So, you just got your hands on a cool new 3D printer. Or maybe it’s second-hand. Who cares, the thing works, right? And you can’t wait to try out some cool new project. Where do you start, though?
In this article, we’ll investigate some cool 3D printing projects, look at cheap 3D printers, 3D pens, the inner working of a 3D printer and 3D printing models. Sounds good? Let’s get cracking.
So, how exactly does a 3D printer work?
Well, it’s kind of like baking bread. But you start with the individual slices, then work backward, gluing them together as you go along. Seriously, it’s true!
Okay, backtrack. You designed a model on your computer, connected it to the 3D printer and pressed “print”. Now, a little printing head is whizzing around in the printer, putting down layer after layer of either powder and glue, or melted materials like plastic or metal. These layers are super thin and dry, set or cool quickly. As soon as one layer is done, the printing head comes past just a fraction higher and puts down the next layer on top of the previous one. It goes on like this until it’s built up your entire model.
A 3D printing pen works in much the same manner, except that you control it with your hand. So, the design is limited to how steady your hand is and the pen would only work with molten material, not glue and powder. Still pretty cool, especially if you like freehand drawing.
You don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a 3D printer, especially if you’re just starting out and figuring out if this thing will actually work for you. With the latest advances in technology, 3D printing has become cheaper than ever. Still, all the bells and whistles they offer can be super enticing and ending up breaking the bank.
Before you buy, think about what it is you want to create. Match this to what you actually need and buy that, like materials to use, the accuracy of the model, product size (the printer and the object you’re printing) and software compatibility. You can always buy some of the extras later if you feel that you need it.
Here are a few models to look at if you want to get ahead on a budget:
Creality Ender 3. This one is small enough to fit on your desk (great for space saving if you’re doing this from home) and costs less than $300. Its remote feed allows the extruder arm to move more freely, so you get a higher quality print at the end. The final size of your printed object is rather small at 8.66 x 8.66 x 9.84 inches, but it’s not bad.
One of the best 3D printers you can use at home is probably the AnyCubic 4Max. This one is under $350, has a strong extruder, can print various sizes and offers high precision printed products. Sounds great, right?
This is seriously cool stuff, especially if you like doodling and want to do your 3D printing projects from home. Again, you can end up paying a pretty penny for really cool features that you don’t actually need, so figure out where you want to start and what you need for this before you buy anything. You can always add on the cool extras later.
3D pens work on the same basis as a 3D printer, except that they are able to make models on a much smaller scale. They bring ideas to life that would otherwise have been limited to a 2D drawing.
Keep in mind that 3D pens heat up plastic in order to work. If you have kids running around, maybe teach them some basic safety rules and make sure that they don’t use it while unattended. That said, these are still awesome to use and grown-ups and kids will both love it. Let’s look at some cool 3D pens on the market.
The pen you choose depends on your ability and what you want to achieve. If you’re just messing around, trying to figure out if this is actually something you want to try, we recommend using a simple entry-level pen, like the Smaffox pen. This one is suitable for kids as well and doesn’t cost a fortune.
The RB-100B Pro printing pen is also great for beginners. With its cool ink, it’s not as likely to burn your fingers and it’s really easy to use.
Once your skills have developed a bit, why not try out some advanced products? We recommend the Sunlu 3D printing pen, which is great for advanced doodlers.
Now that you have an idea of the tools you can use, why not look at some cool ideas to get you started? The options are endless and stretch as far as your imagination can go. Before you start, just make sure that you take the limitations of your 3D printer into account.
You can design and print a headphone stand. How cool is that? With the right software, your design can be super cool and ergonomic, impressing all your friends when they see your coolest new gadget. Pretty neat. You could incorporate funky colors and cool cut-outs in the design, taking your craft to the next level.
If you can lay your hands on the right materials, why not incorporate some neon into your design? It will show up really nicely if you’re kitted out with UV lights.
Always forgetting to water that plant in the window? Yeah, we know, we got that problem too. So why not design a self-watering planter? It’s pretty simple. You design a two-part system that fits neatly into each other. The first would house your plant and include some drainage holes. You don’t want to overdo the watering now, do you? The second would be a reservoir used to top up the water level in your first container. Rad!
On the plantar surface, you can really go to town, making the design blend into your living space with surface relief work in various colors, or in monotone, depending on your taste.
How about a cool, futuristic fruit bowl? You know, a lattice bowl? It’s super sci-fi and sure to cause a stir when you get visitors over. And added bonus is that your fruit will get plenty of fresh air and probably won’t go musty in there. Win-win!
Why not whip out the 3D printing pen and design your own paperweight? If you’ve got a steady hand, you can do really intricate designs, like a lattice-work Eiffel tower or flower petals. This is bound to draw attention when you welcome visitors to your office.
This one is functional and cool. You can design a set of matching drawers that can interlock. Don’t limit yourself to square-shaped, boring drawers, though. Why not do hexagonal or octagonal drawers? On the sides of the drawers, alternate tongue-and-groove joints so that they can clip together easily. You can as many as you want and join them together in whatever pattern you like. Here, your imagination can run wild with colors and sizes, customizing your funky new drawer set just the way you like it.
If you’re able to draw or can source a good quality picture from somewhere else, you can make your very own woodland nymph, dwarf or Gandalf. Why not? This one is the next level in terms of the skills you need, but it’s always worth a try. Imagine designing your own fantasy chess set with characters from your favorite book? Way cool!
Sometimes, you need somewhere to hide some spare cash and your ID, right? Why not design a shelf with a secret drawer for your valuables? No one will guess that you cool floating shelf is actually a drawer filled with important documents. Practical and fun!
If you’re feeling a bit whimsical, why not design an intricate lamp taking you back to the Elvin forests of Lord of the Rings? You can even include fittings for LED lights and a battery pack hidden in the base. Now, you can wander around the garden at night with your beautiful new lantern pretending you’re Galadriel looking for Frodo.
This fun project can get super intricate! You can design a machine where you place marbles at the top and watch them spin through complicated holes, loops, and hoops to the bottom. A marble machine is bound to be endless fun for both kids and grown-ups.
You need a doorstop, but they’re usually pretty boring, right? Why not shake things up with a bit of cut-out text? Here, you can use any words you like, such as “STOP”, “HODOR”, “HALT”, or whatever. Let your imagination and your sense of humor run wild!
We hope that you will have as much fun trying out these projects as compiled this list! Good luck!
Why should I buy a 3D printer? What are its benefits? Is it for me? These questions are continuously asked in today’s market that has been influenced by modern 3D printers. With the passage of time, 3D printing has effectively improved and now playing an important role in many industries. Everyone shares his thoughts as...