Solving Simple Problems With My 3D Printer

I’ve had access to a 3D printer for going on 8 years now, but up until about 10 months ago, I’ve never had my own. I paid $100 for it and you can learn all about that in the video below if you are interested.

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my printer and I’ve been able to make things for the house, test ideas, and experiment. One of the biggest problems that I’ve been experiencing lately is the area under my desk. I have a massive cable management problem that I need to solve but up the hierarchy lays my real problem, my external 4-bay hard drive enclosure is sitting on my floor. Seriously.

My Yottamaster 4-bay external hard drive enclosure.

Including the drive and the bay, I have about $500 worth of equipment just sitting on the floor. Worse yet, the fans on this thing are sucking in dust and dog hair.

It’s not a good situation and a 3D printer is going to help me solve it.

I made my own desk a few years ago and it’s allowed me to mount everything under it to hide a lot of what makes my desk work. My computer, “some” cables, and power strip are all mounted to the underside of my desk. This gives a nice clean visual that I dig. But how to mount an aluminum box that has zero mounting points or anything else? Well, I can just design, print, and install a custom bracket.

CAD model of my custom bracket.

To begin with, I took some quick measurements of the enclosure and then drew up a quick CAD model. The enclosure is heavy, but it will not be under any load other than gravity. I figure that I’ll need at least two of these for it to work, so on to the slicer!

I used some very basic settings in the slicing software to make sure the bracket was strong but not wasteful. In the end, I decided that three outer layers and a 40% infill would be more than enough to do the trick. With those settings, I ran it through the slicer and got a print time of about 10 hours. So about a day worth of printing to have my two brackets.

A finished print.

After the first one printed I check to see if the bracket fit the enclosure because I am still dialing in my scaling to get things to print EXACTLY to the sizes I set. It fit perfectly.

Completed bracket with another on the way.

I’ll update this post when I have installed them, but I need to do some cable management before I get to that project. Less than a week till the next school year begins and I’m finishing projects that I thought about almost a year ago. So it goes.






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