I don't have much storage space at my place and always hated how bulky traditional beer trays were, so when I got bored and thirsty at the same time a couple of days ago, I designed this compact minimalist version.
It holds the bottles by gripping them around the neck just below the head. Since the bottle head usually has a bigger diameter than the bottle neck that starts just below it, the bottles cannot slip out downwards. The clamps are spaced far enough apart so that the bottle bodies have some air gap between each other.
Of course not every beer bottle in the world has the same shape and dimensions. I am focusing on 0.5 liter bottles and am aiming to cover the most widespread shapes in Germany in this category:
- Longneck type (Beck's, Warsteiner, Jever etc.) - fits safely with some give
- NRW type (Franziskaner etc.) - fits tightly
- Euro type (Augustiner etc.) - does not fit. I've tried modifying the design so it can at least hold those bottles, but getting such bottles out of the clamps is impossible without (partially) breaking the bottle seal.
Your mileage with other brands and sizes may vary.
If you are loading the carrier with less than six bottles, make sure you balance out the positioning of all the bottles as good as possible. E.g. if you load three bottles, leave an empty clamp between each bottle, or with two bottles you would want to load them at exactly opposing sides.
Easiest way to load bottles appears to be straight pushing them through the clamps from the bottom upwards, easiest way to unload I've found was grabbing the body of the bottle and pulling it outwards like a lever.
Being a German (Bavarian even) who does some engineering to create something beer-related makes me fulfill a whole bunch of clichés at once here, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Prost, cheers and на здоровье!
0.4 mm layer height (0.6 mm nozzle)
Grid 15% (10% Honeycomb looks better when printing with transparent material)
Print with as many perimeters as required to not generate any infill in the clamps. The clamps should solely consist of perimeters and gap fill (not infill), else they will likely not be strong and flexible enough. For my 0.4 mm prints with a 0.6 mm nozzle, I needed to set the amount of perimeters to 3 to achieve this goal, and I went with 3 top and 2 bottom solid layers.
I have not tested the structural strength with traditional/common 0.2 mm (0.4 mm nozzle) print settings, and would very much recommend that you also print with 0.4 mm layers or even bigger. My 0.4 mm layer version seems to work fine.
Printing with PETG is highly recommended as the clamps require some flex which PLA prints likely will not have. Use you usual print bed prep method (for the PEI sheet of my Prusa, that'd be wiping with window cleaner). You might observe slight warping on the clamps at higher Z levels, but the whole thing still prints just fine.
Printed object dimensions:
199.85 mm x 187.54 mm x 32.00 mm
Printing time and material consumption (PETG, 1.75 mm diameter, 0.4 mm layer height w/0.6 mm nozzle):
- ~5 hours 5 minutes
- ~176 grams of material (~58 meters)
A few prior experiments with rectangular designs (handle in center, rows of clamps on each side) were scrapped for following reasons:
- They were hard or impossible to print in an orientation such that none of the tension forces during use would apply to the weakest dimension of the print
- The overall dimensions of a 6 bottle design exceeded the build volume of my Prusa i3 printer in one dimension.
Hence I went to a circular design, which should cater to most popular printers as these usually have a near quadratic build plate.
Since I'm an enrolled university student, I got a free 3 year license for Autodesk Inventor, so that's the software I used to convert my paper doodles into an actual 3D model.
The design is pretty much fully parametric; it will generate a model for an arbitrary number of beer bottles and has nearly every other dimension configurable as well (shape/measures of bottle neck, spacing between bottles, minimum handle length, clamp inner diameter tolerances, clamp opening angle, etc). Designs for more than 6 bottles are too big to print on a Prusa i3 though.