Retro Rocket Pencil Case

by RealAbsurdity, published

Retro Rocket Pencil Case by RealAbsurdity Sep 25, 2013

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In the age of smartphones, tablets, and digital everything what is more retro than a No. 2 pencil? You guessed it: a retro rocket styled pencil case and carousel! You will never misplace your trusty pencils when they are stored in the coolest 3D printed pencil case since the space race. This case is like NASA in the 60s: large, a little impractical and inspirationally awesome. Aside from the cool retro styling this model is fully 3D printable, support free, snap-fitting and features a series of simple and elegant mechanisms. A simple bayonet mount locks the carousel, which holds a dozen pencils, into the vertical position. Rotate it to the right and the pencils fold into their individual slots as the rocket case prepares for blastoff. If you're like me you use your pencils down to the bitter end, so give the nose cone a twist to the left and you will have all the storage space you need for erasers, sharpeners, and pencils too short for the carousel. Or... You could store some super cool matching retro rocket pencil toppers up there along with your brand new folding 50 cm ruler. As a space minded type though centimeters may not be enough for you. No problem: this ruler also converts to light years. This thing is a work in progress but ready to go as is. Coming soon: a replacement outer case with optional carry handle!

Check out the demo video:

UPDATE: 9/26/2013 There was a slight misalignment in the case_print.STL file that caused the outer shell to rest slightly above the build plate. It has been fixed and re-uploaded. Thanks to coolarj10 for noticing and pointing out the error.


This thing prints like a dream:

I sliced each of the plates of case pieces in Makerware at .25 mm layer thickness for the rocket and .2 mm for the ruler parts and pencil toppers. Two shells is sufficient for sturdiness and stability at .1 infill. It is a tall piece though and a long print (took a total of 15 hours) that is well worth the wait.

When you first assemble the carousel into its threaded fastening a few drops of oil (I used 3 in 1 household type oil) will help it thread all the way into the rocket base and keep it moving easy.

On a side note for the Ruler: I had some issues with missing infill right around the 60% mark when I sliced and printed the entire tray with all five ruler pieces and yet they sliced and printed fine individually. So I uploaded the individual ruler pieces as well in case anyone has a similar issue.

UPDATE: The extrusion problems on the ruler seem to be caused by repeated extrusion and retraction on the layers with the hash-marks because my original Makerware profile used the "doExternalspurs, true" To alleviate this problem and also make for a better print overall, make sure doExternalspurs is set to False.

UPDATE: 9/26/2013 There was a slight misalignment in the case_print.STL file that caused the outer shell to rest slightly above the build plate. It has been fixed and re-uploaded. Thanks to coolarj10 for notching and pointing out the error.

Prototypes printed in PLA from ToybuilderLabs

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That's great. You are a professional

Wow thats a long print! 12 hours for the case, 15 for the carousel! I did have the issue with the feet of the rocket being too high which kinda messed up the feet at the end.. but they filed down OK. I am having trouble with how tight the parts are, i broke a clip on the carousel clipping the 2 bits together, the screw part is really really tight and i cant get the lid on. any idea's? I'm waiting for the supa glue to dry now :( Im thinking if the scale was slightly out on my machine it would make everything bigger or smaller?

Trying to print this on my MakerBot. However, the case is too tall. Anyone figure out the scaling necessary for the carousel?

Which makerbot do you have? Some of the parts were near the max z height on my Replicator 2 when I designed it. If it is too tall you might need to break it up in blender, print two pieces and glue them back together. The scale is correct to function as a pencil case if it is imported with mm drawing units.

For those asking for individual part files, you can actually do this yourself. Load up a modern version of slic3r, add the stl that contains many parts, click the 'split' button, delete all but one of the now-many items, and click the 'export to stl' button. It's a little bit of a pain, in that you have to do the same operation over and over again, but it means you can start printing in a few minutes, instead of waiting for the contributor to update their post. 2¢

Have fun printing!

Really nice! Second the request for individual part files, though…the grouped files are too large for the print volume of my Afinia! :D

Very nice design! Congrats!


Great Job, can all the part be in individual STL files instead of grouping them together? so it is easier to manage.
thank you.


Congrats on the win! Awesome design!

This would be cool if your school were the rockets or if you were a physics teacher.

Indeed, my highschool physics teacher would love this thing.

Nice! I'm looking forward to having this on my desk. On RRPC_v3-Case.stl, the left piece is placed higher than the build platform, which results in an air print.

Thanks! coolarj10 noticed a little error in one plate below so redownload it later today before printing.

This is super cool. I'm printing this for the office for sure! Did you use translucent yellow? Whatever color you picked for the main rocket - it's pretty awesome.

Fixed! I made a small tweak to my original assembly files after my last prototype and it broke the print alignment. Thanks again for pointing it out.

Oops! My last export must have had an error. I will update it in a little bit as soon as I get to the studio. And thanks for the kind words and pointing out the error. Also the yellow case is gold PLA from http://Toubuilderlabs.comToubuilderlabs.com