For my Final Project, I decided to make a cup holder for my MX5. This was due to the original cup holder location in my 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.

I had a lot of inspiration from youtube video I found where someone used a store bought cup holder and modified it to achieve their results. They did not make their holder but rather drilled a hole to create it. This is shown below.

So I came up with some constraints that I wanted to design my project around. These were decided in post 8.

The design needs to look like it’s an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) piece. This means that the design looks like it’s something you can purchase from the Mazda factory as an option on the car.

The design needs to fit onto the car without any need for additional modifications to the original car design. This means that the design shouldn’t require me to cut, damage or modify any of the existing aspects of the car.

The design needs to be able to accommodate multiple cups, bottles and other items. I would like to be able to use the cupholder for not only my water bottle but other items as an extra storage piece which allows for an additional “dynamic” portion of the project.

The design also needs to be able to support adequate weight. This will be decided through testing but a full metal water bottle can be quite heavy, so I want the design to be able to support this.

The design also needs to be able to hold in place under motion. I wouldn’t want whatever is housed in the holder to fall out when turning or accelerating.

The design needs to be able to be easily accessible when driving. The holder cannot be too strong to where it’s difficult to remove the object while driving but also difficult to place the object back into the holder as well.

My original vision had the use of springs to actuate everything but after some thought and research. I decided to go with an idea that Kelso had brought up by using netting instead. I then purchased the required materials and started to design the components. Below you can find some of the CAD models I created.

This design allowed me to have the OEM aesthetic by incorporating the colors that matched the car as well as creating a high-quality part. Adding the logo really helped to capture this aesthetic. I also decided to use the printers at school which allowed me to have a better surface finish adding to this aesthetic. Below you can find my final design photos when put together.

The photo on the right shows what the holder looks like when it’s not closed with the slide. The middle photo shows the slide in place showing the Mazda logo which I think turned out really nicely. The photo on the right shows the cup holder in place to get an idea of the placement of the design and how it fits into my car.


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

Kelso Norden for the mesh netting idea

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Alex Reynolds
    May 8, 2024 11:50 am

    Hi luke,
    this is such a cool project I love the idea of an OEM aesthetic. I think it would be cool to see if this could mesh other car models next!

  • Alexis Cisneros
    May 8, 2024 10:53 am

    Hi Luke,

    I really like your project idea! It seems to be a practical addition to your car. You did a great job of describing the problem and explaining a solutions. The OEM aesthetic is a great choice and fits well in your car. Overall, great project and great process!


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