The Endless Possibilities Of 3D Printing From Home
If you have a 3D printer, it can be a bit daunting to try to think of what you should print next. After all, the possibilities truly are just about limitless. Not only do you have access to endless STL files online of things that you can print, you also have the ability to design anything from scratch and print it out as well.
If you have 3D modeling software and you’re good at it, you can literally 3D print just about anything you can think up. As long as you have the right printer, materials, and everything else. The only limit to what you can make with 3D printing is your imagination and ability to create a design that is actually printable.
For most of us, it’s easier to find a downloadable file in some repository or marketplace online and then print that item out with our printer. I’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of people out there that are way better with 3D modeling and design than I am! So I’m happy to use the designs and print files of others and then print their products out at my house.
What Are The Best Things To 3D Print From Home?
And that’s mainly the focus of what we’re going to look at today, some of the best things to 3D print from home. For many of these, the files are easily attainable online. You can either take the files directly and print them out, or use them as a guide to create your own unique twist. Where possible, we’ll provide a link to an example print file of the item.
In any case, here are some ideas for some of the best things that you can 3D print at home.
Let’s be honest, you probably have a junk drawer at home that’s got a bunch of different batteries in it. Anytime you need a battery, you just go to the junk drawer and pull around until you find the right one. There’s gotta be a better solution out there, right?
Of course, so if you want to print something that’s actually cool, useful, and a great idea in general, then start off with something like a battery holder. Easily make a neat little box that looks great, perfectly holds your batteries, and can of course be customized and changed up as needed to store different types of batteries.
Think about your morning routine. If you’re like many people, you probably get up in the morning, shower and get ready for work, grab your coffee and breakfast, and then be on your way. Now think about the times that you’ve gone to grab your keys and just couldn’t find them anywhere.
An easy way to fix that is to print off your very own wall-mounted key rack or key holder. All you really need for this is a flat surface with a couple of screw holes and as many hooks as you want to include. Slap it up on the wall, hang all your keychains up, and never waste time looking for your keys again.
Cups With Built-In Straws
Another super useful thing that you can make with a 3D printer is a cup with a built-in straw that just comes right up off the side of the cup. Since you’re designing your own cups, you can also make them as creative as you want. Any color, any design, anything you want, just draw it up in CAD and print them out.
Drinking with a straw is a great idea because it helps to protect your teeth against staining substances such as coffee or some teas. And by creating a built-in straw, you help the environment since you won’t be using plastic straws and throwing them away. So this design is a win-win!
Plant Pots And Vases
If you’re like many people across the country and even the world, then you probably have indoor plants all over your home. Standing up in the corner of your living room or office, filling up the spaces in bookcases and on shelving, and even hanging from the ceiling in many instances. Plants have never been more popular.
In addition to the beauty of the plants themselves, you can also design and print all of your own plant pots and vases. Print out some new pots with exciting shapes and design schemes. Or make some vases for each season or holiday and swap them out whenever you need to. The possibilities are endless and they’re super easy to print at home!
Pen And Pencil Holder
If you ever do any work from home, whether for your regular job or any sort of side hustle, you’ve probably got pens and pencils strewn all over your desk or tossed in a drawer somewhere. They’re so easy to misplace and lose that it can be frustrating every time you reach for one.
To keep them all in one place, you can 3D print your very own custom pen and pencil holder. You can make this as fancy and innovative as you, or as basic as can be. This print is the perfect way to dress up your desk while also offering some actually useful functionality.
I remember well over a decade ago that I saw a video of a company 3D printing an adjustable wrench for the first time. It was the very first time I had ever seen anything to do with real-world 3D printing and I was immediately hooked. How cool, to just print out something from nothing and be able to use it.
So needless to say, the idea of printing an adjustable wrench has stuck with me ever since. They’re a fairly easy item to print, and they can actually be used around the house. With the adjustability of this type of wrench, you’ll have one of the most versatile tools in your toolbox!
Clip For Your Filament
If you’re getting into 3D printing and you want to print out some useful items, why not start by helping to make the entire 3D printing process easier on yourself. One of the quickest products that you can make is a clip for your printing filament.
Just think about how annoying it is trying to keep track of the ends of all your different spools of filament. Instead of searching for the end every time, just add a little clip to the spool that you can put the end of the filament in every time you use it. Then next time you go to use that filament, it’s a breeze to find the end and get it loaded up into your printer.
Six Pack Holder
Sure, if you buy a 6-pack from the store (whether that’s alcoholic or not) you’ll get a nice little cardboard carrying case to lug them around. But what if you bought a bigger case and you are headed out with friends and just want to have a few cold ones?
Well with a 3D printer, you can make anything you want, including your very own 6-pack holder. Any color, any fancy design additions, anything you want. Walk into your next party or barbeque with your custom 3D printed 6 pack holder and put all the regular cardboard ones to shame.
This is the perfect companion to the 6-pack holder that we just talked about, but it’s also something super simple to print that you’ll get plenty of use out of around the house. A bottle opener! It seems like half the bottles you pick up at the store these days are twist off and the other half are still pop off.
And what’s more annoying than realizing that a bottle has a pop-off cap and not having a bottle opener handy. By printing your own bottle opener, you never need to worry about that again. Plus you can make it look however you want and you’ll have the coolest bottle opener around.
If you’ve ever tried using your phone as its own speaker and just playing music straight from the phone, you've probably noticed that it just isn’t very loud. Sure, Bluetooth speakers are a thing and they’ll help amplify your phone’s music to much higher volume levels.
But you know what’s even cooler than a run of the mill Bluetooth speaker? Your very own sound amplifier that you print off yourself. Sound amplifiers can be made in all sorts of cool different shapes and sizes, and they actually work surprisingly well. Plus, printing your own amplifier is cooler than any other way to pump up the music!
Drill Bit Depth Stopper
This is one of those things that you probably didn’t even know existed but you’ll be happy to have one next time you’re using a drill for anything around the house. By designing your own drill bit stopper, you can easily slide it onto the drill bit next time you’re using the tool.
With the stopper, you’ll never have to worry about drilling too deep. This could stop you from accidentally drilling through the wall to the other side, drilling too deep to where the anchor won’t be able to grab anything, or damaging the wall more than you need to. It’s a super useful product that you’ll be happy to have!
If you’ve already made all your own custom plant pots and vases like we mentioned above, then the logical next thing to build for your in-home gardening is a miniature greenhouse of your very own. Pretty simple to build since they’re mostly made out of rectangular pieces, this is something someone brand new to 3D printing can make.
Depending on the filament you’re using, you may need to buy some plastic or Plexiglass panels separately for the walls and ceiling, but no matter what you can build a custom greenhouse frame with your printer. Inside, grow your flowers, herbs, or anything else your heart desires.
Plastic Bag Clips For Car Seats
If you’re like most people, you probably have had some trash build up in your car from time to time. Whether that means on the floor, in the compartments on the door panels, or anywhere else. But eventually, you’ll get sick of the crumbled up receipts and other types of trash in your car.
Since most cars don’t have the room to add an actual trash can that’s easily accessible, an easy solution is hanging a plastic bag on the seat(s) that you can throw trash in. To do this, simply print out some sort of hooks or holders that you can hang the bag from. Then you’re all set. Super easy and it’ll help keep your car as clean as possible.
With modern smartphones, the screens and picture quality are so good that many people use them regularly to watch YouTube videos, catch up on their favorite shows, or watch movies. But it can get tiring having to hold the phone up yourself all the time or setting it on the table and trying to watch the screen laying flat.
Instead, use your 3D printer to design and print your own smartphone stand. It can be as simple as a little tripod, or as fancy as you want it to be. The perfect phone stand will hold the phone vertically or horizontally, and be angled to make it ideal for your viewing pleasure!
This is one of those things that you wouldn’t even think about needing until now. How many times have you been at your desk at work and you reach for your headphones but they’re either missing or the wire is tangled up cause you just threw them on your desk last time you used them?
Same thing for the gamers out there that just want to be able to slap on their headsets and start talking to friends. Instead of having to shuffle through everything on your desk, print out a headphone stand that you can hang your headphones on when you’re not using them. That way they’re always in the same place and easy to get to.
How many food items have you had food bad over the years because the bags weren’t shut tight and air was able to get in and out and cause everything inside to go stale? Whether that’s potato chips, bread, rice cakes, or anything else — it can be super frustrating.
Sure, you could buy some bag clips from the store or online to hold the bags shut tight, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, create and print your own with your 3D printer! Design them any way you want, using any color or shape. As long as they can clip and hold a bag shut, then you’re good to go. All your snacks will stay much more fresh this way!
The third and final installment of the best products for in-home gardening is a basic seed planter. We’re referring to those little seed planters with all the little cubic pods that you put dirt in and start germinating your seeds.
These planters look like little ice trays (heck, make a couple of ice trays while you’re at it, too!), and are perfect for starting your next round of plants. Once they grow and get big enough, you can then transfer them into your custom made pots and vases!
If you’re tired of having the same old red, green, and gold Christmas ornaments that you (and everyone else) have always had, then it’s time to print your own out with your 3D printer. Since you’re creating your own ornaments, you can make them anyway that you want. Gone are the days of basic spherical ornaments.
Any shape, any color, any style you want on your Christmas tree next time the holidays roll around. It’s entirely up to you. These are also one of our favorite items that you can 3D print from home and sell. People love the holidays and decorating, so if you can come up with some unique and interesting ornaments, you might be able to make some money this holiday season!