3D printing a place to hang my backpack

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Finally got around to getting myself a nice backpack for everyday use. Having spend some money on this nice new backpack, I don't want to just throw it on the ground when I get home from work. So, the only solution to that problem was to design, model, print, and hang a 3D printed holder for it.

A backpack handle being measured by a digital caliper
It's a bit crude, but it does the job. Probably going to paint the screws.

I started out by taking the relevant measurements using the digital calipers my parents got me for christmas. All of the measurements on the backpack itself was just to use as a guideline, and not the actual final measurements.

A backpack handle being measured by a digital caliper
Measuring the handle, to get an idea about the length of the curve.
A handle on a backpack being measured using a caliper
Getting an approximate measurement of the handle width.

Then, I measured the dimensions of the screws I was going to use. I needed three measurements, so I could get the correct size for the countersink holes that would be a part of the design.

A screw diameter being measured with a caliper.
Measuring the diameter of the screw with the thread.
Measuring the diameter of the screw with the thread.
Measuring the head of the screw.
A screw head being measured with a caliper.
Measuring the height of the head, for the countersink.

With all the measurements, I was ready to jump into Autodesk Fusion 360. In the past, I have been using Tinkercad, but for more complex designs, and pretty much all other designs, Fusion 360 is way faster to work with, when you get to know the basics. I still only know a very small part of Fusion 360, but it's enough to get me around, and to hack up the designs I need.

I started out by making a sketch, looking at the design from the front. Added in the holes for the screws. Then, it was just a matter of extruding that sketch, adding another sketch onto the extruded face, and then designing the rest. I used the awesome Loft tool to make the countersink by connecting two sketches on different faces. For the ribs, I tried out the Rib tool, but after a bit of trial and error, I ended up just creating a 3D sketch and extruding it to the sides.

CAD sketch for a part of a backpack handle
This is the first sketch of the front. This is the plate that sits on the wall, with circles for the screwholes.
Extruded 3D model and sketch of a backpack handle
This shows the extruded first sketch. On top of the new face, I made another sketch where I drew the arch for the actual handle, and some support ribs.
3D CAD model of a backpack holder
This is the final design. Pretty simple, but sturdy.

When the design in Fusion 360 was done, I exported it as a .stl file and sliced it with PrusaSlicer. I used the 0.2mm quality setting with 80% infill and a brim.

Sliced 3D model for 3D printing
This is the handle, sliced up and ready to be printed.

The GCODE was copied to an SD card and the print was started on my Anycubic Vyper. I was going to print it in light grey, but the spool of light grey PLA that I have, is acting a bit up. I am having a hard time getting it to stick to the bed. So me being very impatient, I changed to my spool of black PLA that I have never had any issues with. And the print ended up pretty nice. It printed in a little over an hour.

3D printed backpack holder
Here is the final print. It's pretty good, and I don't have the patient to do anything further to it.
3D printed backpack holder
The print, looking at it from the bottom. I am very happy with the ribs. The outhang itself seems very sturdy.

So, that's it. From unboxing the backpack, to hanging the handle on the wall, the whole process took me around 2-3 hours. Damn I love 3D printing. It's such a powerful tool to have at your disposal. I have used it many time now, to design small improvements to my apartment. More on that will come later.

Have a good one!