July 29, 2015 | By Alec

The web is full of fantastic and often free 3D printable designs, but many of the more intricate or functional ones can be a bit of hassle to create. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself making multiple iterations, while struggling with supports and assembly – which can take the fun out of an Sunday afternoon of supposedly stress free 3D printing. However, a recent design from a Seattle team is an assured hit: the 3D printed platform jack, that 3D prints in a single, support-free, fully assembled and fully functional platform. We guarantee that this will be one of the most amazing and simple things to come off your printbed ever.

This Platform Jack has been developed as a showcase piece by the Seattle-based design company Intentional3D, who specialize in the full spectrum of 3D printing services – from sales, consultation, to training and on-demand design. They must have been looking for a playful and easy product to show off their services, and this Platform Jack – which has exploded all over the web – definitely does exactly that.

Released two weeks ago, this cool little toy is an amazing work of 3D printable design. Typically, designs consists of a number (or sometimes even a dozen or so) separate parts, that need to be 3D printed piece-by-piece and full of support material. It sometimes shocks the uninitiated how much work 3D printing even a simple tool actually is. However, this Platform Jack is the exact opposite – consisting of a single, support-free piece, everyone can 3D print it and play with it.

Perhaps most impressive is the design’s ability to be functional as a single piece of plastic. Now of course it starts off a stuck piece, but as you can see in the clip above, you can ‘unlock’ the mechanism with a pair of pliers to break a little connection point. Afterwards, the jack is good to go, and turning the knob will move the platform up and down – perfect as a display piece of what 3D printing can do, for holding a smartphone, or any other fun application you can think of. Capable of sustaining about 20 pounds of weight, this is a seriously well thought out design.

Obviously this design must’ve gone through dozens of versions, and it has even gone through a few improvements over the last two weeks. Some replicas had trouble with the scissor mechanisms, while some were even completely fused together. Since then, Intentional3D have implemented a series of improvements to make the design more trouble-free. ‘We have uploaded an updated platform jack with stronger scissor arms, improved axles to stop the arms from separating, and a larger gap between the screw and crossbeam to fix the fusing issue, they say. ‘For anyone having problems with the scissor arms fusing together we have uploaded a modified file with the tolerance increased from 0.5 to 0.65 mm (The axle tolerance is unchanged).’

If you’re interested in this amazingly fun 3D printed contraption, head over to Thingiverse here to download the necessary file. The updated model was printed on a Makerbot Replicator 2 in about four hours, with a layer height of 0.2 mm and 15 % infill and a raft. Give it a try!


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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