3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."
The fun part of inventing is creating exactly what is desired for a particular application. Inventing is discovering a need and finding a way to fulfill that need. I recently did that sitting here at my computer.
I often pull out the drawer in front of the screen to prop the keyboard at an angle and at a lower position than setting flat on top of the desk surface. It works well in that position and I decided I needed a more reliable system.
If I moved the drawer out a bit too much, the keyboard would flop down flat on the drawer. If I push the drawer in too much, the keyboard was forced up at a poor angle for typing. Looking at the pictures, the problem can bee seen.
When the keyboard was at the proper position, the keyboard cord coming out the top of the keyboard is what provided the top edge support. This isn’t a good long tern task for the cord.
I studied the setup for awhile and decided I needed some sort of support brackets to hold the keyboard at the proper angle and not require a critical drawer position.
I immediately realized I could 3D print the needed supports.
I sketched an initial design and took critical measurements. I wanted a U shaped bracket that would slide down over the side edge of the drawer. Depth would be limited by the drawer slides mounted on the sides, So I designed a tab that protrudes along the front edge of the drawer that will stabilize the bracket from tipping. I need both a left and a right bracket that would be mirror images of each other.
I also wanted a design that would print well on the 3D printer. The U channel is the only area requiring printing support.
I created the 3 dimensional drawing using Autodesk Fusion 360. It produces very reliable STL files for 3D printing.
The first example I printed was a bit warped and due to plastic shrinkage and the U channel was a bit too narrow. I made adjustments to my dimensions and chose a plastic with less warping tendency.
The second attempt was a perfect fit as I had envisioned. I mirrored the STL file on the 3D printer and produced the companion bracket. With one trial and two additional prints I created exactly what I desired.
The brackets are no-tip and clip securely to the edges of the drawer. They prevent pushing the drawer too far in and will continue to support the keyboard when the drawer is pulled out too far. Mission accomplished!