There are a lot of cool things you can make with 3d printers. I’ve seen a lot online and up close. But, wouldn’t 3d printers be more valuable if they can make things that are practical?
Well, I wrote this article for that reason. There are a lot of useful things you can make, especially for the house.
Here are 100 useful things you can make with a 3d printer. Let me know in the comments if you have any more suggestions!
Why Should You Get A 3D Printer?
I believe 3d printers will be in every household in the future. Just like any other technology, 3d printers were originally found in institutions like colleges or labs.
3d printers are the future of manufacturing in my opinion. Getting one now helps you make things around the house. They’re also great for kids who want to get creative. There aren’t a lot of 3d printers in schools nowadays, but that will change soon.
Not only will 3d printers be in schools, but students will be using them in the future to prepare themselves for jobs in the future. But that’s not the best part, 3d printers will also help you save money in the long run.
How Much Money Can You Save?
The average household in the U.S pays around $2,000 for furnishings in equipment.
A low-budget 3D printer costs $200-$500 and can last years. Think of all the products you can make with the 3D printer and how much those items cost.
You can save thousands of dollars over the long run.
1. Covid Mask Breather
I had to give the most practical item first. If this doesn’t seal the deal for you, then I don’t know what else to give you.
Mask breathers do what it says. It creates space between the mask and your mouth to filter out condensed air. This’ll help if you have musty breath, or didn’t brush your teeth that morning. And, it’s just nice to breath fresh air.
Besides wearing a mask for Covid, you can print different masks as you’ll see soon.
2. Hand-Made Camera Lens
This one blew my mind. Looking at the material for 3D printers, I didn’t think it was possible. But, here we are. Being able to make a camera lens lets you experiment with different pictures. Another thing that’s cool is how much money you save if you break the original lens.
A camera repair service can cost up to $100-$250 on average. A 3D printer can print you a new lens in hours.
This is another example of how you can save money.
3. 3D Printed Acoustic Guitar
You can also create instruments with 3D printers.
Here’s a cool video of a guy playing a 3D printed guitar. 3D printed guitars look cool because you don’t usually see one around. You also have the advantage of designing it the exact way you want.
I mean if you can print a guitar, you can also print some flutes. There are so many different flutes. There are different types for each culture or occasion. If you’re in middle school, you can print your own recorder flute and bring it to class.
Or, you can make another flute called the “Native American Sparrow Hawk Flute”.
5. Surgical Instruments
If an apocalypse breaks out and you need to perform surgery, a 3D printer can make the tools to do it. Think of all the handheld instruments in surgery. There are clamps, scalpels, forceps, and more.
Surgeons talk about having surgeon-specific tools too. If one tool doesn’t work for you, you can just print another one that’s customized for you. This level of iteration is great for us in the long run.
6. 3D Fetus
You can also make 3D fetuses. This one made me happy. And, the reason why is this type of 3D model can help visually-impaired soon-to-be parents “see” their kids.
3D printed fetuses can be the new ultrasound picture too. Having a “physical” version of your child sounds cooler than a picture to me.
7. 3D Figurines From Children's Drawings
Once your child is born, you can also print their drawings. Creating and building is fun. Your child can create the drawing and build it with a 3D printer. Taking your ideas and making them real is fulfilling. Letting your child do this will spark their creativity.
Here are some examples of 3D figurines from drawings.
8. 3D Printed Miniature Furniture
Those mini figurines your child makes will need some furniture. Making miniature furniture completes the whole set up. Creating miniature furniture also gives you prototypes for future house decor.
You would take house decor planning to a new level.
9. Iphone Case & Card Holder
The utility of this is self-explanatory. You know what you get just by looking at the title. The question is what type of case/card holder are you going to make.
Personally, my case contains a card holder that holds everything snug. A better idea would be to create one that opens up like a door.
10. Electric Bike
You thought it couldn’t get crazier I bet. Well, this 3D printed bike sounds wild.
This specific bike was made in one go. There was no need for attaching support parts to complete the bike. A 3D printed bike also means less support parts to worry about. Another impressive part is this bike is more durable and stronger than regular bikes.
Technology also makes controversial things. However you feel about guns, just know it’s possible to build with 3D printers. Printing a working gun is another case though. There’s a more science to set off the fire arm. Making the actual model is easier as all you need are the files.
Maybe one day 3D printers can print a whole working gun.
12. Camping Wraps
If you’re bringing a lot of things for camping, then you can use wraps to keep things organized. Instead of spending time untangling wires, you can spend a few hours making 3D printed wraps.
3D printing doesn’t only save money, it saves time too.
13. Cantilever Laser Engraver
Just saw this bad boy. I honestly didn’t know what a laser engraver was until the time of this post. But, now that I know of it, I can see how it could be useful. A laser engraver is exactly what it sounds like. It engraves designs through lasers.
This could be used to engrave family names onto some of your property. It can also be used to engrave the entrance of your home too.
A laser engraver isn’t something you come across everyday. But, with a 3D printer, you can get a lot closer than before.
14. Hanging Light
You can print a circular object with an opening and you’re close to having lights. All you need is the bulb and you’re good to go. This is one way you can make hanging lights. If you need light in a specific area, but don’t have all the tools, a 3D printer can help you get creative.
15. Robotic Arm
I love this. An industrial robot creating another industrial robot makes me think robots will be creating themselves soon. If you know how to wire and code a robot, you might be able to create a whole army of robots starting with a 3D printer.
A robotic arm can help you with monotonous tasks. Having a bunch of robotic arms can also help you get rid of tasks you don’t like doing. This frees you up for more play time.
16. Coffee Cups
Coffee lovers need their mugs. There’s nothing like waking up to a fresh pot with your favorite cup. Being able to design your own mug is cool. A little morning slogan on your cup is a nice touch. You can also design your own coffee cup holder.
17. Flight Sim Joystick
Future pilots will find this more valuable than others. A flight sim joystick is similar to a practice steering wheel. Instead of buying one, you’ll save more by creating your own. Just remember that an actual flight joystick isn’t fully ready with 3d print.
You still have to finish the base so you can move back and forth mimicking real life.
18. 3D Printed Fabrics
If you want to be stylish and help the planet then 3D printed fabrics is one way. This type of fabric uses less labor, and is recyclable. Saving the planet and having people spend less time manufacturing frees them up. It turns into creating more useful things.
People who want to go out the box can also create unique designs on their fabric. There’s a lot to like with 3d printed fabrics.
19. Customizable 3D Printed Bugdroids
Android fans can make their own bug model. These are usually colored green, but you can use different filaments to color them differently.
Try printing some Bugdroids and let me know what you think. Bugdroids are great for testing the quality of your printer.
20. Target Pen Holder
Messy people like yours truly will find this useful. It seems like I’m always looking for a pen even though I rarely use one nowadays. A pen holder will keep me from embarassing myself. These things can go from $10-$20 too. Being able to save some change with your own design is fulfilling.
A pen holder is one of the many pieces of furniture you can print.
21. Divers Watch
I’ve never heard of a divers watch, but they look expensive.
If you told me this is a Rolex I might believe you. The fact this is even possible with a 3D printer is hilarious. This particular watch is bigger than it looks because it’s made for the desk. It took 131 individual parts with a total of 30 hours of printing time.
22. Jesus Cross Pendant
If you come from a religious Catholic/Christian family, then you definitely have some sort of religious figure in the house. I personally come from one and they’re everywhere. There’s a Last Supper painting in my kitchen as we speak.
3D printers make it possible to print a Jesus Cross Pendant. You can make one for your desk or workspace.
A customized bikini sounds like a cost-saver. For women, this sounds like an opportunity to have a new bikini every time they hit the beach. Similar to fabrics, creating your own bikini with 3d printers means less labor, and more green efficiency.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this in runways soon.
24. Blood Type Tags
25. LED Lamp
This is a nice lamp to set an ambience. The 3d printer can handle the build easily. The rest of the build depends on how you handle electronics.
You’re going to need to know information about batteries, and circuitry to finish this. Nonetheless, you can place this LED lamp on your desk along with other items you made.
Unlike the LED lamp, the megaphone doesn’t need electronic skills. All you need is the print files and you can make one in hours. A megaphone is useful for parties you throw around the house. There are many ways you can design this, let me know which one you go with.
27. Candy Dispenser
I hate having to open packages up continuously for snacks. A candy dispenser makes this inconvenient problem easy.
If you have kids, you might want to place this in an area that’s hard to reach. Your dispenser will be empty in a day or two if you don’t.
28. Hamster House
It’s hard to print a whole dog house because those are huge. But, a hamster house is the next best thing. If you use the whole print bed, your hamster will be thinking it’s living in a mansion. It should be fun creating this for a pet hamster.
You can create pathways for your hamster to run through which is enjoyable in and of itself.
A ratchet is perfect for big cables. You can use this for television cables, equipment cables, and more.
There are countless places in the household with cables. The cool thing about printing a ratchet is they’re quick to print. You should be able to print one in an hour or two.
30. Combination Lock
A combination lock is one of the most interesting products you can make. What’s cool is you don’t need much support equipment. Some glue and bolts will finish the assembly.
One thing you have to understand is 3d printers can’t print with metal. A combination lock, which is usually made out of metal won’t be as secure if it’s made out of plastic. Plastic is easier to break.
The lock should still prove difficult to break though. Just keep your expectations in check.
31. Collapsible Dice Holder
This one reminds me of dungeons and dragons. But, a dice holder like this prevents someone from rolling the dices off the boards. It’s also a cool way to roll the dice.
If you’re a big board game person, this is a nice addition to the set.
32. Anti Gravity Planter
33. Metric Screw Measuring Device
This is a good tool for all the things you’re going to make. Being able to make things with something you made from a 3d printer is very meta. Get yourself a screw measuring device if you plan on building a lot in the future.
34. Stand For Cotton Swabs
Another great storage furniture. Cotton swabs don’t get mentioned a lot when it comes to household necessities, but they need something to hold them.
You can design this stand which holds swabs and cotton. It’s especially helpful if you, or someone you know wears makeup. This stand can store all the items they need to clean up.
35. Blade Holder
It gets messy when shaving hair. It gets even messier when you place those blades in a bag. What makes having a blade holder convenient is you can find the blade you’re looking for faster.
This also doesn’t take long to make. If you’re looking for a project, then this is an idea. It’s also a great starter project for new 3d printer users.
36. Credit Card Wallet
37. Underdesk Drawer
I have a bunch of pencils, pens, and paper on my desk. A nice under desk drawer remedies that. I can just stuff everything in there to keep the illusion of cleanliness. Hanging the under desk drawer shouldn’t be too hard either.
38. Warning Signs
Place warning signs on your backyard doors with this. It’ll warn potential intruders, or first-time visitors. You can also use it for children who might not know better. A couple examples to place warning signs for children are stairs and stoves.
Just make sure to make those warning signs huge. Children can be oblivious when playing.
39. Water Diffuser
40. Cable Clips
41. Photo Frames
Yes, photo frames are possible. It’s not that hard to imagine through considering the items on this list. Being able to print photo frames means you can go a little crazy taking pictures. Just make sure you have enough filament.
42. Multipurpose Apple Charging Dock
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, then you’ll find huge value in this. Having a multipurpose Apple charging dock charges your phone, charges your Airpods, and hangs your Apple watch.
You might even be able to incorporate your laptop somewhere. It all depends on the design you go with.
44. Rice Paddle
Rice paddles are one of my best friends when it comes to food. It feels satisfying to grab a big portion of rice and placing it on your plate. What’s great about this is it’s not complex for a printer to make. The design is straightforward.
This can be a combo piece to your combo lock. Similar to rice paddles, they’re not too difficult to make. I’m surprised 3D printer keys aren’t more popular. If you take the concept of keys and locks, you can create a unique lock that wouldn’t even look like a lock.
This will confuse potential thefts.
46. Towel Holder
Instead of manually rolling paper towels have a towel holder do it for you. The one I linked to is stable and durable. That specific towel holder can be used without holder caps and it can be placed on the bottom of a cupboard.
47. Laptop Case
You’ve seen the different type of laptop cases out there. Some of them look basic in a good way. This means you can print yourself one just by getting the dimensions of your laptop.
You can even go above and beyond and add a batman logo or what not.
48. Board Game Pieces
49. Golf Ball Clip
50. Toy Kettlebell
Having a toy kettlebell made me laugh. I’m sure this is not as heavy as a real kettlebell. But, you can still use this for exercises. As long as the handle is right, you can perform the same exercises as if you had a real one.
You probably can’t even tell between a lunchbox that you bought, and a 3D printed one. Furthermore, lunch boxes are usually made out of plastic which is the material most 3D printed items are made out of.
If you don’t have a lunchbox, you know what time it is.
52. Small Toys
53. Homo Erectus Skull
All my biologists would find this interesting. Shoot, I’m not one and this is interesting. Downloading some files and printing some 3D skulls sounds wild. If I got a chance I would definitely do this as it’s not only fun, it’s educational.
54. Lego Pieces
These things would hurt my feet so bad. Stepping on one is like stubbing your toe on the corner of the bed.
A 3D printer will give you the chance to step on more. In addition, they also help you finish large lego models. If you’re missing a piece, you can just print the remainder to finish it off.
55. Kitchen Utensils
Having a 3D printer make you a spoon and fork is like having plastic utensils.
This person made a spork with their printer. You can even try something new and make a kitchen utensil that combines a spoon, fork, and knife.
Hold your flowers in a spiral shape vase. There’s no big difference between a bought vase.
You can even make a mix-colored vase if you want to. Try different shaped vases too. Don’t just go with a spiral one.
57. Ventilation Cover
58. Piggy Bank
What if you use 3d printed money and put it in your 3d printed piggy bank? Another meta situation. I’m not sure if there is pink filament, but I’m sure a 3D printed piggy bank would be hard to break.
Tearing plastic apart isn’t as easy as smashing metal.
59. Microphone Stand
If you have a karaoke mic you can use a microphone stand. Not many karaoke sets come with one that I know of.
It’s also nice having a microphone stand because you don’t want your microphone rolling around.
60. Mini Mechanical Mouse
Building a mechanical mouse is going to need electronic skills. With a 3d printer, you can print the whole case. You might need to use the insides of another mouse to get your new mouse to work though.
Try something similar to what this person did.
61. Dead Blow Hammer
You can also smash things if you want. If 3D printers can make guns, what’s wrong with hammers.
In all seriousness though, the ability to make a hammer helps you make other things.
A dead blow hammer helps minimize damage to the targets and is easy to control. This way you won’t bend nails out of shape.
62. Knife Holder
A knife holder is super valuable. Even though it does one thing, that one thing saves a lot of pain. You can do a combo for a 3D printer by making knives and a knife holder.
Making a 3D printer knife might not come out as sharp as you need though.
A simple, but useful tool. I always lose my favorite bookmarks. Having a 3D printer is a convenient way to replace things.
One thing is a 3D printed bookmark won’t be as thin as a paper one. Other than that, a 3D printed bookmark will work just fine. Just make sure it’s dry before placing it in your book.
64. Headphone Stand
65. Desk Riser
66. HEV Charger
This Half Life USB charger is based on the game “Half Life” and it comes with sounds from the game. This charger is used to charge your USBs. The case can be made with the 3D printer, but the full assembly requires electronic skills.
67. Watering Can
68. Bottle Pump
There are some messy liquids out there. One of them is syrup. Having a bottle pump helps you dispense the syrup neatly. You can also use this for soap.
Try and make your bottle pump adaptable to different bottle sizes though. Another tip is to not make your pump short. This leaves room for error, and helps the pump get liquid in taller bottles.
69. Measuring Spoons
Retail measuring spoons don’t look much different compared to 3D printed measuring spoons. The set you see here can be customized sizes.
The designer here says there are 2 types of measuring spoons you can make. One that sits flatly on surfaces, and another which allows you to nest a spoon in another.
70. Children's Chopsticks
I remember trying to learn chopsticks. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. Having children’s chopsticks can be beneficial though. Think of it as training wheels. These chopsticks allow you to hold food easily by pinching the 2 sticks together with a larger surface compared to regular chopsticks.
71. Garlic Press
3D printers make a lot of useful kitchen tools. A garlic press is another example. This garlic press is made to be durable. Find the strongest filament you can find to do so.
If you plan on making this, remember to plan on making holes to the press yourself. The designer for this garlic press didn’t like the way the printer made the holes.
72. Bottle Opener
Get yourself a bottle opener if you want to be a hero at the next party. You’re going to need extra equipment to complete this project though. Those items include bolts and rubber bands. At least that’s what the designer of this bottle opener did.
73. Bag Clip
I have a couple bag clips at my place right now. These are great if you need a way to close your chip bags reliably. Nobody likes stale chips.
Bag clips are a great first model for printing too. They can print in one piece and are easy to remove from the print bed.
74. Customizable Vacuum Nozzles
75. Soap Holder
A soap holder is a must. If you’ve ever tried grasping soap in the shower then you feel my pain. Creating a soap holder with a 3D printer isn’t hard either. You can make one in hours.
Some designers use support parts to complete the holder. Most designers use one piece to create soap holders though.
76. Car Trash Bag Hooks
77. Sketch Frames
A sketch frame makes drawing super easy. It’s almost a cheat code. A sketch frame is easy to build too. You don’t need support parts, or any other extra outside parts.
The gun printing can be viewed as bad. Being able to print prosthetics should be looked at as positive though. I’m not even going to get into details of how people get it to work because I have no clue.
But, what I do know is this is a great step for people who need them.
79. Door Stop
80. Dog Treat Holder
81. Toothbrush Case
82. 3D Printer Scraper
Filaments can be hard to get off the print bed. Doing so the wrong way causes damage to the bed. A 3D printer scraper makes it easier to remove models from the bed. You can make one using 100% filament, or make one with a real blade at the edge.
83. Bag Holder
84. Power Card Wall Mount
85. Napkin Holder
The design of a napkin holder can get fancy. The best ones are simple though. This napkin holder might have overhangs due to the design.You can also do a simple design. Besides, most napkin holders aren’t fancy anyway.
86. 3D Speaker Enclosure
87. Hose Clamp
This model doesn’t require support. It’s a model that can be done quickly. Another thing I noticed about this hose clamp is it doesn’t require anything too detailed. Similar to the bottle opener, this is a useful yet simple design to help you around the house.
88. Door Lock
89. Dropper Bottle Flat Rack
This rack is useful for artists. You can keep your colors in this rack in an organized fashion. It can also be used for medication. Get yourself a flat rack. You can organize a bunch of items with this.
90. Candle Case
91. Chess Set
Printing a chess set takes awhile. You have to print individual pieces and the whole board. Chess is one of those games that make it worth it though. A good set will last you years and bring you more joy if you give it a chance. I highly recommend this for people who want to exercise their brains in their free time.
92. Wall Socket
93. Pulley System
My cousin literally built his own pulley system a couple weeks ago. They’re great for pulling heavy things with leverage. Instead of lifting something from dead weight, use a pulley to make moving things easier. You just need 3 parts and some rope to make one.
Those 3 parts include the pulley wheel, pinwheel, and pulley housing. Here’s a pulley system model to get started.
94. Origami Inspired Forceps
This tool is something I haven’t seen. The designer says you can use this for surgery, space tools, and more.
Forceps like this make me excited for the future of 3D printers. Customizable tools are optimal for unique situations.
95. Center Finder
96. Dial Caliper
A dial caliper is a measurement tool. It measures length, height, and diameter of a specific part. The markings on this tool need to be detailed though or else it’s useless.
If you print this, make sure your printer has great precision.
97. Precision Screwdriver Racks
98. Finger Wrench
99. Wrist Rest
3D printers can also make comfortable furniture. A wrist rest is essential for modern life. Think of how many times we’re needed in front of a computer. This wrist rest is made with PLA filament. Use material that are soft so your wrists are comfortable.
100. Small Windmill
Windmills provide clean energy. They can get noisy, but impactful. It’ll take awhile to print one though.
Wind energy is used for electricity. Print a lot of these and you can help the whole neighborhood.
There are a lot of things you can make with a 3D printer. Please don’t think of this as the limit to what a 3D printer can do. We’re in the early stages of the 3D printer revolution. Soon, printers will be faster, and will be able to do more. The room for home manufacturing looks bright.