May 2, 2015

#3D Printing Better Pegboard Hangers

The finished product - 2 of them side by side
My 3D Printer is on a basement workbench in front of a pegboard wall. Often, when I reach for a tool, it falls off the pegboard behind my printer due to poorly designed, practically useless, pegboard hooks. They're metal, have no lateral support, and fit too loosely.
I see opportunity.

[update: when you're done reading this post, go read a newer one I wrote which includes links to the 3D STL models]

The Goal

I set out to create better pegboard storage hangers. Something more than that simple hook I found on Thingiverse in the earliest days of having my printer (which was still pretty good, just basic and unexpandable)

I decided to start with hangers for tools which seemed to have almost no good options yet - the many small pliers and cutters that I actually use for all sorts of projects. I've got about 8-10 of these, all shapes and sizes, clippers and pliers. Besides not hanging well on the metal hooks, they take up way too much wall space when hung individually.

The Design

Part 1: the hook which goes into the pegboard.
The design I invented uses space more efficiently by letting the pliers/cutters overlap each other a bit, they let you easily see the tool, so you can quickly grab the right one without the others getting in the way, and it's easy to store or remove a tool quickly. My initial design was going to be a long rack with many slots to hold 5-6 pliers at a time, but then I realized I'd get more flexibility (and a faster print) by modeling a hanger which holds just two tools at a time. They can still be hung against each other to get the effect of the space saving design for 8-10 tools or more, but I like the smaller design for flexibility in setting up the pegboard how you want.

Part 2: The tool holder which fits onto the hook
As with most (all so far) of my designs, I try to avoid overhangs (no printing supports) - and I am actually interested in making complex shapes out of multiple objects which fit together.  I decided in this case to separate the pegboard connection part from the tool hanger part, which will allow me to use the same pegboard connection part for a variety of hanger designs i the future. This worked out great. As you can see from the images, the pegboard insert (Part 1) is a small part which takes less than 10 minutes to print, and the hanger (Part 2) can be easily printed upside down and later adapted to hold all sorts of things. The Hanger took about 40 minutes to print.


The design worked out really well. It is strong, has plenty of lateral support (with those long legs on the hanger which ride along the sides of the hook), and holds the target tools perfectly - small pliers and cutters. It is clear that I'll be able to adapt the hanger design to take many other tools, and use the same hook design.

Here's how Part 2 goes into Part 1

Other Discovery notes:

  • Clearance for parts fitting together requires approx 0.2 - 0.3mm for z-axis height and more like 0.5 - 0.7mm for x- and y-axis widths (see below why these are different)
  • fitting two parts together takes less clearance on z-direction than x or y directions. This is mostly due to the bottom layer of the print having extra width due to first layer squashing. So the width of the part in the x or y direction will always be a bit wider, but the height of the object is as measured in the model - so the fit has plenty of room.
[update: find links to the free model files in a more recent post about this project]

The finished product

The kit - pegboard clip and tool hanger.


  1. Hello, these looks like really excellent hooks! I like the two-piece design. Have you posed the design files or STL files anywhere, I'd love to customize and create new "part 2" pieces for various tools. Thanks!

  2. Hey Matthew - YES I wrote a more complete post about the pegboard models and included links at the bottom of that post: to the models on PinShape. Enjoy!! Please post pictures if you print them!

  3. Hi,
    I am a teacher, and I am planning on having my middle school classes design things for use on a pegboard. I liked your modular design for its printabilty and adaptability, so I recreated your clip using Autodesk Inventor because that's what we use at school. I just wanted to say thanks for the great starting point!