Sep 16, 2015 | By Alec

While talk about fantastic functional 3D printable designs often move straight towards robotic creations, slightly simpler non-moving creations are often far more functional, are useful to have around and will actually be used. Just take a look at this fantastic and very stylish stackable battery holder developed by Massachusetts-based designer Adoniram Sides, which is a perfect addition to any garage, workshop or makerspace in which batteries always seem to be short in supply.

Fortunately, the designer was happy to talk to us about how this interesting concept came about. As he explained to, these cool stackable battery holders were originally designed for Checkerboard – a family owned business in Worcester, Massachusetts that has been specialized in the stationary and invitation markets for decades but whose CEO Micah Chase is always looking into new technologies. As part of that innovative drive, the business has also become a 3D Hub. Sides, who is the company’s Creative Director, developed this cool container for them. ‘Checkerboard graciously allowed me to post them here on Thingiverse,’ he says. Sides himself graduated in interdisplinary media at Fitchburg State University, where he emersed himself in various aspects of the design world. He joined Checkerboard in 2008.

As he explains, the concept for this battery holder was born out of a dilemma all of us have faced. Do you leave batteries laying around or do you store them in a container? ‘Mass produced holders were quite ugly and usually combined different battery types into one mould-made product. This meant that if I had a bunch of AAA batteries, and just one C battery, I'd have to get extra holders and leave them lying around,’ he says. ‘It wasn't very efficient. The styles were also unattractive. I really wanted something I could put in my home studio for easy access, while not having an eyesore on my desk.’

And thus the idea was born. The design process for this modular container (which stacks easily and can be customized for each type of battery) took about 24 hours. ‘I like to do my concepts on paper first. I wanted simple, clean lines with a bold graphic label. I thought using an exponent for "AA" and "AAA" was a bit more fun than writing out all the letters - plus it allowed me to use just one letter for each container, presenting a more consistent appearance. I wanted people to be able to mix, match, and stack whatever they needed,’ he explains.

Modeling itself was done in the unusual Maxon's Cinema4D. ‘It's not a traditional engineering tool but rather it's a visualization and media tool. I've been doing 3D design for nearly two decades and over the years I've found it to be a very good tool for my process,’ he justifies. 3D printing took place on a custom build, which Sides based on a Solidoodle 3 frame, but can easily take place on other 3D printers as well. ‘It takes about 2 hours to print all three pieces at a high resolution. It can be printed in one piece if you have a dual extrusion machine,’ he adds.

The result is a fantastic and endlessly expandable set of battery holders for all your storing needs. The parts fit together easily thanks to a friction and tab fit, though a drop of glue helps. The set also comes in three available sizes, and all of which can be downloaded from Thingiverse here. They can be easily screwed to the wall, or be stacked on a table, and you’ll never have to worry about batteries again. Isn’t that clever? It’s exactly the kind of remarkably simple innovation that 3D printers can bring into every home and workshop.

It’s designer Sides, meanwhile, is already working on another interesting project: a 3D printed smartphone housing, but one that mounts to GoPro accessories. ‘Lots of people have GoPros and iPhones (including myself) so it seems natural to combine the parts together. I'm running Colorfabb's XT-CF20 carbon fiber for the project and can't recommend it enough!’ he says. That means we’ll doubtlessly hear a lot more from him in the near future.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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eFi wrote at 9/28/2015 6:49:11 AM:

:) Looks nice but it is not strict FIFO.

Robin Streb wrote at 9/16/2015 4:59:55 PM:

I have one of these and I love it! Bought it from Sides off of Etsy.

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