3D printers are awesome because they allow you to print things you didn’t think you could print. I still remember the first time I ever used a 3D printer; my friends and I made everything from a little cat figurine to a pencil holder with it, and it was fun. You, too, can have a lot of fun experimenting with 3D printers, printing some of the best productive things for everyday use.
Here are 17 of the best productive things to 3D print:
- Bottle opener
- Earbud spool or case
- Sanding block
- Safety whistle
- Phone stand
- AA to C battery adapter
- 10 Way liquid dispenser
- Pen and pencil holder
- Tool hooks
- Cable holder or clip
- Portable pet water dispenser
- Faucet extender
- Phone case
- Coffee sleeve
- Laptop stand
- Cable management hive
- Battery dispenser
Now let’s take a look at each of these things and how to get started making them.
1. Bottle Opener
If you’re interested in something that you’ll use just about every week, and you want to be able to show off to your buddies at the cookout, why not make a bottle opener.
A 3D printed bottle opener is an excellent addition to your kitchen, and the benefit of 3D printing is that you can make it however you want. You can make it a one-handed bottle opener or a key chain bottle opener.
I haven’t seen examples of this, but maybe you could even make a wine bottle opener if you’re a good designer. You can also choose to make it in various colors or patterns, which will make your bottle opener a little extra fun.
2. Earbud Spool or Case
If you are still using the classic wired earbuds, you know how annoying it is when they get tangled up. If you’d like to use your 3D printer to make your life easier and don’t want to deal with tangled-up earbuds anymore, printing an earbud spool/case might help save quite some time from detangling the wires.
You can find plenty of designs online for an earbud spool/case, or you can come up with your own. After all, creating your own design is half the fun of 3D printing.
Check out some designs on Thingiverse.
3. Sanding Block
If DIY-ing is a hobby of yours and you spend a lot of time in the workshop, then a sanding block could be the thing that takes your productivity to the next level. This one will require some assembly, and you’ll have to print it in a couple of different pieces. But if you get it right, a 3D printed sanding block can be a great tool to have at your disposal.
Just like with the earbud spool, you’ll find plenty of designs for this one online. Most of which involve a base where you’ll place the sandpaper and a clip that snaps into place to hold the sandpaper on the block. Then, you can simply start sanding away.
4. Safety Whistle
If you’re an avid outdoorsman, but safety is something that concerns you, why not 3D print your very own safety whistle?
A safety whistle is an excellent addition to any outdoorsman’s pack. Not only can it alert other hikers if you’re in distress, but it can also help to ward off any dangerous animals that may approach your camp during the day or at night.
There are many designs for this one on the web as well. Just make sure you pick one that’s highly rated. This should be a fairly easy print as it’s one piece and doesn’t require any supports that’ll need to be cut and sanded later on.
5. Phone Stand
If you work on your phone a lot, recording content for social media, getting on business calls, etc., or if you simply like to be able to use your phone hands-free, then a phone stand could be an incredibly useful device.
Many designs are available for this gadget, and most print out in one piece, so assembly should take virtually no time. The benefit of 3D printing a phone stand instead of buying one is that you’ll be able to make it to your exact specifications.
If you have an older phone model or like to use a heavy-duty case, it may be challenging to find a phone stand that’ll fit your phone perfectly. When you make your own, you won’t run into these issues because you’ll be able to have your device’s exact measurements and make sure the design will work before printing it.
6. AA to C Battery Adapter
We all know how annoying it is to get a new gadget in the mail, only to discover it needs batteries. It’s even more annoying if they’re batteries you don’t keep on hand.
Most people keep AA batteries on hand, but not C batteries, as they’re not as commonly used. That’s when a 3D printed battery adapter would come in handy. AA and C batteries have the same voltage. The only major difference between the two is the size.
To create a battery adapter, you’ll create a ring that will fit around the AA battery and make it the right size to click into place.
If you’re curious about how this works, you can look up some of the available designs or see if someone has a video demoing it. For the gadget enthusiast, this could save them a trip to the store to buy another battery size.
7. 10 Way Liquid Dispenser
This is a super fun one to use if you’re a frequent party hoster or if you just want another cool trinket that not many people have.
With a 10 way liquid dispenser, you can fill 10 glasses at the same time, and while it may not be the most practical gadget, it’s definitely a fun conversation piece. A few designs are available for this, but you can also feel free to make your own. Then it would be even more impressive to partygoers.
8. Pen and Pencil Holder
For stationary, one of the most fun things you can make with a 3D printer is a pen and pencil holder. Yes, it may sound boring, but when you see some of the designs people have created, you’ll be amazed. Plus, everyone needs a pencil holder, so why not 3D print one?
You can find many cool designs for a pen or pencil holder online. — some look like trees, while some look like flowers. That’s the cool part about 3D printing. You can create whatever your heart desires, as long as you’re design-savvy.
9. Tool Hooks
Another great thing you can 3D print if you’re an avid DIY-er is a set of tool hooks. Instead of purchasing a set from the store where you might not get enough of the size you need or end up buying too many, you can 3D print the quantity you need in the correct size.
If your tool shed has become increasingly disorganized during all of the COVID-19 quarantine projects, these tool hooks can help you get everything back on track and organized.
10. Cable Holder or Clip
If your computer cable is constantly falling behind your desk or you’re just having a hard time keeping track of which cord goes where a 3D printed cable holder could be the perfect solution.
This is a super simple project, with plenty of preexisting designs online, so even if you’re not the best designer, you’ll be able to make this gadget.
It’s a one-piece print, so there will be no assembly involved. All you’ll need to do is attach some velcro to the bottom to fasten it to the desk, but this is a super simple step, and the velcro can be purchased at any home improvement store.
11. Portable Pet Water Dispenser
If you’d like to be able to carry one water bottle for you and your dog, but you don’t want your dog drinking from the exact same mouthpiece, you can print a water dispenser to attach to your water bottle.
It is a flip-down bowl that will allow you to pour water from your water bottle to your dog without your dog’s mouth ever coming into contact with your water.
12. Faucet Extender
You know how much of a chore the bathroom can be if you have little kids, especially since it’s built for adults. You have to put them on the toilet, get them down, then hold them up to the sink so they can reach the water to wash their hands.
Fortunately, nowadays, there are devices called faucet extenders. They’re a small attachment that goes on your sink’s faucets and helps to redirect the water closer to the edge of the sink so your child can reach it. They come in all sorts of fun shapes and colors, everything from pink and glittery to little animals.
If you’re a little more design-savvy, then you can create your own custom faucet extender with your 3D printer. They’re super fun, and you custom make them as your child’s favorite animal, color, design, etc.
If your kid loves princesses or dinosaurs, you can make a faucet extender that matches that. Not only will it make bathroom trips easier for you, but they may also be more inclined to want to wash their hands if the water is coming out of their favorite cartoon character instead of a regular faucet.
13. Phone Case
Maybe you have an older phone that’s hard to find the right-sized case for, or perhaps you just want something different than what is carried in stores. Either way, you can create a super cool phone case with your 3D printer.
Not only can you design it exactly the way you want it, but you’ll also have a few different material options. These options will help you make your phone case as strong as possible to avoid any potential accidents. Some complicated designs may require printing additional pieces, but for the most part, this should be a super easy print that you’ll be able to use every single day.
14. Coffee Sleeve
If you’re tired of having to use disposable coffee sleeves every time you buy a cup of coffee, why not 3D print one? There are several designs available online, and you can even make it to match your favorite football team, and who wouldn’t want that?
Using disposable products all the time is detrimental to the environment. By using a reusable 3D printed coffee sleeve instead of a disposable one, you’ll be doing the environment a favor by eliminating a single-use product from your daily life.
15. Laptop Stand
Another thing that could help you to increase your productivity is a laptop stand. With everyone working from home now, dealing with laptop-related fatigue is becoming more and more common. That’s where a laptop stand can help.
A laptop stand elevates your laptop slightly and places it at a more comfortable angle for your wrists. The elevation will also help to reduce neck and shoulder strain that can come from leaning over your laptop for hours on end.
16. Cable Management Hive
If you work with many electronics, you know the struggle of keeping all your cables straight. They get tangled up and can take hours to detangle thoroughly, which wastes your valuable working time. If this is an issue that you’ve run into, a cable management hive can help you to save time.
Depending on which design you choose, this could be a more complicated project as it’ll likely need some support while it’s printing. Supports are the pieces that support the structure until it’s fully printed and the material has hardened. However, they’re fairly simple to remove. Once your piece is fully cured, all you have to do is clip the supports off and file any remaining bits smoothly.
17. Battery Dispenser
One of the places where 3D printers stand out is their ability to create custom organizational aides. One of these aides is a battery dispenser.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I always just had one giant plastic bag of batteries growing up. If I needed a battery, I had to dump the whole bag out, sort the batteries by type, then test them to see if they were even charged — not convenient. But with a 3D printed battery dispenser, I don’t have this problem anymore. If you do the same, too, you won’t have the same problem, either.
You’ll be able to sort all of your batteries by type, and you can even add cells for batteries that need to be recharged. A couple of different designs are available online, making this a reasonably easy print. You won’t need to do too much of your own design work.