At first glance this seems like a totally boring, almost pointless object. It looks like a shelf pin. You know, one of the things you stick into the hundreds of holes in your adjustable-shelf bookcase. But that is where the similarity ends. This isn't just a shelf pin. No, it's much more than that. This is the foundation of a system.
Why have 500 extra holes in your bookcase? Why not put them to use?
On it's own, this object doubles as a cable organizer for your bookcase; slide your cables in the loop area and plug the pin into a hole. Rotate a few to make the cables flow up, down, in, out.
Then, print out one of the add-on pieces: a small shelf to hold small things; a photo or note holder; a flower holder/vase; a LED light to illuminate your shelf. Design your own "thing" to ride on the base.
The process of creating this "thing" crystallized in my mind what owning a 3D printer is all about -- something I'm calling "Desktop Innovation" (like "desktop publishing" but about the process of learning and growth, not about making a "thing"). I wouldn't have thought of this object and system if I hadn't been empowered by my 3D printer to look around me and see where I could make things better, and then to have the ability to rapidly iterate over the design, testing prints, sizes, etc. Innovating on my own terms in my own way. Finding new uses for existing (wasted) spaces.
This small "thing" inspired me to write a 3-part series over at my blog:
Part 1: http://wp.me/p2hTaI-1i
Part 2: http://wp.me/p2hTaI-1g
Part 3: http://wp.me/p2hTaI-1e
This is a Work in Progress, in as much as the modules that can work with this system will grow over time, as well as adjustments to these objects made as they get used more and more (for instance, while these are to-spec for "standard" 5mm shelf pin holes, they are a tight fit in some holes, and there is another 7mm standard out there as well).
I'll be posting original SketchUp files soon.
Print as many pins as needed to hold a shelf, run cables in your bookcase, hold notes, whatever. For maximum stability I'd print the shelf pins with 100% infill.
The shelf pin, the small shelf, and the plug are designed to print raftless, without support.
The pin itself may come out a little misshapen or be a really tight fit, but nothing a quick sanding with a piece of sandpaper can't fix.
The small shelf and the plug can also be a tight fit, but they do fit, and hold very well. These are perfect for holding other small printed items in your bookcase.
The photo/note holder will require raft and support. This piece will definitely change due to some oddities in the item holder slot.