Shelf Project for School or Shows

A shelf is an extension of the previous blog where I used PVC and 3D printed brackets to build an enclosure for a 3D printer. I then went to a trade show where I used it to protect my printer from curious engineers .

PVC shelf
A display shelf made of PVC and 3d printed brackets. Photo by author

While I was at the trade show I noticed that with these brackets I’d have the flexibility to build a display shelf above a 3D printer, or just a portable shelf to display 3D printed items.

I also wanted this project to be teacher friendly, so I recycled as much PVC and 3D printed brackets build this shelf.

Cost Breakdown

This project breaks down as follows.

2 x 10 ft Schedule 40 PVC$6.00 USD
16 M3 Cap Screws, M3 Washers and Nuts$0.10 USD
Print Time33 hrs
PLA~ 440 g

The fluted plastic sheets I got for free after the trade show. You can get fluted plastic sheets at a sign shop, or recycle old political road signs.

PCV shelf
The PVC pipes & connectors needed for the project. Photo by Author

Cut List

  • 10 sections of PVC 15″ (38.1 cm)
  • 6 sections of PV 13″ (33.02 cm)
  • 2 sheets fluted plastic 13″ x 15″ (38.1 cm x 33.02 cm)
  • 8 3d printed corner brackets and 8 door brackets.
  • 4 3d printed right angle brackets.

Shelf Assembly

Using a pipe cutting tool on the PVC made a clean cut, but left a flared edge around the pipe. I had to use an emery board to sand down that flared edge to get the PVC to fit into the connectors.

Once you have the PVC cut and sanded, you can easily use a mallet to pound the shelf into place.

For the shelf material I used fluted plastic (chlorplast) that I got from a recycled sign at a trade show. You can get this material from a sign shop, or recycle political road signs. Using a awl I punched pilot holes through the plastic, and M3 cap screws to secure the plastic sheet to the PVC through the door clamps. I may add a back panel latter, and you can add side panels to make a cabinet.

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