Label me Head Shy
Posted by
Boston MA 
Joined Oct 21, '15 

My wife texted me from the animal hospital that they had broken their label dispenser, and could I make one. Luckily she had left 2 spools of labels for me to measure from. Their original one used wooden dowels and it was pretty gross after years in an animal hospital’s treatment room. So in addition to being a functional dispenser I figured washability and antimicrobial were 2 key requirements. In keeping with my requirements, I chose to use 0.5" copper pipe as my “dowels” since copper pipe is both washable (clearly) and copper is highly antimicrobial. Also knowing the American-Tourister level abuse the staff subjects everything too, figured :proofgrade: Thick acrylic was as close to bulletproof as I could get. I first looked up the actual OD of copper pipe (turns out 0/.5" is actually 0.625" and so figured some clearance to allow the pipe to slide easily onto the tracks, and I made the tracks 0.7" wide. In OnShape made some parametric designs to come up with the following design:


Then had my son cut the copper pipe with a rotary pipe-cutter and discovered you need to file the ends flat with a flat bastard-file as the rotary cutter leaves a sharp edge with burrs which bind on the acrylic. I made holes in the outer walls in case when they pull the labels the pipe is popping out, they can slide a pencil through the outer holes. I added 4 screw holes sized for sheet-rock screws. The parts are joined with the “Laser Joint” plug-in with 6 teeth per joint.

Welded the whole thing together with Weld-On, which I dispensed with a syringe to get a small amount for use via capillary action.

No, there is absolutely no reason for the engraving other than I can…

I will likely need to make a larger version, as they have a lot of labels, but since it’s parametric, no problem. The pipe rolls into the slots perfectly, with just the right amount of clearance. They need to be relatively square, but not perfect to slide in.

And of course I have always maintained that feeding and watering surgeons just encourages them to come back…

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