Customizable Sanding Stick

by mightynozzle, published

Customizable Sanding Stick by mightynozzle Jun 26, 2017

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I like the idea of the Sanding stick by workshopbob, but I don't want to buy some hex screws. So I've created this thing, where you can customize your sanding stick, that will automatically include the needed printable screws.

I have also added the four sticks I'm using in the first picture as .stl files.

Attribution: I used the Sanding stick of workshopbob, licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license, as an inspiration for my Customizable Sanding Stick.

Customizable Settings

  • set the length, height and width (picture 3)
  • 3 different end styles: none, round and wedge (picture 4)
  • set the angle and a smooth round end for wedge style

Customizable Sanding Stick on YouTube

RCLifeOn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK8k_6zu0hs
Print 3D Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY7AoZirRsI


v1.3 - 2017-08-08:

  • [feature] parts will be generated in separate stl-Files additionally.

v1.2 - 2017-07-31:

  • [fix] reduced the tolerance of the threaded hole. If you have problems, to insert the screw in, you can change the tolerance in the screw-settings-advanced section -> Screw Thread Hole Dia In Millimeter.
  • [feature] parameter to add extra height of the screws head

v1.1 - 2017-06-27:

  • [feature] added color
  • [cosmetic] updated description for screw settings

How to support me?

Do you like my things and do you want to support me? You can use these links if you want to buy something. This helps me doing more things. Thanks!

Banggood: https://goo.gl/ZXgx3A
Gearbest: https://goo.gl/FfE59f
Aliexpress: https://goo.gl/bQLi15

Print Settings


Anet A8


0.2 or better




You can use lower infill, as long as the infill is present in each layer of the screw. Or you can use separate infill settings for each part e.g. 50% for bottom part and screws, 25% for top part. You can easily separate the part in Simplify3D under Mesh -> Separate Connected Surfaces. You can also separate the parts in the customizer.


Step 1

Cut a strip of a sheet of sanding paper in the width of the stick. The length should be about the hole around the stick to the second hole + a little extra length.

Step 2

Wrap the strip around the stick from the edge of the first hole beginning to the edge of the second hole. You may cut the length in this step. You can either use your fingers or the top part to hold the strip in place.

Step 3

Screw the first screw in. Then you can tension the strip, lift the top part a bit and push the end of the strip between the top and bottom part. Use the second screw now.
Optional: You can use pliers to tighten the screws, but don't overtighten it!

Custom Section


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Worked great! Thanks for creating this. Only nit pick is the screw knobs are small and hard to hand tighten. Maybe I need a 3d printed wrench... ;)

Thanks for this! The printed bolts were a bit of a pain to get in with my tolerances at stock scale but I made them work. Really nice for helping to finish up prints!

Comments deleted.

Help... I don't have Simplify 3D and base models when I am printing using Cura, always have stick holes too small. Screws fit perfectly in the bracket but :- 1. They are too wide to go into the actual stick. 2. They turn out small so only half thread is outside the bracket, and I don't think it would be enough to hold down the sandpaper. Attaching the file I tried printing twice.... once by scaling to 50% and once as it is.

Your tolerance of your printer could be too high. You can try to resize the screws by 5% in X and Y (not in Z!). Do you have a picture of the printed pieces?

Thanks! Really enjoy these. Came out perfect... :)

unfortunately I get this same error, using chrome. #<RuntimeError: Failed to get https://www.thingiverse.com/download:4424578 403: Forbidden>

There seems to be a problem for all customizable things using the Makerbot Customizer. See https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/thingiverse/forums/site-issues-and-feedback/topic:25574

But you can still try to customize your Sanding Stick via OpenSCAD.
Download and install or run the executable, download the .scad file of the sanding stick and load it into OpenSCAD. There you can change the values in the Editor. Press CTRL+S to save and preview the stick. If you set the final version, press F6 to render the model (may take some time) and export it as STL.

Thanks for your explanation!

@mightynozzle , I have an error when I tried to customize your things, any idea?

<RuntimeError: Failed to get https://www.thingiverse.com/download:4424578 403: Forbidden>

Works fine on Chrome. Looks like a temporarily problem. Please try it again.

Great design and customization! Thank you!!!

Why are you violating the license by having this as non commercial when the original item is licensed for commercial use?

  1. This is a complete rework. I only used the idea and never touched the design of the original
  2. The original design that I used as inspiration has no Share Alike license. Therfore I can use another license.
  3. Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

Hi, I broke a screw and need to print only this piece. I have update to 200% the original one in cura. How can I print only the screw at the same size with cura ? Someone knows?

Yeah I agree - it would be nice to see the individual parts listed - I list individual parts with my designs for this very reason.

This automatically happens, if you customize a sanding stick. Because I offer 4 different examples as .stl, I won't split the parts of each example. This gets very confusing. If you need one part of a example stick, use the split function of your slicer or Tinkercad...

No problems - I have been asked to print these for a customer, and they seem to be content with one each of the examples for now - but I anticipate needing to print more screws. I'll check out the customizer.

I hope you follow the license for non-commercial use.

Actually as an idle thought I have just had regarding the license that thingiverse use - it is fairly heavily oriented around a single finished product, and is somewhat more vague regarding customized items. it's a bit of a grey area in terms of the thingiverse license terminology, when a 3rd party contributes some or all of the parameters required to create the object, EG: it's not specific at what point or percentage an item ceases to be the property of the copyright holder.

And as I'm in Australia, copyright is automatically granted in many cases - whereas in other countries it's not.

As I also have a number of designs, several of which are quite popular, it's something I should probably take the time to look into more closely.

You have got me thinking now - and yes I'll restate this again for your reassurance, I'm not making profit of any kind from your designs - otherwise I would ensure that you get your legal and fair cut.

That's an interesting thought. I think that depends on the quantity of settings and how much the result of the custom thing differs from the original or default thing. But it isn't easy to measure. Or maybe the time was needed to create the thing? Designing, programming and testing this thing took me some weeks. Creating a derivate of this thing via Customizer, take some minutes. I don't know. On the other hand, the share-alike term could solve this problem. All remixes needs to share with the same license and its terms.

In this case as the design is not mine, and the "customer" is a personal acquaintance - there is no money involved.
I only charge for my own designs, and/or for use of my machine.

Unlike the unscrupulous people who sell my SD card holders for $20 a pop on 3rd party sites...

That's bad :(
Do you have experience about reporting the license injury? Does it work well, or do the sites owner ignore it?

Well In truth - I made the design public in the hope that the Chinese would rip it off - and invest the money to make injection molds.
They usually sell things at such a low price that I could order them in bulk and sell at a markup locally, without ever having to get a patent, invest in setup or production costs, and still make a comparable profit from it.

Anything I'm seriously worried about - doesn't make it on to thingiverse.
part of the business I run for myself involves analyzing security systems - the honor system is rarely effective.

There seems no option in Cura 2.x

You can split the model with meshmixer:

  • import model
  • click on select tool
  • activate lasso
  • click 4 edges around the object you want to remove
  • hit Delete-Key
  • File --> Export --> as .STL

or with tinkercad:

  • import the STL-file
  • select the hollow box (two colored gray stripes)
  • place and resize the box to fill the parts you don't need
  • hit CTRL + a
  • hit CTRL + g
  • export as .STL

i dont know if cura is just bugging out or are your shell settings really weird like 0 top layers and 99999 bottom layers and others too

I use Slic3r - have had no issues at all.

Which version of Cura do you use? I will check it then.

The latest official release version i could find on ultimaker is 2.6.2 and I couldn't reproduce the problem there. Do you use a dev or beta version maybe?

oh ya i read that wrong 2.6.2 and i manually changed everything back so its normal. There arent any other special requirements other than 50% infill right?

No, there are no other special settings. If you have a 0.4 nozzle, set 0.2mm layer height.

hey bud, I love this! is it possible to edit it to make it wider? My rolls of sanding paper are 70mm wide and the limit is 60 ^^ Thanks!

But I don't know, if the plate with two screws can hold the sandpaper. 4 screws should do that better. I put it in my ToDo list.

Hey bud, It worked beautifully! I posted a make. A million thanks for your hard work!

Changing the limit wasn't that hard, but the initial design took several days of sketching, programming and evaluating all the prototypes ;-)
Thank you for testing it!

Man! Super-fast response! I really appreciate you doing that. I thought of using 4 screws as well but I did not want to get greedy. You did not have to post this wonderful thing and being bombarded with design change requests could become frustrating! Thanks again!

a real great idea, thanks !!!

printed on Prusa Original MK2S in 0,15 layer. Any problem

These are brilliant! I love this and being a woodworking enthusist I will use this design in my hobby!!!! Great job!!! And thank you so much for not calling them "Parametric Sanding Sticks"

Nice job! Great design!
The holes were to big for the screws. So I put two small pieces of paper in the holes to make the screws tighter and it worked for me.

Thank you and thanks for the tip with the paper. I'm already working on an update of the sanding sticks to fix the tolerance.

Very useful design. I printed a customized version and it works well for me (PLA, 0.2mm, flashforge creator pro). Some feedback for the default parameters:

  1. Screws are too loose. I had to reduce the tolerance to 0.3mm.
  2. Increase the length of the thread for stronger fastening. Having to screw a few more turns is not really an issue.
  3. Have longer screw heads, As they are now, they are too low and hard to tighten.

Also, one of the issues with this design is determining the length of sandpaper to cut. There is not much margin between too long and too short. Would be nice if the design would also help determining the necessary cutting dimensions. E.g. add an additional part, a rectangle of the proper sandpaper dimensions and also have the dimensions embedded in it as text. Some can print and use as a template while others will just write down the dimensions.

Again, very useful model. Thanks for sharing it.

Edit: or just add text at the top of the base with the recommended sandpaper length.

Thank you for your constructive suggestions! I will consider this points in the next update in the next 1-2 weeks.

It also helped me making the base_top part slightly longer, by 3mm or so. This way it stretches the sandpaper better and holds in place while I insert the screws. You may want to consider adding customizable control of that gap. I used this code change (notice the x const)

x = 3;
difference() {
    translate([-x/2, 0, 0])
    #rotate([90, 0, 0]) {
        linear_extrude(height = width) {
            offset(r= + height * 0.3, $fn = 32) {
                offset(delta =  - height * 0.3) {
                    #square([length+x, height]);

Printed these out but the holes are too big for the screws. They just slot in with no turning. I was printing at 0.2 but I can't see much difference to higher layer settings.

Did you print it in ABS? The good news is, that you can print wider screws easily. In the customizer, there is a screw-setting section, where you have to adjust the screw thread diameter to about 6.3-6.6mm instead of 6.0mm. Did you print a customized stick or one of the 4 default .stl-files?

I used primvalue pla but I read it had some shrinkage issues. I used the stock stl files but have some success with isolating the screws and scaling them 110% on x and y.

Nice idea but the design seems to waste a lot of sand paper especially for the long ones.

You can also use the Customizer, to reduce the size of the stick. Or you can reuse the stripe for a smaller stick or use the stripe standalone.

Actually i found that it saves sanding paper, if you turn it once.

congratulations, RCLifeOn featured this in his most recent video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK8k_6zu0hs

Thanks Bastian, this is nice! I saw it yesterday zapping throw the Youtube recommendations.

Works well, excellent idea.

Thanks for your feedback!

Did you watch 3D Printing Nerd Joel? I got the same iedea from their sandingstick video, but you did it soooo nice, theres no need for me to try :-)

Going to print it right now.

Funny thing. I watched it now, but they didn't make it in OpenSCAD. I only saw the sanding stick on the first page of the hand tools and I needed some for my balsa sail plane. Please post a picture of your make and if you have trouble during assembly, leave a comment, because I don't know if the settings around the screw and screw hole fits on other printer settings.
Schöne Grüße aus Künzell ;-)