What Can Be 3D Printed? (You'll be amazed)

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Having a 3D printer in your home has so many advantages! If you need something right away, you can make it right in your home instead of driving to the store to get it. 

This is the exact reason there is a 3D printer on the International Space Station! It’s a lot easier to 3D print a new screwdriver than to ship one out to space. This may have you wondering what can be 3D printed?

Almost anything can be 3D printed! There are a few limitations, but anything you can think of making with plastic materials can be made on a 3D printer. Anything you make has to fit within the printing space, and also can’t be too small, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to what can be 3D printed. 

For more information on 3D Printing for beginners visit the complete guide to start 3D printing as a hobby.

Creating Your Own Files

To make anything on your 3D printer, you need to use special printing files. Take some time and familiarize yourself with a 3D design program to make your own files. 

Start small when you learn this software. Something simple like a cube will get you used to the basics of the new designing software.

When you’ve mastered the basics, you can start experimenting with more difficult objects like a custom toothbrush holder for your bathroom. 

Purchasing Files to Print

If you have no interest in learning how to maneuver a whole new software to begin 3D printing, you’re in luck. There are many places where you can purchase designs that you can download and print. 

The opposite is also true. If you have no interest in 3D printing, but you want to make the files, there is a demand for people who will make custom designs for 3D printers. This is a great way to make some extra money if you already have some 3D designing skills.

3d printers buyers guide

3D Printing Ideas

If you’re looking for some ideas to get you started, here’s a list. Keep in mind that this list can’t possibly capture all the items you can make with a 3D printer

Candleholders: Wall-mounted candle holders, candelabras, small dishes for tea lights, lanterns… however you want to display your candles is up to you when you have a 3D printer. 

Movie and Game Figurines: If you have a favorite movie character, or you’re addicted to a character’s skin in a game, you can make a figurine! This is especially handy for the not-so-popular characters, or the extremely rare armor sets you can get for in-game characters. 

3d printing

Mask Cages: As the end of 2020 approaches, we are still having to use masks. If you’re tired of breathing in your mask, you can make a mask cage that stops the mask from sitting directly against your face. 

Fidget Spinner: Who says you need to use a boring fidget spinner from the store? Make your own shapes and sizes with a 3D printer.

Pen Holder: … not a boring cup one though. Make something fun! An apple-shaped pen holder for your child’s teacher, a dinosaur-shaped one for your desk… pen holders don’t have to look like a cup. 

Lamp Shade: There are a couple of really cool things you can do with a lampshade. You can make a colourful lampshade to cast the room in a cool colour, or make a lampshade with cutouts that make fun shapes on the wall. 

Guitar Body: If you don’t like the standard guitars that are sold in stores, you can make your own guitar body. You can make any shape you like! Make the body the shape of a flame, or a piece of lego. Keep in mind the size of this project; you’ll either need a bigger 3D printer, or you’ll have to attach several pieces together. 

Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures: If you’re a fan of D&D, you might have noticed how expensive it is to buy each mini for your players, for your battles, and for your NPCs. Instead of buying each mini, you can make all of the ones you could ever need, and more, for your campaigns. 

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Phone Case: Tired of the standard black phone case? Make your own in any shape or colour! 

Jewelry Stand: Jewelry boxes are a thing of the past. By making a jewelry stand for your bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings you can showcase your jewelry as a piece of art. 

Limitations

There’s not much that a 3D printer can’t make. The first limitation is food and natural elements. You can’t 3D print a cheeseburger or a tree… yet. 

Your 3D printer also can’t make teeny tiny detailed items. While 3D printers can print fine details on items, it gets harder the smaller you go. Trying to put a ladybug on the shoulder of a miniature might end up in a pile of filament. 

3d printing equipment

3D printers also can’t print outside of their printing area. If you need to make a large item as one piece, you will need a much bigger 3D printer. If your design can be broken down into smaller pieces and attached IKEA-style, then this isn’t a problem for you. 

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, there is so much you can make with a 3D printer. Choose between making your own files or hiring someone to make a file for you so you can print just about any hard-plastic item you can think of. 

Whether you’re on land, or in space, there’s something for you to 3D print.