Feb 19, 2016 | By Tess, Kira
We’ve said time and again that desktop 3D printers are for much more than just making cheap plastic tchotchkes and trinkets. Beyond the ornaments, the paperweights, and the 3D printed coasters are tons of truly useful 3D printed household goods that could make your daily life easier than you’ve ever imagined, often while being cheaper or more practical than comparable store-bought products.
Don't know where to start? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most practical, useful, and ingeniously simple 3D printed objects that you can make at home for your home, regardless of your 3D printing skill level. And the best part is, you can download all of the STL files for free, today.
1. 3D Printed K-Cup Storage
Keurig’s ultra-convenient, single-serve coffee cups are the latest craze in home-brewed coffee, but buying a dedicated storage unit can cost anywhere from $25 to $50! Instead, why not 3D print a stackable countertop display that can be customized to fit your personal coffee collection. Each unit holds four Keurig K-cups, and they can be stacked up depending on how many you need. The top unit was also cleverly designed to hold sweetener packets. Try it for yourself with the free Thingiverse download.
2. 3D printed sink attachment for kids
This ingenious 3D printed ‘waterslide’ tool could be a real lifesaver for parents and teachers: it simply attaches to your sink’s faucet, and extends how far the water flows out so that anyone can reach up to wash their hands. Download the Thingiverse files and use it in the bathroom or even kitchen to encourage your kids to always wash up.
3. 3D printed Butter Buddy
The Butter Buddy is an adorable 3D printed dog that does double duty: it keeps butter fresh by protecting the open ends, and will make you smile every time you open the fridge. Download the Thingiverse files and say mmmm.
4. 3D printed back massager
Now this is something everyone needs: a 3D printed massage roller for your back, shoulders, legs, feet, or anywhere else you’re feeling tense. Use gentle, back and forth or circular pressure, and for best results, use with a partner.
5. 3D printed taco shell holder
This handy 3D printed taco shell holder can be printed in just one hour, and holds up to three fully-loaded tacos at a time (or, opt for this smaller two-taco version instead). We especially love the idea of 3D printing these in bright, vibrant colors to make your next fiesta-themed dinner really pop. Check out Daniel Norée’s remixed design on YouMagine.
6. 3D printed phone amplifier
Why settle for listening to your phone play music from its tiny speakers when you can easily amplify the sound using any of these 3D printed phone amplifiers? This first model, the Upcycle iPhone Amplifier, is essentially a stand that can hold an iPhone and any sort of cereal bowl behind it to augment your iPhone’s speakers. For Star Wars fans, this DIY Death Star powerless amplifier can fit any smartphone model, and let’s be honest, looks really cool. And for the retro-chic lovers: the GRAMiPhone, a 3D printed gramophone shaped amplifier that fits the iPhone 6.
7. 3D printed Zuzanna Lamp
Just because a 3D printed item is useful doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. If you dream of having designer furniture and decorations in your home but simply can’t afford to break the bank for a cushion, chair, or lamp, why not 3D print your very own designer items, such as the ones created by Paris based design studio LeFabShop? Some of our favorite designs include this Zuzanna Lamp, a large and expertly designed 3D printed lamp shade that was inspired by folded paper. LeFabShop has also released an entire collection of 3D printed Paris-themed homeware, which include the Paris Clock, the Paris Lamp, and the Paris Vase, inspired by the Eiffel Tower’s architecture.
8. 3D printed Happy Planters
Need to spread some cheer around your home? These cute and useful 3D printed planters might be just the thing. The files for the 3D printed Happy Planters, which were designed by Australian design trio XYZ Workshop, are available for free through Pinshape and can be 3D printed in either small or large, with the option of a 3D printed ceramic version for more advanced users. Your household greenery will be looking mighty smiley with these 3D printed plant-holders.
9. 3D printed bottle openers
Here is a popular and useful 3D printed item for kids, the elderly, or anyone who has struggled with a stubbornly tight lid (who hasn’t?). There are a lot of variations on the 3D printed bottle/jar opener, but we like the UBO (Universal Bottle Opener), which is versatile enough to open large juice bottled, pop tops, and even cans. Another popular option is the Single-Hand Bottle Opener, designed to help people with difficulties in performing activities that require hand strength—it even won 1st prize at the 3D print Exhibition during Maker Faire 2013 in Rome. Or, if you want a more novel option for your tool belt, try the 3d printed Batman Bottle Opener.
10. 3D printed kitchen tools
There is nothing we like more than a good kitchen hack, so when we saw these two 3D printed food prep tools, we just had to share. Maker Lloyd Roberts designed both the 3D printed egg separator and 3D printed garlic destroyer and has made the .STL files available for download on My Mini Factory. Using Ninjaflex flexible 3D printing filament, Roberts created two extremely useful 3D printed kitchen tools, whether you’re making an egg white omelette, or want to peel garlic without smelling of it for hours.
11. 3D printed Oral-B brush base
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as brushing your teeth after a long day of work, especially when your electric toothbrush is doing most of the brushing for you. If you share your Oral-B brush holder (or any other electric toothbrush brand) with family members, however, it can sometimes be tricky to find your own brush-head. Thanks to this 3D printed toothbrush base, you can now keep your individual brushes organized, separate and clean.
12. 3D printed modular containers
Getting kids organized is no easy task, but part of the chore is making being tidy fun. What better way to do that than by using fun shaped, toy-like 3D printed containers for your children to store their art supplies or toys? These 3D printable modular puzzle containers or 3D printed Hex Stackers will keep crayons, paint, and knickknacks nicely organized and can be arranged or stacked upright in a variety of ways. The .STL files for both 3D models can be downloaded via Thingiverse.
13. 3D printed watch and bracelet stackers
The internet is littered with jewelry storage hacks, but many of them require complicated assembly or a long list of materials. For anyone looking for an easy and useful solution for storing bracelets or watches, try this 3D printed watch stand that both functionally holds and stylishly displays your wrist-wear. The stands, which can stack anywhere from 1 to 3 items vertically, can be 3D printed in a standard size or in a tall version, to accommodate chunky wristwatches, and are adjustable in terms of length.
14. 3D printed Z18 stool
If you have access to a relatively large build volume 3D printer, such as the MakerBot Replicator Z18, the possibilities to create useful 3D printed items for your home are tenfold. As LeFabShop has demonstrated with their 3D printed Z18 stool, you only need a 3D printer and three wooden sticks to make a stylish and functional piece of furniture. The file for the 3D printed honeycomb textured stool can be downloaded via their Thingiverse page and consists of only two 3D printed parts, the seat and a leg support piece.
15. 3D printing filament storage container (Ikea hack!)
Of course, if you’re 3D printing all these useful household items you’re bound to have lots of filament lying around. For a quick and easy way to keep your filaments clean and organized, check out this DIY Ikea hack that turns a standard plastic SAMLA storage box into a 3D printing filament dispenser by simply installing 3D printed sockets and a tube. The best part about the hack is that you can also dispense the filament directly to your 3D printer from the box!
There you have it: 15 truly useful, practical and cool items you can make with a 3D printer for your home. If you'd made any of these or other useful 3D prints, let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.
If you liked this list, check out some of our other 3D printing and 3D printer roundups, including:
- The Best 3D Scanners of 2015
- The Top 3D Food Printers that will Feed the Future
- The Top 20 3D Bioprinters
- The Top 20 Biggest 3D Printers in 2016
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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