What is Gridfinity?
Gridfinity could be your workshop’s ultimate modular storage system to keep you productive, organized, and safe. It is free, open source, and almost 100% 3D printable.-Gridfinity
In a nutshell? It’s printable stackable storage solutions for just about every tool and item that you could hoard on a cluttered desk. And for some reason I have many random bits all over the desk, needing a tidy home. I’m talking tools, dice, cords, USB sticks, paints, a bit of everything really..
And it comes with it’s own philosophy which I’m guessing was born out of endless frustrations in doing pretty much everything. Namely every item has a home that is:
- Is within reach of where you’ll use it,
- Is exposed and easy to grab,
- Prevents accidents like spills and injuries, and
- Is effortless to set up and super easy to put back or rearrange.
Now in all honesty, I stumbled over this innovative solution via Facebook. Normally it’s chock a block full of drama, idiots and just about every scam you care to name under the sun but once in a blue moon it can prove to be more than just the general downfall of society. I was just whiling away some time on the F**k that I’ll just 3D print it group and someone had posted up a storage box they made. Someone else replied ‘That’s nice, but have you checked out Gridfinity’ complete with a link and that was it, down the rabbit hole I went.
Given that it’s free, gives my 3D printer something to do and is insanely customisable, why wouldn’t I give this a go? (I suppose a better question is Gridfinity, where have you been
all my life? Since I started working on this desk?)
Also given that I’m working with an entry level 3D printer that is the classic (by now) Ender 3 V2, these pieces just have to be more functional than pretty because it’s purely for storage.
How hard can that be then?
Getting started with Gridfinity – We start with printing off a grid (or five)..
Small space/not lots to put away? Well a 3×3 Gridfinity grid would be ideal there.
But this is me. I have a lot of junk and many things to store that I probably won’t ever use ever again (but you never know!) so I’m thinking a few 4×4 grids might be the go for my needs:
And then come the Gridfinity things that go into the grids..
I mentioned dice earlier because there’s a lot of them going nowhere fast on my desk at the moment. Mostly d6 from various games where the kids have forgotten to put them back in th ebox but also various flavours like d4, d10 and d20’s too for such games as Magic the Gathering to use as life counters. But surely there wouldn’t be a dice container for Gridfinity ye-
Okay fine then, there’s a home for the dice. What about one for spare change, ie coins that probably should be in my wallet or piggy bank (in my case a ‘Stiggybank’ ala Top Gear)?
Ahh but of course. This is the Gridfinity Coin Holder (for common US coins) but I’m sure with a quick Google or Bing around, I’ll easily find an Australian version that accepts the Dodecagonal wonder that is the Aussie 50 cent piece.
Now I was wondering about my paints. I like to paint up my poorly printed projects with Game Color by Valerjo. Does Grid- ?
Oh wait, never mind. Of course it does. That’s the wonder of open sourced projects like this, there’s just about every variation out there thanks to an army of helpful creators adding to it.
Of course the beauty of this system is that you can lift and move things around to your hearts content. Want paints on the left instead of the right? Pick it up, slot it down, work out what’s going in the other open areas. Don’t like that container for whatever? Time to print another one!
Of course if you (somehow) run out of ideas on what to 3d print Gridfinity next, there’s of course an active Reddit community ready to go too.
Suddenly inspiration strikes
‘Before I get to organising the mess on my desk, why not try a smaller project first?’ – Me, a few moments after writing the first draft of this blog post. And so keen to get this Gridfinity experiment rolling (er…printing) I set about working out what I’d need in terms of a mini bedside table. Well more something that I can print and attach to a small wooden stand with just the right containers that I need for everything I usually hunt all over the house for in the dark each and every workday morning. Having them all in the one place will save me minutes!
So after seeing what was available, off I went. First I 3d printed the grid naturally and I’ve gone for a 5 x 2 grid which will have 2 2×2 containers and 2 1×1 to fill in the gaps. This is from the stupidly useful 3d print Gridfinity Master Collection which has just about everything you need all in the one place.
Some of the inner squares came out a little rough with some excess material (thanks Ender!) but it’s nothing a little filing can’t smooth out as needed. Next to print was the ring holder! This is actually a ring and washer holder so I guess it’s more for a workshop but if I need to put my wedding ring somewhere for safe keeping..
Interestingly I didn’t think my wedding ring was on the small side of things until I put it on the printed Gridfinity holder. I would have thought it’d slide further down the cone but nope, it sits pretty at the top which is okay for now but I might go for a skinnier option so I don’t knock it over easily in the dark. My inner ear headphones are next and things are starting to fill up!
Now I probably should have measured my Jlabs headphone case first really…because it’s not going to fit (unless I leave them out of the case which defeats the purpose). But the good news is, until I find a print that does, this is now a handy container for just about anything including coins. And I can always pop it out and use it for something else later on.
When it comes to the cord going through and connecting to the charger it’s a bit of a snug fit but the easiest way around this I found is to feed plenty of cord length through the opening, connect the two parts together then gently move the circle base down into the printed holder. Yes it looks like the charger is on a decent angle here but when you put your watch onto charge you see why it was positioned this way:
Sadly what was to be the final print for this project test, this 3d print Gridfinity phone holder/ charge stand didn’t really go to plan. I had a couple of failed prints (which was the Ender 3 doing weird things as it’s prone to do on occasion when I least expect) but then once printed I hit a couple of snags.
Firstly being a 1×2 print instead of 2×2 like the watch one, my Samsung S20 FE is too long for it and too top heavy causing the whole 3d printed Gridfinity thing to topple over if I look at it the wrong way. Yes I could glue it in but that would render the point of being modular here, for my size phone and above you’d need a 2×2 version. (Or rest it sideways which doesn’t look that tidy..)
The other issue is that the lip to hold your phone is a little low for this particular model and depending on how you have it, you may end up with a bend in your cord near the charger end which isn’t good long term.
In my case when moving things around for best fit, I managed to snap part of the lip right off – go me!
I’d suggest at least a 50% fill to keep things sturdy if you’ve got a phone small enough to use this one correctly.
Time to print a new one then!