Hamper Stool, A Year Later

It has been over a year since I finished the hamper stool. The photograph above shows its current condition. The front has not changed much since I finished it. Only a couple of the spiral inserts have popped out on occasion. I cannot say the same for the inserts on the sides. I did not want to glue inserts into place in order to change colors whenever I change my shower curtain. I was tempted to glue them after months of trying different tapes to hold them in place. Instead, I came up with the idea of using wire to hold them in place. It is a haphazard solution, but they rarely fall out now.

DSCN2327The inserts were not falling out when I sat down, I could hear them falling when I was in another room. They would fall also, when I moved the stool, but not all the time. As I write this, I realize now what was causing them to fall; vibrations from trains. I live close to freight train tracks and the ground vibrates when trains travel by. I never connected the two events before now.

One other aspect about the stool was troublesome until I figured out a solution. I used plastic bumpers on the dowel tops under the lid. The two in the front were always coming off. I finally cut rings from small round cork pieces and attached them with wood glue. That has been working very well.

Would I make another one?

DSCN2330My answer to that is a resounding yes! I would be working on making one as a sewing stool this very minute if my 3d printer had not lost the ability to make prints wider than 3 inches. I would be finished with at least one cabinet too, if the printer was capable. Instead of trying to stress myself with replacing and configuring parts, I have decided to just get another printer next year. Plus, I would like one with a larger bed in order to make shoe soles.

Would I change anything?

Another resounding yes! I would reduce the number of screws, washers, and bolts by using wire to connect the casings and spiral inserts vertically.  Instead of regular nuts, I would use nylon nuts to prevent nuts from falling loose. I would make the length of the 2″ dowels 16″.

Overall, I love my hamper stool. It has been a useful asset and I still really like the spiral inserts.

Hamper Stool Project Finished

The hamper stool project is finished! It is a piece of furniture that combines 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) filament with wood. It started as a desire to capture the qualities of spiralising filament in a functional piece of furniture using a 8″ x 8″ x 7″ sized print bed. It ended with furniture reminiscent of ocean waves and capable of holding a decent amount of dirty laundry.
The Starfish in the photograph was 3D printed from a file created by CBiker and painted.

Hamper Stool Project, Part 6

DSCN1787The structure of the hamper stool is almost together. I have 4 additional side casings to make and 9 pieces for the back. I ordered a roll of filament on Sunday and I expect it to arrive Friday or Monday. In the meantime, I have been printing the spiral infills.

DSCN1779I have never added wheels to anything from scratch, so I watched a video (see end of post) to learn how to do it. I measured the width of the wheel stem (9 mm) and bought a 3/8″ black oxide drill bit and 3/8″ t-nuts. One thing to note here is that my steel drill bit created a lot of heat when boring into the hardwood legs. The black oxide bit did not.

DSCN1781After I prepared the legs, I put the top 3D printed pieces together and attached the legs flush with the assembly top. Next, I turned my attention to the hinge.

This was the first time I have attached a hinge from scratch as well. I searched the internet to try and determine how to place it properly. After awhile, I concluded that I just needed to be sure the top could open completely. To do this, the circular part must be in the center space between the two pieces to be attached. Also, the hinge needs to be centered on the wood, with equal measurements to each end. I think I did okay with centering the hinge on the wood and the 3D pieces; not so well with screwing the nails into the wood. I used push pin pilot holes after marking placement with a pencil and I should have drilled the holes using a small diameter drill bit. The slanted nails prevent the wood top from closing as it should.

DSCN1785The 3D pieces do not have holes in the top. I planned to drill holes here when I designed the model. I simply marked and drilled holes using a 5/32″ black oxide drill bit.DSCN1789

The hinge created a roughly 4 mm space between the top assembly and the wood lid. I placed 13 mm vinyl bumpers on the center of each wood dowel leg and turned the project upside down to position the front casing assembly. I used mounds of Sculpey to hold the assembly at the 4 mm height while I maneuvered it. I marked and drilled holes in the casings.

After I made 3 side casings and put them together, I found that I did not do a good job with centering the front assembly. I will re-position it after I have both side assemblies together.


Back of project – My initial plans were to make the same casings for the front and back of the hamper. However, after attaching the hinge, I found that there was no room for the casings. Luckily, my experiment with the placemats provided a solution. I will print flat panels and hot glue them together for the back. Then, I will mark and drill holes to attach the panel assembly to the top, bottom, and side assemblies.
DSCN1792Spiral fillers – Upon attempting to fit the spiral fillers in the casings, I found that half of the spirals need to be open on the sides to accommodate nuts. I have printed a side spiral open once with supports and it works. I am working on positioning the opening in the right spot.

Threaded Stem Cast Installation video

Hamper Stool Project, Part 5

The frame is almost together. The roll of filament I ordered on Sunday arrived yesterday. I have three more parts to print for the bottom. However, I do not have enough hardware to finish putting the parts together. I ordered more yesterday and hopefully it will arrive before the end of next week.

I wanted to use small screws and bolts for this project, so I bought all the 4M flat head and hex screws I found at my local Home Depot. I was not sure how many I needed until I joined the mistake pieces together. There was originally one hole for joining the top and bottom pieces, but I found it was necessary to double the number of holes. I thought I needed to increase the number of holes for the front, back, and side casings as well until I printed two parts yesterday. I found it was not necessary. I then had a proper count of how many screws are needed; 44 – M4 x 16mm button or hex bolts, 54 – M4 x 14mm flat head bolts, 92 washers, 92 4M nuts, and 16 #6 x 1″ wood screws.

DSCN1738I still have one other item to order and that is filament for the spiral fill. It turns out that the color filament needs to be translucent in order to get the shiny, reflective, transparent effect I’m going for. Regular color filament is too opaque.

After I print the remaining bottom pieces, I will print another project I have been working on; a hanging jewelry box.

Hamper Stool Project, Part 4

I have printed all of the parts for the top! I will need to drill holes to secure the hinge, but I know that will not be a problem, mainly because I drilled a hole through one of the mistake parts I made earlier.

All of the top parts were printed from two stereolithography files. Parts 1 and 2 were printed twice and Part 1 was mirrored and printed twice. The two GIF videos below show how to mirror in Cura and Repetier Host.

It seems to me that I will need more filament to complete the bottom parts. The roll is decreasing more quickly than I anticipated. I have about 1/3 of a wheel remaining. I think I can make at least two bottom parts before I reach the end. I ordered a roll today and I am likely to receive it on Thursday. That means I am will not have the frame together until next Sunday.

How to mirror in Cura

1. Click the model
2. Click mirror object icon
3. Click arrow for direction of mirror

How to mirror in Repetier Host

1. Click the mirror icon


Hamper Stool Project, Part 3

After I printed the part shown above, I realized I needed to make decisions about the entire project before I printed another part. The printer was about 3/4 into the print before I realized I did not bring the hole all the way through. I could have stopped the print there to save some filament, but I thought it would be best to complete it; I may realize something I had missed. As it turned out, I decreased the center height and moved the dowel holder closer to the edges of the model for the next print. When I ordered more filament, I was reminded of how much it cost. It was definitely time to finalize the design and make it as accurate as I possibly could. That is what I did today. The render of the model is below.

The model shows casters, a hinge, dowels. and a top. I plan to use a 17″ x 12″ piece of pine and the 2″ diameter x 18″ long dowels I have leftover from a previous project. I bought a hinge from Home Depot and screws to attach the casings. I will get the casters and additional screws later.

I hope to have the bottom and top completed within two weeks. After that, I will print the casings. The casings go completely around the hamper. I was thinking of putting a flat board on the back, but then I thought I could put all of the same color spiral inserts there and turn the hamper around to suit my mood. When I started this project, I couldn’t decide whether to make all the same color or multi-colors. Now it is no longer a dilemma.