For my project, I struggled to come up with an idea. I originally wanted to do something more artistic and with the theme of my work so far. I was thinking of making a shift knob for my car but as I was driving around today, I noticed a problem that has been annoying me ever since I bought the car. The cup holders are in the most illogical spot in the car and get in the way of my arm every time I shift gears. The photo below shows what I am referring to. As you can see from the photo, the gear shift is right in front of my cup holder. I’ve got to the point where I can’t have any drinks in my car when I drive because it gets so frustrating. I’ve also spilled a few drinks in the past due to this as well.

My idea is to create a different spot to place my drink during drives so that it doesn’t interfere. To do this, my plan is to model a part on solid works and 3D print the pieces to create the holder. I have a couple issues I need to think about during my design. Firstly, the mounting position of the holder needs to be strong enough to hold a drink during motion. My car doesn’t have a lot of room to work with so I’m limited to where I can put it. It also has to be close enough to reach while being safe when driving. In the photo below, I show the area where I am planning on putting the holder. On the right side of the center console next to the shifter. If you look closely, you can see a button like object on the plastic. This is actually a screw cover, but I can use that screw as a means of attaching the holder securely.

Another problem I need to consider is the fact that not all drinks/cups are the same diameter. So, I will need to come up with a way to keep multiple different sized drinks in place. Scouring the internet, I found a couple examples of ways I could do this shown below.

I think the idea of having a single sized ring would be neat since it’s not super complex and I can use the chamfer of the cup to hold it in place. This won’t work with cups or cans that don’t have a chamfer, but I can easily add a shelf below as a stop.

This is another idea where I can have spring loaded flaps like those shown above. This will press down when the cup is placed into the holder, securing the cup in the center.

Finally, I need to consider the aesthetic for this design. I don’t necessarily want this piece to be boring and one single color with easy geometry. I also don’t want it to be too flashy and look cheap either. Seeing that my car interior is a mixture of black and silver, I’m going to try my best to match the aesthetic of the car by having smooth silver accents with a matte black frame. Luckily, 3D printers allow for different colors of material so I have looked into purchasing silver PLA for the accents and black PLA for everything else. Looking around at some other 3D printed cup holders, I found someone who made a model similar to what I am planning which will help me during my design process. Below you can find a photo of the holder made by Miata man on youtube.



Red Hound Auto Cup Holder for Compatible with Chevy GMC (2007-2013 …, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Man, Miata, director. Another Great Cup Holder Option for 1990-1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata / Eunos.,

T-Design. “New T-Design Designed Perfect Cup Holder for Our Cars.” Planet 9,

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Juliette Goubeaud
    March 3, 2024 9:01 pm

    This is such an interesting project idea because it’s so useful! That’s a really bad original cupholder design so I can understand your struggle. I’m not sure how often you have passengers riding with you, but is there a concern that this cupholder might interfer with where your passenger is sitting? And if that’s an issue, how might you consider making this cup holder something that wouldn’t interfere with your passenger?

  • Hey Luke, I think this a a great idea and would also be very useful even after the class is over. I see your struggle with matching the final product with an aesthetic. Although if worse comes to worse and you cant think of anything, sometimes less is more and you could approach it with a minimalistic design. I’m sure it will turn out amazing!


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