You have probably seen things 3-D printed that are toys or decorative items like Spinners and Snowflakes and even some bigger things like the Whirlygig that I made. I admit that's it's a lot of fun to find something cool on Thingiverse and just whip it out on the 'ole 3-D Printer ... I've done it many, many times!
But there are actual, practical uses for 3-D Printing that aren't just for amusement, not that amusement is a "bad" thing of course, but if you expand your imagination a little bit then you can come up with some real benefits for the process.
One use for custom 3-D design and printing that's has a very practical use is to replace a broken knob or bracket on a household appliance. My son's washer had a part that sensed when the lid was closed but it broke. To get the washer to spin he had to hold a screwdriver down in the slot. Not practical OR safe. So I designed a printed a replacement. It didn't take long, he just brought the broken one over and I took it from there. The same thing with knobs and handles and the like. The possibilties are vast.
Here are a couple of things that I've done that had real practical use ...
What's a Peavey Clip you ask? Well, Peavey makes all kinds of gadgets for musical intruments, bands, recording, etc. On is called the Link and my son uses one. He wanted a way to somehow attach it to his guitar strap so that he had it readily and securely available while he was playing.
So I designed this:
and printed it. The clip is the copper colored part in the rendering to the right.
Now he has a one-of-a-kind holder for his Peavey Link.
The whole process only took a few days of design, back and forth with him on looks and function. I printed one but it wasn't quite right and did a little more design and it came out pretty well. Probably could use a bit of tweaking but you can consider that when you are designing and making it yourself.
Here's one that began as someone else's design that I tweaked to repurpose it. It's a clip that I can use to hold a trash bag while I exercise. Normally I just walk the local roads for a few minutes and, as long as I am there, I pick up trash. I bought a pickup arm thing on Amazon so I don't have to reach (or touch) much but getting it into the bag one-handed wasn't great. So I took this design on Thingiverse and changed it a bit to hold my bags. I don't think there's anything like it available. Here's what it looks like:
You can do it too
If this sort of thing interests you and you have some ideas then I would be happy to help you make your ideas a reality. You don't have to make any big investment or even learn how to do computer aided design (unless you want to); you can do as much or as little as you're comfortable with.
So, use the Contact form link above and send me your idea. Ideas are free so let's get started!