Design of the Week: Can Dispenser
This week’s selection is the useful Can Dispenser by designer Kyle Smaagard.
The problem being overcome by this design is the ability to cleanly dispense standard-sized drink cans in a refrigerator. Some may toss loose cans into their fridge, but that’s asking for trouble.
Cans may roll about, generating potentially explosive results when they are opened. As well, loose cans can and often do simply roll out of the fridge when the door is opened, again leading to explosive and messy situations.
Some drink manufacturers have produced boxes that include ingenious tear-off sections that transform the box into a serving device. However, the final cans remain hidden in the back of the box and require long arms to find them. Additionally, these large boxes may not fit within some refrigerators.
Enter the Can Dispenser. It’s a multi-part 3D print that creates a gently sloped surface where you can easily place a set of standard-sized aluminum drink cans. The sloped surface allows the cans to roll forward for easy access, and also show when you are truly out of drinks, unlike the dark interior of a cardboard box.
This design accommodates 18 cans sited in three rows.
The print is a bit tricky, because the supplied STL file represents the ENTIRE slab. You must thus segment it yourself by doing a few plane cuts with a 3D model CAD tool (free of charge Meshmixer can easily do this).
Smaagard explains that it can be chopped into six segments and then 3D printed vertically. He suggests that two batches of 15 hour prints would do the trick.
After printing, you will need to assemble them by gluing the segments together.
And, of course, installing 18 cans of beer.