Ever wondered what you can make with a 3D printer? Several years ago, “printing” out something means creating a graphic or textual output on a surface. It may either be on paper, tarpaulin, cardboard, or on objects.
Today, printing can mean creating an entire object that you designed – not just on paper. This technology, known as 3D printing, has been a major breakthrough in modern times. However, its concept had been introduced in the 1970s, and it was only developed recently.
There are so many things you can create with a 3D printer. Since it eliminates the need for molding, cutting, or grinding, it makes it easier to print out anything. The possibilities are endless – as long as you can design it in the modeling software, you can print it in the 3D printer.
What Is 3D Printing and How Does It Work?
Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process that builds three-dimensional objects from a computer-aided design (CAD). It is done by adding the material layer by layer until the design is created.
To create a 3D printed masterpiece, you will need a 3D printer, 3D modeling software, and the material of the object that you want to build.
First, you must create a digital design of the object. You can download CAD software that can create models in STL format. Once you’re finished with the design, you must save it on your computer for processing.
Next, you will need to choose a material for your design. The benefit of 3D printing is that it allows you to use a wide variety of materials. These include thermoplastic, nylon, resin, polycarbonate, steel, silver, and even titanium.
Once you load the 3D printer with your chosen material, you can then start the process. The printer will then add the loaded material layer by layer, according to the design you uploaded.
What Can You Make With a 3D Printer?
So, what can you make with a 3D printer? Basically, anything that you can imagine!
As mentioned before, you can create all objects of various shapes and functions using a 3D printer. You only need to design it in the 3D modeling software and provide the materials.
Here are our top 15 ideas on what can you make with a 3D printer, both practical and creative ones:
Soon, you can make the perfect, juicy steak at home using a 3D printer. There’ll be no need to fire up a grill or sweat because of cooking. It’s quick and easy, plus your tummy will love you for it.
According to a news report, Spanish and Israeli firms are serving 3D printed beef and chicken from fibrous plant proteins. It’s almost as good as your usual meaty steak. And in a few years’ time, you could make your own steak at home too!
2. Gears, Nuts, and Bolts
Need a tool for your next project? Use a 3D printer to create customized gears, nuts, and bolts that can fit any specification you need.
If a particular tool isn’t available in the hardware, worry not. One idea of what can you make with a 3D printer is to print out tools. It doesn’t matter if the bolts and nuts you need are smaller or larger than the standard size. As long as you can design it on software, you’re good to go.
Decorate your room with a cute letter board made from a 3D printer. The best thing about it compared to store-bought letter boards? You can print out anything you need, from letters and numbers to punctuation marks and other cute symbols. Additionally, you can print out different shapes as well.
4. Mini Planter
Deviate from the usual, boring old flower pots and make a cute mini planter instead. Perfect for succulents or small indoor plants, it can be placed on your desk or shelves to add a bit of green to your room.
Look for unique designs that suit your style, such as geometric shapes or quirky animal designs.
5. Dog Tag
Keep your furry friend safe in the event that they wander off from home with a customized dog tag. This is one of the easiest of what can you make with a 3D printer. Plus, unlike those in pet stores, making your own dog tag means you can put any information you want.
6. Beer Caddy
Enjoy your beer during game nights with a beer caddy or a six-pack holder made from a 3D printer. Not only is it unique, but it’s also environmentally friendly. No more six-pack rings making their way to the trash and filling up landfills, since you can 3D print a reusable one.
Another idea on what can you make with a 3D printer is an ice chest and a bottle opener to complement your six-pack holder. This way, you can always carry around cold drinks with you anywhere you go.
7. Trophy Wall Décor
Instead of displaying taxidermied animals on your wall, why not put up 3D printed trophy wall décor? You can design all kinds of animals that you want – from wild, safari creatures to imaginary ones like dragons and unicorns.
Another tip for what can you make with a 3D printer is to create a trophy wall décor inspired by your pets.
8. Board Game Pieces
Board games are cool and fun until you find out that there are missing pieces that you can’t play without. Solve this dilemma by 3D printing missing chess pieces, dice, or chips. This way, there will be no more excuses not to play the game because of a missing pawn.
9. Funky Earrings
Want to stand out from the crowd with a fashion statement? Design your very own earrings and 3D print them! You’ll get to wear unique jewelry pieces that no one else has. Or better yet, you can 3D print jewelry items and sell them. You can let customers send their preferred designs to you, or sell your own.
10. Outlet Cover
Keep your house safe with 3D printed outlet covers. This is particularly nifty especially if you’re baby-proofing. You can print out cute designs or be minimalistic – the choice is yours with what can you make with a 3D printer.
11. Toy Accessories and Add-Ons
Ever got an action figure but it’s missing a few accessories? Well, you can now print your own accessories via a 3D printer. Look for any free STL file of the accessory you want and print it. However, be aware that some files may require you to tweak the size of the object to fit your action figure.
If you are into tabletop games, chances are that miniatures are most likely going to give you style points. Some websites offer free STL files for miniatures that you can use on your next game night.