Jul 31, 2015

Pegboard Makeover - With Custom 3D Printed Hooks

When I made a custom pegboard holder for pliers and cutters, I knew I was onto something different. It became the project which finally became my easy answer to the oft asked question:

"Yeah, but have you 3D Printed anything USEFUL yet?"

Yes - These PegBoard Tool Holders are useful - so after making some simple additional tool holders, I've taken it to the next level.
Now, my whole pegboard is getting a makeover. Not only do my 3D Printed hooks and holders solve the most annoying problem with traditional metal hooks, they can also be made in custom configurations to hold my specific tools!

Old hooks and plastic holders

The Problem

First - traditional pegboard hooks and holders do not stay in place very well. Every time I'd remove a tool, the hook would come with it, falling to the floor or workbench. Sure, I've used those plastic thinger-ma-bobs to help hold them in place, but those take up two adjacent pegboard holes and make it impossible to move the hooks easily. With glass 3D Printer beds directly under my tool wall now, a falling metal hook could be more than an inconvenience. While I could have 3D Printed little plugs to secure the metal hooks better - there was another problem I wanted to solve (read on).

Second - I have many tools which simply don't fit into the generic hooks and holders that I can buy at Home Depot. My small screwdrivers, my rogue allen keys, and even my hairspray cans (yes - you know you have them too - and if you don't you might want to) and glue, and other random tools. I wanted every tool to have a perfect place - or at least SOME place to go off my workbench surface.

The custom hairspray can holder! #3dprinters paradise.

The Solution(s)

I came up with two general approaches.

The first was a single piece hook which easily printed flat on the bed and could be easily modeled to be different shapes (curved hooks, straight hooks, hooks with multiple sections) and sizes (long, short, uh.... medium).

The second approach allowed me to create more complex holders, shelves and multi-tool configurations. It was two separate parts. The mount which stuck into the pegboard is printed on it's side and is always the same - a generic mounting clip. The second part is the customized tool holder which hooks securely into the mount. That part is printed upside-down, with the mount connectors sticking straight up from the bed - which prints beautifully.
Rogue Allen Keys on the wall now!

I outlined the early version of that second multi-part tool holder in a prior post, but have since improved the model to make the connection between the wall clip and the tool holder much more stable.

The Collection So Far

I've now got a variety of pegboard hooks and holders. They are separated into two sets - Hooks and Holders - and you can find a link to the models at the bottom of this post.
Some custom Hook styles

Angled hook
Good for practically any simple hanging tool which has a hole for hanging. Angle keeps things from slipping off.

Lipped hook - short, medium and long
Useful for most things, with the different sizes for different depths of hanging objects. For example, the long version works great for a roll of blue tape or, if used in pairs, for a couple of small hammers.

Curved hook - 50mm and 66mm 
These were special made for cans of hairspray, where two of these spaced apart by 4-5 inches works perfectly. I have two sizes for the two different hairsprays I'm using (for getting things to stick to the print bed, not for my hair).

Mounting Clip
This is the key part that is used to hold any of the multi-tool, more complex holders below.

Pliers and Clippers holder
The custom tool holders all fit the same wall clip
This holds two pair of small pliers or clippers. This was my first solution which inspired the rest.

Allen Key and small screw-driver holders
These hold multiple Allen Keys or a few small screw drivers - with about 6-14 holes of varying sizes from 3mm to 8mm. I've made a several configurations of these.

Screw Driver holder
These are used for small screw drivers only so far - I've got a larger version in the works.

Clam-knife holder
This was special made for the clam knife that came with my LulzBot TAZ4 - and I made it a bit more versatile for multiple similar tools.

Next Steps

I've got plans to keep growing this collection - especially for wider holders which can easily be made to use two clips for stable heavy tool holding. The designs are actually fun to make and most importantly, they expand my ability to justify my 3D Printing habit as something USEFUL. ;)

Got some ideas on how to expand the collection? Share them please - maybe I'll model it and add it so you can print it!

The Models

I'm posting all these original designs as .STL files on Pinshape. Feel free to use them - and please refer back to this post if people ask where you got them!


  1. Love this, JR. Thank you! We are going to have two walls' worth of this stuff in my space: http://www.handisolutions.com/ - and I believe we can design hooks for that system, as well!


  2. Cool - post some pics and ping me on twitter @mkrclub so I can see what you do! Also consider doing a guest post here as you create anything cool.

  3. Tons of pics in my Flickr album! https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjarrett/albums/72157654607083009