If you’ve ever watched Star Trek before, you may remember Captain Picard confidently asking the “Replicator” for a hot tea. Moments later, a steaming cup would materialize magically inside a box no bigger than a microwave.
While the 3D printers we have today can’t exactly make you a cup of tea, they can make you some pretty cool stuff to use around the house.
To show you what you can make, I went over to Thingiverse and looked at some of the templates for home items they have available. All you need to print these is a basic single extruder 3D printer.
- USB Stick Holder
Maybe I’m a bit of a nerd, but I’ve got a bunch of SD cards and USB sticks all over my desk. I printed out one of these gadgets and got them all organized. They take a very small amount of filament and can print out in about an hour. If you just got your 3D printer and are looking for something easy, fast and fun to print, this is worth a try.
- Rex Shower Head
Here’s a fun modification for your shower head: Turn it into a T. Rex! This printable shower head spins onto a regular shower head pipe. This is a great example of how 3D printing can be used to customize things in ways that mass production just doesn’t do.
- Customizable Vacuum Nozzles
In addition to a home vacuum, I’ve got a shop vac. They’re great for cleaning up all sorts of messes. Like many of us, I’ve gotten some accessories for it. For reasons that I don’t understand, it seems that the accessories follow no convention in terms of size or fit. I can’t tell you how many nozzles I’ve purchased that don’t fit with each other.
This 3D print is here to the rescue. It lets you print all kinds of vacuum nozzles and adapters. What’s really interesting about it is that you can actually customize the nozzle right online by just sliding a few settings. No CAD experience needed! I’ve made myself a bunch of adapters and a few tiny nozzles for cleaning out keyboards and little nooks in the car.
- Self-Watering Planter
This planter is great for gardeners. You can plant your mint or other greenery in the pot and then nestle that pot into the water reservoir. From there, you just fill up the reservoir and as the plant requires more water, it just draws it in.
This design is easy to print. You can even scale it up or down depending on the size plant that you need to grow. Check the instructions in the link for print settings to ensure water tightness.
- Customizable Hooks
Now I know what you’re thinking… Hooks are boring. Normally I’d agree with you. Go to any local hardware store and you’re presented with shelves of brass and silver one that may not always be exactly what you want. That’s where these hooks come in.
What really makes these particular hooks great is that you can customize them just about any way you want. For starters, you can print them in any color. You can make them to hang over your door, screw to a wall or glue to a flat surface. They can be configured to accommodate just about anything from your huge school backpack to a light set of car keys.
These hooks come with a built in customizer, too. Just grab your tape measure, put in your dimensions and start printing.
- Voronoi Lamp
This very cool lamp is a bit more of an advanced print, but it really shows off what 3D printing can do.
First, you need to download and print the lamp. It would be wise to experiment with some different filaments on this one, too. A transparent filament would go nicely. After that, you’ll need to get a light source installed into it. An LED light that can change colors would work quite well in this lamp.
There are a lot of great prints for the home available out there, and you’ll get the satisfaction of creating customized pieces you can use every day. Happy printing!
Author bio: Eric Schimelpfenig has an intense passion for digital fabrication and “making.” He uses and teaches 3D printing and CNC fabrication. He has helped design and build digitally fabricated homes, geodesic domes and many other cutting edge projects. He also writes about using emerging technologies for home improvement for The Home Depot, which carries a wide selection of 3D printers and accessories.