10 Things You Can Make with a 3D Printer

by TerriRexson

Do you need some inspiration for stuff you can print on your 3D printer? Here's a list of 10 things you can make with a 3D printer.

We've got a new 3D printer. Yay! We're having lots of fun printing things with it.

If you're thinking of buying a 3D printer you might want some ideas of things you could make with it to make sure it's going to be useful to you.

Or perhaps you've got a 3D printer and you're trying to think of ideas to try it out.

Or maybe you've heard about 3D printing and you're just curious what it can do.

I've included images of the designs we've printed so far. I'll be adding more pictures as we make more of the things on the list. These are printed with PLA printer filament but ABS plastic would be fine too depending on what your 3D printer prefers.

I've kept these 3D object ideas quite small so you can try a few of them out when you first get a 3D printer. You might need to calibrate your printer a bit and it's better to try some smaller objects first. Plus smaller objects are quicker to print and you're probably impatient to make some cool stuff!

Whatever you're reason, here's my list of 10 things you can make with a 3D printer.

1. A Pendant Necklace

3D Printed Jewelry

Jewelry was the first thing I wanted to try making with our 3D printer. I like to wear pendant necklaces in simple designs and strong colors. I like the idea of wearing my own designs. 

First I designed a purple cog necklace. That seemed nice and geeky and techie! Then I designed earth pendants with cutouts so I can wear them on a top with a contrasting color to let the land or sea show through. 

I was really pleased with these and will definitely wear them. I'll be designing more jewelry for our 3D printer. 

I've shown these pendants, and wear them,  with the face down side outwards because I like the smooth effect you get. 

3. Buttons

Buttons and brooches

Buttons are ideal for printing on a 3D printer, you can use 3D printed buttons to give clothing a custom look or to replace lost buttons. 

Buttons are fun for crafting and sewing onto purses, bags and clothing. I'll be trying this out soon. 

2. A Snake Toy

Kids Toys

Kids toys are another fun thing to make with your 3D printer. My older son loves snakes at the moment and asked for a blue snake. Luckily his Dad is quite creative and managed to draw a snake for him. 

You can see the detail of how the filament is laid down in this print. My son likes the rough finish. I'd like to see if we can get it a bit neater in future. 

We're going to try and create a true 3D design too. This one is a mostly 2D design with raised up areas. 

We'll definitely be making lots of things for the kids with our 3D printer. 

An overview of the 3D printers that are available for home use. There are quite a few 3D printers on the market in 2012.

4. A Trinket Box

Boxes and containers

Little custom gift boxes or trinket boxes are a cute thing to make. You could put someone's initials on the top or a design that means sonething to them. 

You can make the box and lid as separate objects and design them to fit together. 

5. Glow in the Dark Halloween Decorations

Decorations and props

We've got some glow in the dark 3D printer filament. Fun! We're planning to make a ghost and other Halloween decorations. We won't be waiting until Halloween though!

Buy 3D printer filament for RepRap, MakerBot and other 3D printers. ABS plastic filament and PLA.

6. Light Pull or Ceiling Fan Pull

Household objects

Do you have a light or a ceiling fan or something else that has a pull cord. Why not make your own light pulls to hang on them. 

I've got a couple of light pulls that are too heavy and keep bashing into tiles walls, especially now I have two kids ... I'll be designing and printing light pulls to replace them. 

Using glow in the dark plastic filament is a nice touch for the bathroom. 

7. Wall Hooks

Hooks and hangers

My boys need wall hooks at their height that they can hang their coats on. Making them custom wall hooks is a fun idea. 

You could make a small rack for hanging your keys on, or a hook for kitchen towels. Or any other items you need to hang up. 

8. An Eggcup

Containers and stands

For some reason we only seem to possess one eggcup. No problem, we can 3D print an eggcup for each family member who likes soft boiled eggs. An everyone can have their own color and design too. Fun and practical. 

My younger son loves eggs and his favorite color is yellow. I guess we could try a yellow birds nest eggcup. Or maybe an eggcup with comedy feet. 

9. Shurikens - Ninja Throwing Stars

Costume Accessories

Costume accessories for kids role play, cosplay or Halloween costumes are lots of fun. You can create just right finishing touch for a costume with a 3D printer. 

My boys love pretending to be ninjas so I think we'll have to print a couple of shurikens (ninja throwing stars.)

10. Molds and Cutters for Modeling Clay or Dough

Molds, cutters, stencils

My younger son loves PlayDoh and air drying modeling clay. It would be fun to make molds and cutters to our own designs. We could even make extruders to push the dough through. Lots of fun to be had there. 

Of course you could also use molds and cutters for grown up modeling crafts with clay too. 

Using a 3D Printing Service to Sell Your Designs

Once you've mastered 3D printing at home, why not use a 3D printing service to sell your designs? You can get a more professional result and a wide range of materials to print with. And you can even make money selling your designs to customers. 

Updated: 04/15/2012, TerriRexson
 
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What would you like to print with a 3D printer?


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KERRRI on 12/17/2013

FABRIC- USING HEMP

kimbesa on 09/11/2013

Making things with a 3D printer sounds like lots of fun, and a new technique for creative expression.

Mira on 02/11/2013

I still have to wrap my mind around how a home printer cuts these things in 3D!

Mladen on 05/13/2012

I love 3D printers. As child I got one little toy car as present, that was printed with 3D printer. I still have it with me.
Great article on subject. And that America print looks awesome!

Tolovaj on 05/07/2012

3 D printers look like great fun! What comes next? 3 D copy machines?
Thanks for info and ideas!

BrendaReeves on 05/05/2012

I had never of of a 3D printer. Where have I been? Thanks for the info. I've got to check this out.

TerriRexson on 04/23/2012

Thanks katie. We're having lots of fun with our new toy. More pics coming soon!

katiem2 on 04/23/2012

How cool, thanks for the information on cool things to do with a 3D printer, my daughters are going to love this.

TerriRexson on 04/15/2012

Thanks Sam. Yes, everywhere I go I'm thinking about things we could make. It's great fun. I think the light pull is coming up next.

samsons1 on 04/15/2012

I just meant to read the article and comment but you drew me into it and my mind got to clicking. Very interesting, and being a photo buff I already have some great ideas...

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