Progress MX5 Cup Holder

This post was written late but on April 10th, my project was well underway but with a large change from the original idea. After having my first design critique with my pod, Kelso gave a very helpful suggestion to look into mesh netting products as an alternative to the difficult spring design. After doing some digging, I actually found a cheap mesh netting pocket product on Amazon shown below.

This product conveniently matched the same dimensions (12 by 7.9in) as my water bottle that I was aiming to design this product for. However, I would need to purchase and get this product to first confirm that I can take it apart and use the mesh, second to see if it would be as elastic as expected and third, I’d have to confirm that I can adapt a 3D printed part to fit this mesh netting for my purposes. After ordering it, by my luck, all of these ended up working out. This product secured the mesh via a snap fit compression between two pieces of injection molded plastic. I knew I wouldn’t be able to realistically achieve the same results, so I ended up cutting a clothes hangar into pieces to create 3mm OD metal rods. These rods were what I planned to use to hold the mesh in place. This was done by threading the rods between the holes in the netting and then through a hole in the 3D printed part. I printed a few prototypes to ensure that this would fit the way I wanted to and in doing so, I found that a hole would require me to use a glue to hold the parts in place. I felt as if this would take away from the OEM look and feel I was going for so I ended up designing a snap fit that would be easier for installation, better looking, and something I wasn’t really planning for was the fact that in the case where the weight is too much, the net will break before it rips the mounting screw through my interior. Another feature was the elastic cord which allows the net to be help open to easily slide whatever object you want to place in the holder in and out. This also needed to be held in place with a snap fit so I made a rounded clip at the top of the holder. It works in the same way as the snap fit but took a few iterations to get right as I don’t want it to slip through. I also attached metal crimps on the end of the elastic band which also stop if from sliding through the clip.

Below I’ve attached a photo of the CAD model created for the back plate with the snap fits for the mesh netting rods running down the walls and the clips at the top for the elastic band.

To try and make the part more dynamic and OEM looking, I wanted to add a Mazda logo to the part. In the original idea, I wanted the design to fold up and be out of the way. With the netting, it would always stay open so to combat this, I decided to create a slide that would allow it to fold away when not in use. I then did some SolidWorks wizardry (fun sketch function I learned to use to create logos) to add the Mazda logo. Below you can find the assembly with the slide in place.


ABS plastic frame car storage net bag phone car mesh holder, Friends store, Date N/A, 2 Pieces ABS Plastic Frame Car Storage Net Bag Phone Car Mesh Net Holder RV Storage Boat Cargo Pocket Organizer Framed Mesh Net Pocket with Screws for Auto RV Net (12 x 7.9 Inch) : Automotive


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Grreshan Ramesh
    May 8, 2024 1:38 pm

    Hi Luke ,
    This post effectively documents the evolution of a car storage net project, highlighting the transition from a spring design to a mesh netting solution that enhances both functionality and aesthetics. It would be helpful to discuss how each design iteration addressed specific challenges and to clarify the safety and reliability of the mounting system, particularly in relation to the weight it needs to support.

  • Travis Mulford
    May 8, 2024 10:30 am

    Hi Luke,
    I really like the Mazda logo on this cupholder, I think it is a great touch and a tasteful homage to the brand of car you drive. From you CAD for this cup holder, it looks like there is only one mounting screw? Have you tested if this will be strong enough to support the weight of you drinks?


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