Collapsible Cup Holder/Pad

by bver, published

Collapsible Cup Holder/Pad by bver Sep 30, 2016

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Thing Statistics

12905Views 2530Downloads Found in Food & Drink


Printed as a cup pad in one piece, this thing can be used also as a cup holder for 9 cm high paper cups filled e.g. with hot coffee.
The collapsed holder is practical for transportation.


V2 has these improvements:

  • more robust joints
  • tuned tolerances
  • smoother edges
  • backstops

You might try to print collapsible_holder_v2_looser_hinges.stl if you think hinges are too tight.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Prusa i3 MK2






0.2 mm is sufficient


does not matter


Some short bridging required.
Print time is approx. 2 hours with 0.2 mm resolution. Use finer resolution for more smooth joints.

Quality filament is recommended. (PLA is fine.)


Do not risk breaking tiny parts

Joints are rather tough right after printing so please be very careful when expanding the holder for the first time. Do not force it to open, rather gently move parts in small angles first.

You might want to clean up your holder from tiny filament hairs before opening it.

How I Designed This

I could not find a suitable coffee cup holder. All Thingiverse designs were too big to be transported in a pocket easily so this was my attempt to scratch my itch.
This is the best way of learning OpenSCAD and exploring limits of 3D printing (moveable parts printed together).

Also, inspired by ingenious designs by @muzz64:

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I've seen hinges made via holes, and inserting a piece of filament as the axle of the hinge. This means parts are printed separately and assembled afterwards. Any thoughts on a version of this with that sort of hinges, if people are having difficulty printing the hinges?

(you can check out my "Folding Bottle Opener" for reference on what i'm talking about with the hinges: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1445541 )

Folding Bottle Opener

Thanks for the idea.
Remixes of this thing are always welcome. I am currently preparing the original OpenSCAD file for the public release so it will be possible to decompose it into several parts. However this approach is somehow problematic since sizes are small.

The main issue is the wrong hinges tolerance parameter and the tiny diameter of the axe. It is likely that the model which has 16 axes going through 24 holes has printing difficulties. It requires a lot of bridging and axes tend to stick with holes. When forcing the holder to open for the first time it easily breaks.
The 2nd version of the model has this issue addressed.

Having a hard time figuring out how to unfold it without breaking it. The joints were extremely tight, but even if they weren't, I'm still not sure if I'm doing it right. Can you upload a video of how to open it up for the first time?

It is important to loosen joints of the new print one by one and not to apply an excessive force. Please be patient and make sure all joints can freely move before unfolding the whole piece.

I will post the new version with better joints and other improvements soon.

I really like the idea, however getting the hinges to work is like really a task undertaken with much patience. Even though I am really patiently trying to get it to swivel some of the centre hinges either broke or just unhooked.

Maybe if one printed it with say about 50% fill that may help?

I guess the infill percentage does not matter much. Resolution is more important.
Maybe the axis hole has not the sufficient tolerance for some printers/filaments? I have prepared the STL file with looser hinges:

hole_radius = axis_radius + 0.3; // line 12 in .scad file

You might try to print collapsible_holder_v2_looser_hinges.stl if you think hinges are too tight.

What if you tried making the holes a little bigger?

Comments deleted.

axis_radius = 1.1;
hole_radius = axis_radius + 0.2;

(in mm) works good for me for 0.20 mm resolution. Holes bigger than approx. axis+0.3 would produce too-loose joints I guess.

Looks great! But it broke while opening it for the first time :( Will try it again later...

Para mi a sido un fail esta pieza :(

Sorry I do not understand. Please use English.

i think he said that the print failed

Feedback is always welcome. Any details?

He didn't specify, he just said the print didn't work for him

I love this! Very clever design. How is it comfort-wise when you hold it?

Thank you, I am glad you like it.

Edges are sort of sharp now because I wanted the surface area of the 1st layer as big as possible. Surprisingly this objective does not reduce comfortability much since there is a lot of such edges (fakir's bed of nails effect). A distance of the hot cup from the palm is also sufficient in this version.
However there is always a room for improvement. :)