The next problem to solve in the kitchen are a pair of oil bottles – sesame oil and chili oil. Conveniently, they are from the same company so they have the same sized bottles. Inconveniently, they stand taller than other items in the kitchen cabinet, blocking views to the back and easily topple over as I reach for nearby items.
I decided it’d be good to have them on the door instead. Pull them out of the clutter. The easy way to do this is to have a shelf on the door. Unfortunately, tall bottles make this complicated: the shelf needs to be deep enough so that the bottles don’t topple over when I open the door, yet not so deep to make the bottles inconvenient to access.
My solution is to start with a shallow and accessible bottom shelf. Above the center of gravity, the bottle will be held by a flexible clip. The clip needs to be strong enough to keep the bottle from toppling when the door is opened while able to give and release the bottle when I want to pull it free. 3D printed plastic can handle the flexibility part, no problem, but the durability is a question mark. The weakest part of a FDM printed part are between the layers. When something breaks it’s almost always at the layer boundary. It’s important to make sure that the design accounts for the strengths and limitations of the manufacturing technique. We accomplish the goal by arranging the features to avoid the sharp corners that magnify the stress of flexing.
Fortunately Onshape has plenty of tools to round out corners and edges. With the help of those tools and some creative intersection across orthogonal axis, the resulting shape looks more fluid and organic than it actually is. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well the appearance looks especially since I was strictly focused on functionality.