, it is just a towel ladder made from PVC pipes and 3D printed parts (and using screws). I have decided to use PVC pipes because it is strong, cheap, easy to cut and work with and moisture resistant. I had previously tried to make some funiture with PVC pipes and 3d printed parts, so I had the ability to re-use what I had previously learned, like assemblage with wood screws.
The Openscad source file is parametric, so you could be able to adapt dimensions to another material and screws. For instance, I've used 25 mm pvc tubes and 3x16mm screws. 25 mm is for the exterior diameter of the pipe.
I think it is the same as 3/4 in. pipe in the imperial system.
Please print the "bague test.stl" file and tell me if it works with your pipes in the comments. you can use this "bague test.stl" file to adapt with your material.
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Step 1: Material and Tools
For this instructable you'll need
- PVC pipes with an external diameter of 25mm (it seems to be 3/4 in. pipes in the imperial system). I've used electrical conduits, mainly because they are light grey in my store. Plumbing pipes are dark grey but they should be ok.
- One screwdriver and some wood screws. I have used 3x16mm screws. I can adapt desgn to non-metric system quite easily, just ask.
- A saw. You can use one at the store if you don't have any.
- A miter box if you can, non mandatory. You can use one at the store if you don't have any.
- a 3D printer, for 3D printed parts.
Step 2: Buying and Cutting PVC Pipes
I've gone to my local hardware shop and I've buyed 25mm x 2,4m PVC pipes for electrical conduits (known as IRL PVC tubes in french).
After checkout you can use the saws available at the store to cut tubes. It will be easier to carry and you won't have to use your tools.
I've cut tubes to get 2 side rails of 1,8m (180cm around 6 feets), and 4 rungs of 40cm (around 15 inches). I have bought 3 PVC tubes for that (a bit less than 5 euros).
Step 3: 3D Print Parts
For 3d printed parts, retrieve them on cults 3D
you'll need 4 end caps (named "embout echelle.stl")
and you'll need 2 rungs-joint (named "Echelon.stl") for each rungs.
For this example, with 4 rungs,you'll need 4 end caps and 8 rungs-joint.
On my printer, they are printed without support. The layer height was 0.2mm and the infill was 17%.
I needed 14 grams for each rungs-joints and 12 grams per end caps.
If you need to adapt 3d prints to your material, look to the openscad file and edit values.
// vous pouvez éditer les valeurs qui suivent Tube=25; Marge=0.5; EpaisseurPlanche=10; DiametreVis=3; LongueurVis=20;
Tube is for the pipe diameter.
Marge is a margin added to the diameter, you don't have to play with it.
EpaisseurPlanche is no longer used.
DiametreVis is for the screw diameter.
LongueurVis is for the Screw length.
Use "bague test" code to test your changes. Bague test (test ring) is a light and quick print for testing if your files can be used with your pipes.
Step 4: Assembly
Once you have cut everything and printed every parts you can assemble the ladder.
Assemble the ladder on the floor.
First, thread rungs-joints on side rails keeping screw holes up.
Try to keep manufacturer marks and barcodes on top, at the end it will be the back of the ladder and those barcodes and head-screws will be hidden.
Set endcaps and screw them.
Push rungs into rungs-joints and screw them.
Them, slide rungs at the correct height, ensure parallelism (with a ruler for example), and screw them.
Step 5: Few Final Words
End caps are curved, so you can use non-slip pads if needed quite easily.
Obviously, don't climb on this ladder.