If you've been wondering what to do with a 3-D printer besides make little plastic toys, here's a Kickstarter that begins to hint at the possibility of the technology. Clug is simple: a little clip that mounts on your wall and holds a bike in place. But it's a product that isn't just a good idea for a 3-D printed device: it's a good idea, period. It's both incredibly cheap and the smallest and least obtrusive bike mount I've ever seen--and if you lose it, you can always print another one.
It's not a floating bike mount, exactly; the Clug keeps your bike in place, but it isn't strong enough to solely support a bike's weight. Instead, Clug is a little U-shaped plastic clip that keeps your bike in place while a wheel or two rests on the floor. The base of the U mounts on your wall, and you slip your bike's tire in between the U's outward-facing open arms, keeping it in place.
That makes it a bit less flexible than a true floating mount, which can be mounted at any height, but the convenience makes up for it. You don't have to search for a wall stud to mount it, and the Vancouver-based creators even say you can forgo the two-screw mount and use strong tape to keep it in place. At the moment, the Clug is compatible with standard road bikes, but if the Kickstarter hits a few loftier cash goals, they'll make a version for hybrids and mountain bikes as well.
The packaging is pretty cool, too: the Clug comes in a little box that unfolds to become your template for mounting on your wall. And as you screw it in, the box will catch any sawdust or paint that falls from your wall.
Clug will be made using conventional means (in this case, plastic injection molds), and sold for $20 CAD a pair. Those with access to a 3-D printer will be able buy the files for $5 CAD and simply print as many as they want. For a few dollars more, you'll get a professionally made Clug, as well as those files. The team says the first Clugs, specifically for Kickstarter backers, will ship in mid-September.