Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed
pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

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French designer Aleksandar Dimitrov has created a 3D-printed accessory for the humble toilet-paper tube, allowing users to effortlessly convert it into a pen holder (+ slideshow).

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

The tp Pencil Holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov is printed from polyamide and attaches to the bottom of the cardboard tube left over from the centre of any roll of toilet paper, accommodating a diameter between 36 and 39 millimetres.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

The device comprises a round base with a wider circumference than the average tube to create a stable base for the desk tidy, surrounding a grid of bars within an inner circle to prevent items falling through when the assemblage is lifted.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

Three prongs join the rings together then project upwards so users can simply plug the piece in to the loo-roll tube.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

The accessory can then be used to hold pencils, pens or anything other stationery lying around on a desk in need of more organisation.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

It comes in white, black, and limited-edition colours. While the designer has chosen to keep the decor to a minimum, users are free to customise their toilet roll holders in any way they see fit.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

The tp Pencil Holder is available from Dimitrov's website or 3D-printing giant Shapeways.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

Other companies have also used 3D-printing technology to address the problem of desktop clutter: last month New York-based designers Barbara Busatta and Dario Buzzini released a range of tableware that can be printed out at home on a desktop 3D-printer and used straight away.

Toilet paper tube converted into 3D-printed pen holder by Aleksandar Dimitrov

Meanwhile American college student Tyler McNaney invented a desktop machine that makes the raw materials for 3D printing by grinding up waste plastic from bottles, wrappers and even Lego bricks.

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  • Emerson

    Is this serious?

  • iamfantastikate

    Yep, that’s ugly.

  • ridiculous post

    Filter please!

  • Marc

    Revolutionary. Really! Especially because the toilet paper tube can stand with pens without the 3D-printed element, really.

  • michael

    And then again you could also just glue 3 toilet paper rolls together.

  • Designno28645

    Really! Do we need that?

  • DJvD

    Come on Dezeen, are you serious?

  • bob

    Things the world doesn’t need.

  • Kiran Birk

    Disappointed with Dezeen posting this on their website. Not innovative design in most peoples eyes. I know this is subjective, but I think many people would agree with me.

  • Claes

    You must be joking! Right?

  • Tracker

    I’ve got some blu-tack that can do the same job!

  • @


  • twitch

    I know where and when he came up with the idea. Waste of potentially creative time.

  • Bobby D

    This is a joke, right?!

  • Ivan

    Hi Dezeen, I really think there are many more interesting things to write about than this one.

    • Helene

      I think you should apply for management at Dezeen :)

  • M

    Oh c’mon. This is becoming ridiculous. Maybe some selection for the articles? Or we start calling design what we find in the garbage bin?

  • smith

    Why not just leave the toilet paper on the roll and forget about the 3D printed base?

  • Vortex

    And in latest design news, 5-year-old turns toilet roll into 3D pen holder using scissors glue and and a lid from an ice cream container. Really?

  • Alex

    If you did that ironically, that’s quality! Much better than if you’re being serious.

  • olof

    I wouldn’t call this “effortlessly”. Why 3D print a part at all to end up with a toilet paper roll appearance?

  • MvdR

    WOW! This is amazing!

  • Listen Studio

    I read somewhere recently that around a third of the world’s photographs were taken within the last 18 months. We currently suffer an abundance of poor imagery to sift through on a daily basis. Imagine this on a physical level. There’s a place for this technology. Use an old mug!?

    • amsam

      Of all the justly critical comments on this project, my vote for best comment goes to: “USE AN OLD MUG”.

  • mike

    I’m having a legitimate laugh right now. First time posting.

  • linton

    Oh I get it. “I wipe my arse with 3D printing”?

  • hatmanchild

    “Related Movie: Ron Arad compares the overuse of 3D printing…”

    how apt

  • Xela C

    I think this is very much an instance of the “3D printed internet of things” and praise Deezen for embracing it.

    • Kiran Birk

      I can see what you mean but could have been done in a more creative or innovative way?

  • buzz lightyear

    Can you make me a space rocket?

  • Joseph Kelly

    Any excuse to 3D print something. How this made it onto Dezeen I’ll never know.

  • Stophorus

    It seems to me that Dezeen will post anything, as long as it has fancy pictures that document it and a 3D printer is involved.

  • D0ub1ed

    Dezeen, you are cementing your place as the trashy tabloid of design blogs.

  • dad

    Nice! My 3 year old daughter also does a lot of crafting in kinder garden with toilet paper tubes.

  • bonsaiman

    Watching as it happens: a recently important design blog becomes completely irrelevant overnight.

  • Hayden

    Dezeen: preparing for Gawker Media acquisition.

  • Mik

    Now I have a reason to buy a $5000 printer!

    • guest

      Good luck finding one at that price. And don’t even start with these glorified hot-glue guns that dare to call themselves 3D printer.

  • iag

    Haters gonna hate.

    If you calm yourself for a moment, this designer has created something that uses much less plastics/raw materials than a typical pen pot and utilises an item that usually gets thrown away – to be recycled or not.

    A principle many designers and architects could do with investigating, e.g. instead of repeatedly building new buildings, let’s adapt and re-use the ones we already have.

    • pennythepen

      Yes less plastics, but not that much less and much more energy, more expensive and more time due to 3D printing. A cheap store-bought typical pen pot would look better, be cheaper, be more energy efficient and hold more pens!

      • addk2

        How much energy do you need to 3D print parts for a 3D printer? What is the consumption of 3D printer? All online available printing companies like shapeways, i.materialize, etc. print when oven is perfectly optimised and filled up.

        How much it takes to carve an aluminium mould? Do you have an idea? Where goes the rest of the material? River or sea?

        Typical pen pot from cheap store comes from China – moulding powered by carbons and product treated with benzine.

        No way haters can know that.

    • Stophorus

      Just use the cardboard tube and a piece of normal cardboard that you have previously cut in a round shape (using scissors) and glue it together using your hands. No plastic at all needs to be harmed…

    • Hayden


  • Heres one I made earlier

    ”And on Blue Peter this week, we will be making a desk tidy, using this empty washing up liquid bottle, some tape and a £300k 3D printer, make sure you have these handy kids.”

    • smack

      Do you actually think 3D printers cost £300k?

      Is that actually a thing you believe?

      • 4dprinter

        There is such a big variety of machines that are all called 3D printers. For example, you cannot compare a Titanium EBM machine with a glorified glue gun sold on Kickstarter. Also there are consumer and production machines out there. And so on.
        And yes it is quite easy to find a 300k 3D printer.

      • Here’s one I made earlier

        Of course not. A simple internet search would have yielded a more realistic figure, but that wouldn’t have sounded half as ludicrous as this creation in the first place.

        That’s what I believe.

  • cell_dweller

    This is brilliant parody right down to the “pen” holder shown with only pencils. This is only second to the book and video about how to sharpen a Blackwing pencil by David Rees.

  • Olivia

    We’re currently working on a pen holder which doubles as a toilet.

  • PUCE

    This epitomises the damage 3D printing is already having on the world. Its like a virus eating away at tiny minds.

  • bwd

    And in other news, design textbooks can be used as paperweights! So can spline ducks! But what on earth can websites be used for? And why is all the toilet paper suddenly gone?

  • a

    Why not buy Nutella? You have chocolate and glass afterwards.

  • Russ

    Uhh. Could somebody please bring a new role?

  • mment

    Oh no you guys what have you done! This many comments and clicks. Now guess what you will see on Dezeen more often in the future.

  • Francisco Fezas Vital

    Simple and it calls on recycling. The base is so the pencil doesn’t fall when you pick it up. It’s valid.

  • beatrice

    Wow. None of the comments were made on how disgusting an object this is to have on your desk!

    Do you think the dry fecal matter dropped off on the desk before or during it’s new life as a pen holder?


    Why you wouldn’t just use an old jam jar? A nice clean old jam jar… Nope, instead use an old tube that was handled while you wiped your dirty arse. Brilliant.

  • Ivan

    I think I will :)

  • Laura

    You could do the same with the cardboard tube and the little plastic round thing that comes with the pizza box.

  • dan

    I think the designer has achieved everything he set out to do – provoke a reaction on here.

    Well done son.

  • Emanuele

    Seriously, these kind of works indicate only how ignorant and free from logic some designers are.

  • kostenurka

    You did not try before posting this, right?