Machines are taking over the world – the manufacturing world anyway. In a few years, quite a number of production lines will be obsolete. After all, why would you need to purchase a generic pre-designed object when you can make it yourself and give it a touch of flair?
The future of design lies in 3D printing. It’s the link between the digital and physical realm. Just like you would print an image on a piece of paper, you can print a unique everyday object at home! Draw inspiration from the numerous 3D printing ideas and models available online.
Read on to explore some cool objects that are just a click away.
Before we go any further it’s important to cover all the bases. 3D printing involves 3 principle parts:
1. Create a Digital File
This basically instructs the printer how to create the object. It starts by dividing the object into layers while describing the dimensions of each layer in great detail.
It sounds more complex than it actually is. There are numerous free programs online that you can download to do this for you. All you need to have is a clear mental image of the design you want to bring to life.
2. Printing Machine
3D printing machines all basically work in the same way. They typically have a compartment in which they can accurately replicate the design layers.
They come infused with nozzles that lay down the material one layer at a time. The machine then cures it after every layer.
3. Printing Material
Each 3D printed object is made from a single material. Nonetheless, there are a variety of different substances available for you to choose from.
The most popular is PEEK. It exhibits excellent heat and chemical resistance, and its versatility achieves great end-results.
Its low-absorption properties also make it a popular choice in many 3D printer projects. See more here.
If you don’t have a 3D printer, there are lots of professional 3D printing services that can turn your vision into reality.
15 Awesome 3D Printing Ideas
Looking for some 3D printing ideas? Look no further! Here are 15 awesome ideas to try.
1. Kitchen Measuring Cube
If cooking is your thing then you know how important it is to get your measurements right. More so if you’re baking. This 3D printed kitchen gadget combines different measurement sizes into a single cube!
Whether you need to measure half a teaspoon or a full cup of ingredients this cube does it all.
2. Cool Coasters
There are few things worse than a water ring left on your table. Get creative with some amazing coaster designs to prevent this. Pick your favorite color and design and give your guests somewhere fancy to put down their glasses.
There’s a glow-in-the-dark option to make sure no one misses the mark in the dark. They’d certainly make for excellent ice-breakers!
3. One-Handed Bottle Opener
Nothing gets a party going than an impressive trick. Print a one-handed opener and single-handedly disperse any staleness that may be lingering at your party.
It’s easy to carry and is an immediate conversation starter. What’s more, it transforms you into a great multi-tasker!
Say goodbye to the battle of having to put down the remote every time you reach to open a cold beverage.
4. Citrus Juicer
You can never have enough citrus juicers. Much less one that you printed yourself! If you love orange juice but hate the hustle of having to juice them yourself, this provides a great alternative.
Nothing beats homemade juice. It’s a healthy option that avoids all the added sugars contained in their store-bought variants.
As far as useful 3D prints go, this one is not only easy to use, but you can actually use it straight from the printer. Simply cut your oranges in half, juice them and enjoy your daily glass of OJ!
5. Cute Salt and Pepper Shakers
Collecting salt and pepper shakers is a great hobby for some. The diversity and variety available for print are mind-boggling.
If you are looking for unique 3D print ideas for salt and pepper shakers, there are programs to help you. Simply enter the specifications you want and it goes on to generate a pair that is unique to you.
There are lots of contemporary designs online that will add a little pop to your dining table.
6. Chopstick Trainer
If you’re a fan of Asian Cuisine, then you know that chopstick etiquette is a must. Mastering the art of using chopsticks requires lots of practice or else you’ll end up taking eons to scoop up tiny grains of rice on your plate.
However, there’s no rule against getting a bit of help from chopstick trainers. With 3D printing, you can quickly create them using PLA plastic and customize them to look however you want.
7. Mason Jar Dispenser
This is certainly a must-have in your list of cool things to 3D print. Do you need the perfect scoop of something? Simply 3D print a handy mason jar dispenser.
Depending on the dimensions you specify you can create it with an in-built lever that dispenses anything from corn kernels for popcorn to dry beans. It also works great for dispensing crunchy treats for your furry friends.
Ensure you hand-wash it though. Popping it in the dishwasher might cause it to warp.
8. Book Page Holder
Are you an avid book reader? Then you definitely know that there’s something quite reassuring about the look, the smell, and even the sound of the rustling pages. It’s nothing short of therapeutic.
However, this old-school method of absorbing information limits the number of ways in which you can hold the book while keeping the pages open. With a book page holder ring, this problem is a thing of the past.
Simply slip it on to your thumb and hold open your book using just one hand.
9. Finger Protector
Chopping, slicing, and dicing has never been easier or safer. Using a kitchen finger protector, you can quickly prep a delicious salad without worrying about getting wheeled into the ER and having to explain how you managed to slice off your finger. 3D printing this kitchen gadget is as easy as pie.
10. Cell Phone Stand
Holding your phone in your hand to watch videos is so last year! With a 3D printed cell phone stand, you can place your phone on it, sit back and enjoy.
It’s a great kitchen companion as well for following recipe tutorials while you attempt to mimic the process.
11. Shower Beer-Holder
If you’ve never had a beer in the shower after a long day then you’re definitely missing out on an amazing experience. It’s basically the same thing as sipping chardonnay in the bathtub, right?
With a 3D printed shower beer-holder, your beer can is within arm’s reach in a spot where it won’t get any water or soap splashes on it. Use high-quality suction cups to keep it stuck on the wall. They’ll provide maximum strength even for the heaviest of beers.
12. Shot Glass Dispenser
Who has the time to pour shots one at a time when you can fill up multiple glasses at a go? A shot glass dispenser is a must-have for your next party!
Reminiscent of a Tapir, simply hook it up to your glasses, pour your liquor in at the top and watch it trickle out of the nozzles to simultaneously to fill up your shot glasses. It’ll leave your guests in awe of your amazing shot-pouring abilities.
13. Headphone Stand
Say goodbye to headphone wires cluttering your workspace. With a 3D printed headphone stand get a practical yet elegant solution to leaving your precious gadget lying around.
This stand not only ensures that your headphones are within arm’s reach when you need them, but they also become something of a personal statement.
14. Secret Shelf
Do you have a wad of cash that you need to keep away from prying eyes? Well, get yourself a 3D printed secret shelf. It’s super discrete with a secret compartment that only you know about.
Simply mount it on the wall and place some beautiful accessories on top. No one would ever guess what treasures lie beneath. It would also be a wonderful gift for someone special.
15. Honeycomb Vase
This is one of the most popular things to 3D print. Add character to your home with a 3D printed honeycomb vase. It’s easy on the eye and quite functional as well.
The print model makes it available in 3 sizes – small, medium and large- and, in a variety of delightful colors to choose from. It is usually printed from biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester, making it waterproof, lightweight and biodegradable.
Since 3D printing works by laying down material layer by layer, it’s natural that the finished product will have a few tiny blemishes. However, you can rectify this by buffing and painting it to your liking.
These functional 3D printing ideas will not only give your living/work space the pop it needs but will also prove to be quite useful as well.
Do you need more design ideas? Check out these 5 facts about design thinking in business that will definitely inspire you.