3D Printing Shelf Pegs [Updated]

Update: After Shapeways tweaked their pricing. I’ve moved over to selling them online at https://badgly.com/. I’m keeping them on Shapeways, but I have a lot more control on Badgly. Have a look there and feel free to use the 5OFF coupon code for 5% off.

When buying a house, you always find that there are some parts of the house that the previous owner had something installed, and the bag of spare parts and the supplier they used are lost to antiquity.  This some times only gives you the option of replace, hack, or just live with it.  This happened in the house we bought last year.

The shelves in the kitchen don’t have your standard Ikea style shelf pegs that hold the shelves up.  Neither do they have the standard shelf pegs you can buy at home depot.  These are custom jobs created by some unknown manufacturer.  Not only are they non-standard pegs, but the holes they fit into are not only custom, they are a funky insert, twist and lock style.

After a discussion with a colleague at work I thought I’d 3D printing.  After going through a bit of a process, I ended up ordering a set from shapeways.com.  Here is the comparison of the original with the new.

Ultimately, I ended up with this shapeways part.  I’ve included a rendering below.

The pricing model that Shapeways uses includes a per-piece handling charge. Individual items of this size are not economical when comparing to a Home Depot single-part-but-unusual shelf peg for $2.20, this opened my eyes are fair bit.

Taking a leaf out of the plastic model aircraft, I connected them together with 1 mm sprue as shown below.  Four connected this way came out to to be within striking distance of small over-priced anything made of plastic that you get at the store.    I’ve tested the fit, and they seem to work well.  The strength passed my “I’ll try to break it with my hands” test, so it will probably hold the shelf up really well.  After discussions in the comments below, I have now made sure that publicly the 4-way model is purchasable on Shapeways. (Note that I now have them listed on https://badgly.com/.)

What would Magyver think of this?

33 thoughts on “3D Printing Shelf Pegs [Updated]”

  1. Hello, I have been looking for these for years, is there anyway I can get the 3D file you used for this, or have the order# that you used with them to get them sent to me also?


    1. Thanks for the info Matthew. I can not find the link to the 4 part item. I also am having problems finding a company that can read that file. Can you direct me to the Co. that fabricated them for you and can you also give me the link to download the 4 part file.


      1. STL formal is a standard format used for 3d printing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with import and modification. You might want to look at thingiverse to see what tools they recommend.

        I have included the link http://www.shapeways.com/model/1178697/nib-connected.html in the post now. I also confirmed that outside of my account you can purchase them. If you are doing more than 4, you might be able to make a 8 or 16 version. If you are going to be applying weight, you should be able to get alumide for a small increment in cost.


        1. Thank you. Found this item at Shapeways.inc by Internet search ‘twist shelf pin’. Have ordered a few and trust I’ll be as satisfied as other responses on your blog. My cabinets were made 20 years ago by a business in Lakeport CA. Monday I plan to go talk to them and ask where that style of a shelf support came from.


  2. Hi Matthew,

    These pegs are exactly what I am looking for (and can’t find anywhere else!). I have looked all over the Shapeways website, and I can’t find your shelf pegs anywhere. What are they actually called on the Shapeways site so I can appropriately search for them? (And if they’re no longer available on the Shapeways site, please let me know where I might be able to find them. Thanks!


  3. Quick question, did you ever figure out where this shelving system came from? I’ve got this same shelving system and no one has been able to tell me where it came from thus far. Not even google, which surprised me. Your article, which I got to finally with the google search of ‘twist shelf peg’, seems to be the only thing on the internet that has heard of these pegs. My local hardware stores have been equally useless in finding the part as well.

    Either way, hopefully this will work for me.


    1. Still no idea. Fortunately the previous owner was obsessive about keeping any documents about products and renovations. Next time I find the box with all the paperwork, I’ll see if I can at least get a brand name – and possibly an accurate name for the style of shelving and the product family. Be sure to drop back here if there if they do work for you. So far, I’ve seen about 412 pegs (103 units) made by Shapeways.



      1. Bit late to respond, but then it took me a while to actually order them :P

        They worked great, on a pretty large and overburdened shelf! Though I was just about to go purchase some more of them and noticed that they were no longer for sale? Did Shapeways change something on you?


  4. You, my friend ROCK! I’ve been looking for these for YEARS! NO ONE HAS THEM!
    I just thought of doing all the measurements and printing them up myself! You just saved me a ton of work. You need to put a donate button on this blog…..

    Thank you So much. YOU ROCK!


    1. I’m personally very surprised by the number that keep getting sold. About 1 or 2 sets per week seem to be going through.

      I’m now looking for my next out-of-production item that is waiting to hit the 21st century.


      1. That’s funny as hell….I’m not surprised though.

        I have to think that there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of these units out there. We bought our house in 1995 and the cabinets were new when we moved in, so the system was in use until at least then.

        Thanks again…..


      2. Hi Matthew,
        I’m so fortunate to have found you. I have been looking for these type twist-in pegs for many moons. I have shelves in my office that uses these type twist-in 5mm support pegs. I probably need less than 10 of them. Little did I realize how difficult it was to find them. What is the process for me to be able to finally get them? People were beginning to think I was wacky in describing what I needed.
        Many thanks for this posting,


  5. Finally! I was going nuts looking for these pegs all over the internet and never finding them. At least I now know I’m not crazy. lol

    I don’t know anything about 3D printing, but if anyone is planning to run a batch of these, I’ll pay for a few. =) I’d want about 20, depending on total price.

    Mine are for a pair of tall bookcases that I bought from a surplus store. I didn’t realize the pegs were unusual when I bought ’em.


    1. Out of interest, what search strings were you using before you found them here?

      I’ve settled on “Twist-In Shelf Pegs” as what to call them, but I’ve called them nibs, pins, and other names I shouldn’t mention :).


  6. I’m sorry, Mr. Tippet.. I didn’t realize you were actually making and selling sets of these on the Shapeways.com site. I’ll head over there and make an order =)

    Thanks again


  7. I am looking for the long shelf standard that these plugs twist into. Anyone know where I can find some? Anyone have some that they took out of an existing self and haven’t thrown them away yet?


  8. I am desperate for at least 2 dozen of these pegs for my very old restaurant shelves. Can you please help me? I am in California and need them asap.


  9. seem the store doesn’t sell the pegs anymore, do you still have some? I’m looking for exact of it now, hope can get some. Thanks.


  10. Finally I got this shelf pin in a local closet store, they told me the manufacturer doesn’t sell it to public, so i suggest you just email all the local closet contractor in the yelp, says you installed the closet for this house, and you need more pins bla bla, hope one of them willing to sell it to you.


  11. Hi – I need 8 of these shelf pins – for two bookcases. The original ones I have are brown. They hold the shelves for a 3 foot book case and a 6 foot bookcase. I would love to buy them. For those of you who were interested the Company that sold this business furniture was in California, Executive Office Concepts and they are now out of business.


  12. Need a few of these pins, but really need more of the larger, heavier load pin that has two pins, one twist-in, the other round. Anybody seen these?


    1. Marc, have you had any luck finding the larger size, heavy load pin that has two pins,one twist-in and the other round. If so can you help me out? Thank you Susie Foster


  13. I just received a set from Shapeways and they seem to work. To my eye they seem like an exact replica except the peg length, color and finish. The peg that fits into the hole on the mounting strip is about a tenth of a millimeter shorter that doesn’t seem to matter. The shelf pin went in snugly so there’s no danger of it twisting loose. Satisfied so far.


  14. My house was built in the 1980s. I have built-in shelves that seem original and use this system. I had all the pegs I needed but unfortunately I was too rough with some of the pegs taking them out and then putting them back in. I had no idea it would be so much trouble to get a few replacements. I probably only need 4 but I was wondering if the larger sets were still available? I can only find the 4-piece option.


  15. This is a great contribution. Kids and adults climbing on shelves have broken these in our CA house, built in 1989. Definitely impossible to buy originals. Thanks!


Leave a Reply to Tim Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: