So, you bought a brand-new 3D printer. Now what? Perhaps you’re a professional designer and you already have a dozen great ideas about what to devise and print. But if you’re an average person with 3D printer stage fright, you might need a little inspiration to get started. This article is a brief way to learn about what’s possible to print while sparking your own imagination. That said, here are several fun projects to build with a 3D printer.
Dress Up Your Dolls
Are you the type of person who collects fashion-conscious figures or doing some interior decorating for a dollhouse? Use your 3D printer to create accessories and furnishings you can’t buy in stores or online. The uniformity and standard sizes of certain dolls make it easy to download or create designs for shoes, purses, jewelry, hats, chairs, couches, beds, cabinets, and other accessories for your collection. You can outfit an entire dollhouse this way. Go a step further by designing your own dolls!
Gamers love 3D printers for everything from board game pieces to role-playing game miniatures. If your favorite vintage game is missing pieces, print out replacements or design your own. Are you building your own game board and potentially pitching it to investors? Keep things proprietary by coming up with and printing your own components, including pawns, tiles, markers, chips, dice, and more. Create the personalized board and pieces for chess or checkers, backgammon, or other classic game set for your own use or as a gift. Role-playing games, of course, become even more exciting and fun to play with realistic props, figures, and statuary.
Considering the internet is full of countless fun but ultimately useless doodads, why not print up something you can use? Numerous plans exist for snack bag clips, combs and brushes, tweezers, all sorts of organizers, tough smartphone cases, clamps and vises, and so much more. You can also use your 3D printer to create replacement parts for things around the house such as handles, grips, protective covers, and temporary to permanent fixes for broken devices.
Government Models and Museum Reproductions
When thinking about fun projects to build with a 3D printer, visit your favorite government and museum sites. Many provide free online plans and printable models for their most famous discoveries and exhibits. NASA offers a slew of 3D printable models of asteroids, spacecraft, lunar landing sites, moons, and more. The Smithsonian allows you to print out fossils, spacesuits, Abraham Lincoln’s life mask, and other artifacts. Go shopping for a copy of your own museum piece!