Setting up the ultimate minipainting work space using your FDM 3d printer

I’ve recently started upgrading my work space using 3d printed parts and I want to share my favourite 3d prints for organising a minipainting work desk. These prints are all designed to keep desk clutter to a minimum so that you have more space for crafting and the layout all fits into a 2x1metre square in my apartment. If you’re looking to be super organised in a small space while you craft, then these things might help.

HOBBY PAINT RACK

First up was my additional paint rack. I like to keep my airbrush paints separate from the rest so I wanted some additional storage outside of the wall rack I built with my dad. This one was the perfect small footprint design for my desk, you do want a wall or back to lean this up against though as using them without this would result in pushing your paints off the desk, a lot.

These take a long time to print due to it almost all being wall/shell but the result uses very little filament, is incredibly light, surprisingly strong and very very neat.

I currently just have these stacked (unattached to each other) and this seems fine for me but some people get annoyed at them moving if you pull too fast. In this case you can just screw them to the wall as the screw holes are already part of the design.

Taking care of your brushes is so important when it comes to miniature painting. You don’t want damaged tips before their time and keeping a fine point can be the difference between hours and minutes of work. Storing your minipainting brushes horizontally ensures the ferrules don’t become waterlogged while it dries, as this can happen if you dry them, tip-up.

There are many A-frame style options for this however they all take up a wider desk space and space is a premium in an apartment. This option uses the internal walls on my desk topper which were previously just lost space.

I do advise that these are used at the back or side of your desk away from frequent traffic as bumping into them would easily knock your brushes off.

Photo of 3d printed vertical paint brush racks

I modified this table stand to change it from a desk stand to a small ledge I could screw into the centre join on my desk topper. Again I wanted to save desk space by having it up off the bench but I also wanted it mounted as much in front of my face as possible. This has relieved a lot of back strain as I don’t have to twist to see my tablet any more and I can have concept art and design ideas up in front of my workspace while I paint. This was a small change but made a big difference to my comfort while I work.

This is one of my favourite all time prints because it looks frivolous but is actually very functional/ These awesome T-Rex shaped hangers provide the perfect place to quickly place my headphones and respirator (hidden below there is a dinosaur wearing my respirator which always makes me laugh). I wanted my safety gear to be as accessible as possible because any barriers to putting them on means I won’t. Having them held by friction, but not by a full ‘hook’ means I can just slide them off in an instant and I’m already wearing them a lot more often.

Melbourne Mini Painter photo of workspace using 3d printed parts

I feel like everyone knows about these but they still deserve a mention. Airbrush hangers of course get your airbrush off the bench but most importantly they hold the brush very securely. This is essentially as I will regularly need to put down a brush that I’ve already loaded with paint, and precariously balancing it on my knee was not a good solution.

This has the added bonus of looking like a little guy cradling your airbrush lovingly, which is how they should always be treated.

Another really common solution for minipainting work spaces is a 3d printed model holder. I have used at least 10 other options for this over the years including jewellers tools, corks, bottle tops and more. This one is by far my favourite. Sometimes I get shaky hands and having a massive grip dramatically reduces the strain I feel from manipulating tiny figures, not to mention reduce the amount of smears and mistakes.

To complete this build you will need a rubber band to hold the parts together, it runs through the middle of the holder creating pressure on either side of the base. Not much, but enough to hold the mini from any direction without it falling out.

This is a brush holder I didn’t like (took up bench space) but I repurposed it to hold my messier inks, glues and dirty mixing trays. It’s great to have a fully contained tiny ‘wetwork’ area on my desk and has made dealing with messy parts a lot cleaner.

That’s it! Those are all my current painting desk improvements that I’ve printed to improve my minipainting work space. I think it’s well worth spending the time planning and 3d printing to improve your miniature painting area because as hobbyists and professionals we spend so much time hunched over them.

If you have something that you think I should add, send me a message. I’m always keen to improve my space.