3D Printing an Ink Vial Holder

As I related in October, my friend Nene turned me on to the world of Pen Chalet fountain pen ink samples, and starting from her lovely gift of a sample of Morning Star ink, I’ve acquired a small fleet of 4 ml vials of my own.

The only downside of the tiny sample vials from Pen Chalet is that it’s hard to keep them upright: they’re top heavy, and so whether on a table or in a drawer, I find they’re forever falling over on me.

Not such a bad thing, really.

Unless I have the top off to refill a pen (fortunately this hasn’t happened yet).

I set out this afternoon to solve this problem: I used my calipers to find that the diameter of the vials is 16mm and then designed a 3D model of an “ink vial holder” in Tinkercad:

Tinkercad rendering of the ink vial holder.

I printed the model on my Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer this afternoon and the result does exactly what I set out to have it do, holding four Pen Chalet sample vials upright:

Photo of my first 3D print of a fountain pen ink vial holder.

An unintended side-effect of the design is that it also works really well for moving the vials around; it reminds me of those boards used to transport sampler flights of beer:

Photo of vial holder picked up and in my hand.

Keen-eyed readers will note that my ring finger in the photo above bears witness to accidentally touching the “hot end” of the 3D printer a few weeks ago when making an adjustment. As burns go, this one went very well and served mostly as a lesson to me to never touch the hot end of a 3D printer.


Susan White's picture
Susan White on January 16, 2019 - 12:07 Permalink

So simple yet genius! I know exactly that precarious feeling of having those little vials sitting open on a table - an accident waiting to happen.

Rick Scott's picture
Rick Scott on December 15, 2022 - 03:15 Permalink

I need a vial holder