The 12 Most Ingenious Uses for Products Made from 3D Design
August 15th, 2016 | Natasha Englehardt
There’s no question that 3D printing is cool, but there are some projects out there you (or someone) can make right now that are downright ingenious. Here is a roundup of our latest favorite uses for products made from 3D design.
iPhone 6, 6S and 6 plus Amp Dock
This dock lets you keep your phone upright and visible while it’s charging, and it also has a built in passive amplifier so you can listen to your music while you charge. The dock features a cable trough to manage your cords neatly. It fits iPhone 6, 6S and 6+.
Perhaps not the most aptly named gadget, this design peels garlic cloves with a simple pass through it once. Since peeling garlic is such an irritating chore to any cook, this is a fantastically useful product.
Yes, now actual working musical instruments can be 3D printed. An acoustic guitar has been printed, and so has a Japanese Shakuhachi flute.
AA to C Battery Adapter
This is a totally easy one, but very useful since size is the only difference between AA and C batteries—not power. C batteries are far more expensive even though they offer the same voltage, though, so this little fix lets you adapt your cheaper AA batteries for use in place of their C battery cousins.
Children’s Artwork Sculptures
If there’s a child in your life that you care about, you can now get one of their crayon creations turned into a 3D printed art sculpture keepsake.
Join the hipster parent brigade and drink from up cycled jars—but do it with style and ease using a 3D printed jar handle. This design was created for Bonne Maman jars but you can easily tweak it for use with standard mason jars or any other jars you’d like to use.
This design project won first prize at the 2013 Rome Maker Faire in the 3D print exhibition. The “boomerang” model is printed with PLA or other smooth mono-material. It helps anyone who has trouble opening bottles due to poor hand strength and lets you open bottles just by rotating your wrist (not tightening the cap).
Or, for a more widely useful bottle opener, print out the Universal Bottle Opener. This one can open cans, pop tops, or even larger bottles.
Medical Device Prototypes and Models
Companies like Stratasys can now create prototypes of medical devices using 3D printing, and they can also produce 3D medical models for use in planning surgeries and practicing.
This design produces a strong, universal parametric u-hook. Printed in PLA, one hook was able to hold 47.4 kg. Change the look, shape, and style of each hook you print to suit your needs and whims.
Sustainable Fabrics and Textiles
3D printed fabrics and software that collects data on each person’s body can together produce clothing that fits perfectly almost instantly. This means buying clothing online that is sure to fit, with recyclable materials that demand less labor. It also means a shorter production time, a smaller carbon footprint, and a more sustainable way of clothing ourselves.
This design allows you to print out a fully articulated general purpose plastic wrench—not several pieces you assemble into a wrench, but the tool itself in one piece.
When it comes to what 3D printing and design can produce, the possibilities are basically endless. This list of our 12 current favorites among the most ingenious uses for products made from 3D design highlights the best of what’s out there now. This roundup also suggests some of what’s still to come: more sustainable, efficient designs that make our lives easier and give new life to things we’re already using as well as totally new creations.