After buying my first 3D printer (a Wanhao i3 Plus), I started wondering what to sit it on. The multitude of IKEA LACK designs on Thingiverse were a great start, but I wanted a few other things…
Most Thingiverse LACK designs stack two tables. I bought a third just to use the extra tabletop as a base so that the legs don’t splay. And to put ‘stuff’ on. IKEA LACK side tables (Article no: ‘103.242.78’ in the UK and probably everywhere else on earth) are dirt cheap – currently £7 here, which can be what a beer costs in pricey London. So buying a third was no biggie.
My initial thought was to mount casters directly to the bottom of the base tabletop (which I now notice https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2598673 did). However even with substantial dual-wheel locking casters you still have the whole 302,500 cubic cm (or higher) tower – sitting on four casters, with just about 80 square cm of contact with the floor. The math suggested to me that the tower would shake, and with 3D printing it’s good to remove every source of inaccuracy.
In the end I just sat the base on a dolly (see my separate: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2614692). For simple prints the tower sits on the dolly and shakes a wee bit. If I want a more solid base for something important, I just put the tower directly on the floor. Simple!
I was all set to make something like https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2012384 (so many good ideas there, thanks https://www.thingiverse.com/zuspiel!) or https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2212749, and then I realised how many hours their leg extensions would take to print. Patience is not my strong point, so my thoughts went to the four legs that were surplus from the third LACK table above. I joined them onto the top table’s legs, using the four double-ended furniture screws that were also surplus from the third table.
I only added 10cm to the top table’s legs, cutting up two of the surplus legs into shorter segments and leaving two for some other big idea. In retrospect another 1 or 2cm might have been better, not sure yet. What’s great about this old-school woodworking method vs. a 3D print is it’s the same cost/time to add whatever height you want (up to the full 40cm of a spare leg)… it’s just a matter of where you do your cuts.
While writing up this design, I notice https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2253750 designed a hidden leg extender that might come in useful. But I just mounted ‘end-block to end-block’ in my design, using IKEA’s supplied double-ended furniture screws (see photos). If you fix the non-chamfered ends of the legs together you can barely see the seams – assuming you were careful to drill a perfectly centred hole in any end-blocks that didn’t already have one. The photos show a tip for marking that centre, no measuring or math needed.
Leg Feet and Table Mounts
My design here is much the same interlock as other LACK enclosures, except that there’s just one screw to attach each table mount (the ‘male’ part). The feet (the ‘female’ part) are just held by friction inside the open ends of the legs. I did include grooves for wood glue, and a top hole for a long wood screw, but the fit is tight enough that neither of those has been necessary. All this means it would be easy to change these feet out for some better idea someday.
Given this is IKEA stuff, the LACK’s legs are mostly hollow (see pics). Wanting to give the base of each leg a bit more substance – and keep the inner leg inserts from travelling up, I packed them tight with Z-folded strips of newsprint. Certainly you could 3D print something – or just use blocks of wood but I didn’t have any on hand, nor a proper saw to cut them to a nice fit. Newsprint seemed environmentally friendly, and works just fine.
Leg caps and inserts
Quick-Detach Lack Top Connector and Under-Mounted Spool
I’ve created separate Thingiverse posts for each of these, to keep this one short and because many different LACK enclosure designs could reuse them. See my:
Quick-Detach LACK-top 12V Power Connector
Under-Mounted Filament Spool Rig