Fixing a wobbly table (with a 3D printer)
My parents recently bought a new patio table and because of the drainage slope on the patio the table didn’t sit level.
They were using a block of wood under one leg of the table to level it but they were looking for a better solution.
I suggested that I could 3D print a “sock” to go over the leg with the block to raise it the same amount as the block.
But they wanted all the legs to match so they wanted a sock for each leg of the table.
So I designed two “socks”, one for the leg that needed to be raised and one for the other legs that I would print 3 times.
The SolidWorks design of the normal one can be seen below, I drew it by modeling a part of the table leg and then shelling the model out by 6mm and cutting the excess off the top.
The SolidWorks design for the shorter leg can be seen below. It is based off the normal one but I have raised the internal bottom surface of the model to raise up the leg. The model looks the same externally apart from the two “L” symbols on the top so that it could be differentiated from the normal ones.
Below I have shown side sections of the models to show the internal differences. When the table is fitted with these all the legs will look the same because the external dimensions of the “socks” will all be the same, but the short leg will actually be raised up.
I 3D printed the models using TPU filament which is a flexible filament that is similar to rubber. I thought that this would make them easier to fit and would help them to grip the ground.
One of the 3D printed normal “socks” can be seen below.
The 3D printed long “sock” can be seen below. It looks the same except for the markings on the top.
Each “sock” took 2.5 hours to print. I printed one normal to test fit it first. It fit perfectly so I printed the other three together. I designed the model to be 0.5mm smaller in both directions so that it would be a tight fit.
I fitted the “socks” to each leg of the table.
The table didn’t wobble anymore and it looked a lot better than a block of wood.
The table seemed to have enough grip on the ground because I had used TPU, I don’t think that this would work with a hard plastic like PLA or ABS as the table would have little to no grip on the ground.
I only had blue TPU to hand, I might reprint the “socks” if I get black TPU in the future.
I am not sure how well the TPU will stand up to an “Irish Summer” but I will just have to wait and see.
As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask,