Desktop Saver

by BouncyMonkey, published

Desktop Saver by BouncyMonkey Jun 20, 2012
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This is a desktop saver for putting on your desk when you are not there.

This project is inspired by the old 3D Pipes screen saver that was on earlier versions of windows. The leap of warped logic that led to this project was thinking about the equivalent of a screen saver for people when they are not at their workstation. So what you do is put the assembled Desktop saver on your desk when you are away from it. This should help people realise that you are not at your desk and maybe waiting around for you is a waste of time. It may help stymie anyone who might have their eye on using your desk while you are away.

While the old Windows Screen Saver was just pipes and bends I could not resist enhancing the idea with the addition of little pipe fittings and flanges etc. The models in this project include a sign holder. This is designed for you to write a message onto a piece of paper and then cover with a bit of clear plastic such as that which comes with blister-packs. The type of message I had in mind was something like; “Desktop Saver. Hamish is not at his desk right now, please call again later or leave a message after the tone.” That should keep your visitors entertained for hours if they're a bit slow.


The files are generally individual components or pairs of components that are to be stuck together eventually. The weld flanges and flange necks are designed to go either side of the valve, instrument, accumulator, or sign support fittings, while the weld flanges and keyed flange necks are designed to fit to the elbows.

I have included the blender file shown in the rendered image so that anyone wanting to see how the networks goes together will be able to figure it. I would encourage you to make up your own networks limited only by your patience, amount of plastic you have available, and the size of your room.

The model is designed to take 12mm diameter wooden dowel for the pipe, but I'm sure other materials that are to hand will look just as good. On the Ultimaker I use the sizes are not exact, and so I found it necessary to run a 12mm drill bit through the pieces to ensure they would slip onto the dowel. In the physical model, I used an epoxy glue to stick the components together. You may need to do some trimming on the elbow sockets depending on how your programme slices the model. I found that the fill in part of a layer would often droop into the space too much and so I would need to get in there with a small rotary tool to open it up enough for the keyed flange to fit.

Some of the details are quite small and so when printed can be a bit vague (on the Ultimaker at any rate).

Anyway. This was a fun project to design and build. I will be putting it into an art exhibition shortly. I hope you enjoy playing with it too.

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I recently changed to working in a hot desking environment and this model has proved invaluable. My coworkers are very puzzled and skirt around "my" desk carefully. This model is a great improvement and more hygienic than my previous technique of leaving a moldy sandwich on my desk or chair.

Thank you for the model it's saved my desk many times.

This is great. Keeps working when there's a power failure, too.

places on desk and leaves
random cowerker looks into my office, sees animating screensaver, thinks he's drunk and goes home