I recently decided I needed to free up more space on my sewing table. One way I decided to do that was by replacing several of my standing thread racks with storage containers. For threads like embroidery, metallic and other specialty types, it’s fine to not have them out visible all the time. I still have my normal all purpose thread on a large standing thread rack because I’m constantly reaching for that.
I picked up some of the ArtBin Super Satchels which it turns out are the exact right height for most standard embroidery thread spools. However, I didn’t want to just toss all the thread in the box so I made some organizer inserts. ArtBin also makes a double height version and sells an organizer for cones of serger thread. I’ve got 2 of those and I really like them so that’s where I drew my inspiration from. ArtBin does make a thread organizer version of the super satchel, but that is only for small thread spools, or you have stick the wide thread between the posts and that wasn’t what I really wanted.
So I got out my calipers, measured my spools and jumped into Fusion 360 and started designing. Because I’m limited by the size of my 3D printer bed, I would have to print it in 4 pieces. I designed the pieces to interlock to make them less likely to bounce around. I also designed them so that there are only 2 different ones and you can rotate them to get the other 2, making it easier to both design and print (since you only have to worry about 2 files). After I printed the the first set I realized I could actually fit 4 extra spools in if I staggered the posts slightly differently so ended up having to reprint several, but iteration is the name of the game. Here’s how they turned out:
And here’s how a pair fit together:
To fill the base of the bin, you’d just need another pair. Rotated 180 degrees, it will interlock with the first pair.
I also did several tests of just the base to make sure it would sit properly in the bin. You may have noticed that the bin has ridges on the bottom. Since I was printing in 4 pieces, I had to account for those ridges and mold my bottom around it because if I just did a flat bottom, it would teeter on the ridge in the middle of the base and lean to the back or front, depending on which quadrant it was. Again, my calipers came in handy and here’s what I came up with which seems to work pretty well.
Overall I’m super happy with how these turned out and they’ve been super useful. It’s reassuring to know that if get more thread, I can just buy another bin and print some more or if they break I can just print new ones. If I were going to iterate further, I’d probably tighten up some of the tolerances, especially front to back, but for now these are pretty good.
I’ve made them available on Thingiverse (here) in case anyone else has the same need! Would love to hear if you use them.