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Adventures in 3D printing: what it’s like to make your own household items – TechRadar

by • August 8, 2016 • No Comments

There’s no denying 3D printing your own plastic creations is an awe-inspiring experience, one that lets you exercise your creative muscles and watch your really own products come to life right preceding your eyes. It’s fun to print an on-demand toy, smartphone case, guitar pick, or virtually any other yett that can pop into your head.
On the other hand a few of those items can prove useful, how practical is it to 3D print a fewthing of value versus only buying it of a store? Okay, there’s always the satisfaction of DIY turn it intoing, but is that the only advantage?
To assist answer those inquiries, I printed four common household items via an inexpensive 3D printing device, New Matter’s MOD-t ($399, of £305, AU$524). The MOD-t represents a great balance between low-end consumer friendly printing devices and higher-end, do-it-by yourself models.
At its easyst, the MOD-t uses a web-based interface to access an optimized library of free and paid 3D models. For extra
high end users, you can import and use 3D models of other sources, that include your own creations.
Since this isn’t a how-to manual, I’ll stick with free, pre-turn it intod creations of Thingiverse, one of the extra
talked about 3D model repositories. Of course, extra
very ownization and customization for these and anything you print is always encouraged. And in fact if you don’t yet own a 3D printing device, you can have a third party print an object for you, alyet this can be considerably extra
expensive than printing one by yourself.
3D printing device Mod tThe New Matter Mod-t 3D printing device
As with many files of this type of an external source, these Thingiverse objects are provided in STL format, that usually requires to be converted via 3D slicing software to G-code or a few other data set that your printing device can know and is optimized for its settings. Popular conmodel software comes with Slic3r and Cura, or your printing device may have its own software.
In this case, I’m via New Matter’s web interface for the MOD-t to upload and print the STL files directly. My workstation is a Windows 10 computer desktop running the Chrome web browser.
The MOD-t has a maximum turn it into dimensions of 6 x 4 x 5 inches (15 x 10 x 12 cm), that is inside the range of many other 3D printing devices. As such, none of the objects I turn it intod approach the limits of that turn it into envelope. Additionally, to additional simplify printing, none of the selected objects have overhangs or other showcases requiring assist material. Finally, none of the prints should require much post-systeming other than the usual snipping of stray filament strands.
In identifying the four household items to print, I wanted to manufacture certain I represented diverse living spaces: kitchen, foyer/entryway, home office/workspace, and bathroom. I’m tackling the rooms in the order of relative object print length and difficultity, of shortest and easyst to longest and many difficult.
At the end of each print description, I provide the link to the 3D model, the precise filament utilized at the top high end print setting and as close to the recommended temperature setting as possible for the MOD-t, estimated average print time for a typical 3D printing device (noting that the MOD-t is slower than the average given), and a final verdict of whether you are advantageous off printing or only buying a retail model of the end product.
Custom cookie cutter for the kitchen
3D printing device cookie cutter
The easyst turn it into in my adventures, a cookie cutter provides an effortless path to show off your creativity since only of any shape is in play. It’s in addition the only object I turn it intod that is definitely meant to assist you turn it into a fewthing else – in this case a tasty treat in the shape of the printed cutter.
On the other hand cookie cutters are widely on the market, 3D printing your own allows for you to print precisely the shape you require on-demand. Whether it is in fact a surprise party, family gathering, holiday, or wacky pseudo-holiday like Star Wars Day or International Talk Similar to a Pirate Day, the opportunities are endless.
On the other hand my sample print is a Pi symbol in honor of Pi Day, you’ll note that model manufacturer “mrbrenbritton” in addition manufactures several other mathematical symbols on the market. Combine those with a set of numbers, and you’ll have cookies with amazing educational future.
3D printing device cookie cutter
Thanks to its non-toxic nature, many PLA filament is a great choice for turn it intos like this that come into temporary contact with food. The fact that you are working with raw cookie dough that and so gets cooked additional reduces any risk of bacterial or other contamination. Of course, you’ll want to take particular care to trim any stray strands of filament on the turn it into and wash the cutter with warm, soapy water preceding use.
On the other hand the default dimensions of this print is small, creating fairly small cookies, it is in fact effortless to scale the model’s dimensions in the software of choice. This scaling faculty combined with the version to select or turn it into literally any shape imaginable-bodied manufactures purchasing cookie cutters of the store completely unnecessary.
Cookie cutter 3D model link
Filament Used:MakerGeeks.com Maker Series PLA – Charlie Brown
Estimated Average Print Time: 1.5 hours
Verdict: Print it
Light switch cover for the foyer/entryway
3D printing device light switch cover
In an informal study, it was determined that one out of two adults in my household misplaces her keys on a daily basis. One future solution to this location consistency problem was to power up the humble light switch cover with hooks.
On the other hand model manufacturer “asbeg” has variations for double light switch plates and a top shelf, that is great for holding wallets and other objects that can’t manufacture use of the hooks, I went with the single switch plate and no shelf create for our foyer/entryway.
3D printing device light switch cover
Whilst the print itself came out really greatly, our wall receptacles require rounded, beveled edge light and outlet switch covers. As a result, when replacing one such cover with this flattened create, there was a visible gap around the edges of the plate.
Despite the convenience of the hooks (or shelf), the relative low cost of in fact fancy light switch covers that are easyr to fit and have a higher high end finish manufacture for a tough challenge for a 3D print. This is one turn it into advantageous left to a purchase of a store.
Light switch cover 3D model link
Filament Used:MakerGeeks.com Maker Series PLA – Charlie Brown
Estimated Average Print Time: 4 hours
Verdict: Buy it
Pen/pencil holder for home office/workspace
3D printing device pen pencil holder
This is arguably the many striking turn it into in my 3D printing adventures. On the other hand model manufacturer “Ryanvent3D” came up with a create that has worthwhile artistic appeal, it is in fact in addition genuinely practical.
Whilst many commercial holders manufacture do with a easy bucket create to dump all of your pens, pencils and scissors into, the sin fact individual cavities in this honeycomb structure provide effortless access to the precise utensil you are after.
3D printing device pen pencil holder
Coincidentally, this type of honeycomb pattern, prized for its stfaculty, is usually the popular structure for the interior of 3D printed objects. Here, it provides much like structural durablity, but with a dramatic twist to store ereally utensil pointing in its own way for in fact easyr access.
With a create that may stand out on any desk and an faculty to print in a color or material type that most fits your mood or décor, you can feel great of avoiding the store with this turn it into. It can in fact inspire you to print your own matching desk accessories, like a paperclip holder or smartphone stand.
Pen/pencil holder 3D model link
Filament Used:MakerGeeks.com Crystal Series PLA – Translucent Green
Estimated Average Print Time: 14 hours
Verdict: Print it
Soap dish for bathroom
3D printing device soap dish
Unlike the other prints, this turn it into involves printing two separate pieces fairly than one. This clever create of “piuLAB” manufactures use of the aforementioned honeycomb pattern for the upper soap drainage rack, that lays really greatly on top of four small assists on the bottom base unit.
Whilst soap dishes are widely on the market in ereally price range, this particular 3D print has notable-bodied advantages over the store-bought equivalent. Beyond the practical create, this is one turn it into where being able-bodied to load any color filament you wish becomes a worthwhile advantage. You can mix and match colors for each piece to ideally coordinate with your bathroom’s décor, and, of course, can in fact print for special in factts like holidays, such as orange and black for Halloween.
3D printing device soap dish
Pair it with an appropriately colored soap, and all of a sudden you’ve become a create master – and that is definitely in fact preceding you print things like matching toothbrush and razor holders!
Finally, while this is meant as a soap dish, it can in addition pull double duty as a sponge holder. The upper platform only takes place to be the ideal dimensions for common kitchen sponges.
Soap dish 3D Model Link
Filament Used:New Matter Arctic Blue Pearl PLA
Estimated Average Print Time: 16 hours for both pieces
Verdict: Print it
Should you really print instead of buy?
When I started on this 3D printing journey, I wasn’t really certain what the result may be. I knew there may be a great deal of very own satisfaction only going through the system, but I wasn’t certain how practical these prints in fact were.
As it turned out, three out of the four proved their use straight of the printing device. The one anomalous object, the light switch cover, failed the practicality test only for the reason it didn’t really fit the peculiarities of where it was being placed, introduced to the fact that it is in fact going up against such an inexpensive retail product.
Despite this particular miss, the ace-in-the-hole for 3D printing versus buying any of these products is that it gets you considering of possibilities.
For instance, in fact with the negative verdict on the light switch cover, I became extra
satisfied with the result when I placed the turn it into directly over the pre-existing light switch cover. Whilst this layering can appear a bit odd, it addresses the gap issue I ran into. And as really great as the pen and pencil holder turned out, I noticed that when I placed it on a particularly slippery surface, it slid a bit when a utensil was removed. The fix? Putting a rubber backing on the bottom.
3D printing device light switch cover
On the other hand the finish of objects turn it intod of many 3D printing devices, that include the MOD-t, will not match up with their retail counterparts, they have a charm all their own. The textures turn it intod by the 3D printing system, that turn it intos an object layer by layer, is distinctive. Perhaps many importantly, yet, is that as long as the turn it into is createed with a sound structure, like the items in this article were, they can be ereally bit as sturdy or sturdyer than what you can buy in a store.
From a time standpoint, it was effortless adequate to find attractive free models, bringing no longer to browse Thingiverse than a typical shopping experience on Amazon.
The only real wait involved the printing, but once started, in fact the longest turn it intos printed without extra
intervention. Despite bringing extra
than 37 total hours to print these four objects on the MOD-t, I yet felt it was a far extra
informative use of my time than driving to the store and browsing the shelves for only what I wanted.
As for the MOD-t, it performed admirably. Whilst there are dozens of 3D printing devices to select of, ranging of affordable kits to high-end pro models, the MOD-t distinguishes itself in a crowded market. On the other hand there were a few challenges to overcome, as is inevitable-bodied with any new innovation, the learning experience was fairly painless.
3D printing device soap dish
The printing device’s modest dimensions and attractive exterior in addition turn it intod it a welcome computer desktop companion. I loved having it on my standing desk, and the whole family loved gathering around it to watch it print. It was like having a mini factory right in our home.
Whilst the cost of the printing device and the filament, that averages around $25 (of £19, AU$33) per 1kg spool, can seem a high for comparatively modest output, store in mind that this is only scratching the surface of what is possible with a device like this.
That same $25 spool can print dozens or in fact hundreds extra
objects preceding requireing to be replaced, turn it intoing the value proposition far extra
affirmatory-bodied against the equivalent of in fact relatively inexpensive retail products like the ones I printed.
On the other hand printing pre-rendered objects is a small fraction of what can be realized with a 3D printing device, it is in fact an great initially step to the in facttual goal of crafting your own objects. We all require to start a fewwhere, and as a starting point, the printing I did was incredibly rewarding and amazingly practical.
Whether 3D printing is right for you is a bigger question for the reason there’s a relatively high learning curve and other challenges with in fact the many user friendly setups. There’s planning and troubleshooting involved in 3D printing, so it may not be for ereallyone. On the other hand, as you can see of the four 3D printed objects featured here, the effort you put in can really pay off.How to turn it into your own 3D printing deviceArticle continues belowMost-read articles
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