This support system is based on a ball-and-cup connector that has some friction. There are a wide variety of bases, including bases for Gridfinity, Honeycomb and Multiboard as well as bases designed to clip or attach in may different ways. All bases feature a ball facing upward. Any number of ball-and-cup connectors of various sizes and shapes can be combined to provide support for almost any angle and height. Top it off with one or more grip or support ends so you have a third, fourth or fifth hand to help with your detail projects.
Also included are the
.step files for the cup and for the ball, so you can make your own tentacle parts.
These parts were all sliced for PLA and my PLA parts work well. Be sure to pull them straight apart. Do not lever two pieces apart or you can crack one side of the cup or the other.
I use the longer connectors if I need a higher stand, and the small connectors mainly to allow a tighter curve in the tentacle.
If you need a rigid structure, superglue the parts together. Most parts print quickly and use very little filament.
Some of the Tentacle parts are designed to use 6x2mm neodymium magnets. These are the same size that are used for Gridfinity baseplates and modules.
The Tentacle System is free and open source. You can download it here:
All the parts below can be printed with the files found at the link above unless otherwise noted.
There are also individual pages for different parts of the Tentacle System because they were developed later. I also update the main repository at the link above with any new models I create in addition to making new pages for them. So, the above link always contains the complete set of components.
Remixes and New Designs
Remixes and new designs are great! If you remix or design new components please let me know and I will link them in this site. I will also link to your models on Printables and Thingiverse if you publish them there and they are free to download. You can reach me through Printables or Thingiverse.
There are three kinds of components: bases, connectors and grippers (also known as holders or supports).
You can use any of the bases with any of the connectors and any of the grip, holder or support ends.
You’ll find all the tentacle bases on the Bases page.
Current bases include:
- Gridfinity base
- Three-leg base (Tribase)
- Large flat base
- Glue-on base
- Magnetic base
- Z-Topper base
- Z-Rider base
- Honeycomb Storage Wall Base
- Skådis Base
- Large Binder Clip Tentacle Monster
- Tentacle Rail Clip Base
- Screw-on Base
- Binder Clip Bases
- Multiboard Base
- Zip Tie Bases
- Octopus Base
- Bolt-on Base
- Lego Base
- Fischertechnik Bases
- Pegboard Base
- Pill Bottle Weighted Base
Connectors add some flexibility to the sequence of parts you assemble.
You’ll find all the tentacle connectors on the Connectors page.
Current connectors include:
- Straight Connectors
- Connector Kit
- Tee connector
- Cross connector
- Trident connector
- Manifold connector
- 90º Connector
- Large Binder Clip Tentacle Monster
- Zip Tie Connectors
The various grips, holders and supports allow you to attach things to the end of tentacles.
You’ll find all of them on the Grips page.
Current grips, holders and supports include:
- Alligator Clip Grip
- Flat box with curved sides
- Deep box
- Keychain LED Holder
- Binder Clip Holder
- Magnetic holder
- Webcam holder
- Gridfinity 1×1 holder
- Tentacle Binder Clip Grips
- Zip Tie Grips
- Screw-on Grip
- Lego Grip
- Fischertechnik Grip
- Cylinder Grip
- Figurine Grip (for painting)
There are lots of things you can do with the Tentacle System.
- Webcam holders
- Cable Management
- Connecting very different kinds of things to each other
You can get lots of ideas on the Applications page.
You can make your own bases, connectors and grippers that work with the rest of the Tentacle System. All you need to know is on the Specifications page.
You’ll find specifications for:
- Connection Ball and Cup
- Extensions Pins and Sockets
You’ll also find information about the weaknesses and failure points in the tentacle system.
Referenced Systems and Standards
Gridfinity System from Zack Freedman:
License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
This is the Gridfinity specification I like to use – I find it easiest to understand:
The official Lego Home Page:
The Lego Specifications I used to make the base and grip:
The official Fischertechnik Home Page:
The official Multiboard System Home Page:
Honeycomb Wall Storage System
The official Honeycomb Wall Storage System Home Page:
The official IKEA Skådis Home Page: