3D printing is on the verge of revolutionizing the way we live in ways not seen since the industrial revolution. Just take this college student who 3D printed his own braces which actually worked!
The ability to generate products at home, using basic specs, and customize them to our needs will make everyday life easier and more efficient. The technology still isn’t cheap though and a lot of people wonder: what are the real benefits of 3D printing at home for the average family in 2016?
Poke around on 3D printing download site Pinshape for a minute. Soon, you realize that beyond the novelty tchotchkes like iPhone holders and printable exoskeleton arms, there are dozens of useful around-the-house items designed to make life easier and more organized.
Here are a couple of my other favorite 3D-printable ideas for around the house repairs and more:
Pipe fittings. When you have a leak, time is of the essence. 3D printing replacement plumbing parts will put everything you need to replace fixings and stop leaks quickly. Or, if you are looking to improve on the design of your plumbing system, these custom fittings from designer Maya Ben David circumvent the traditional shape and angle restrictions applied by metalsmithing factories due to cost and application. These 3D printed designs open up a whole world of creative plumbing opportunities. The future of 3D printable pipes and fittings is exciting for plumbers too. Soon, they will be able to download and custom print components to fix whatever problems a homeowner is having without lugging dozens of different pieces around (or worse, having to leave and get parts at the hardware store).
Wrenches, vices, other tools. How frustrating is it when you can’t find the right size tool for the job? Now, imagine you’re in space. NASA recently experimented with just this scenario when they emailed a wrench into space to be 3D printed on the international space station. Not only can you print this same wrench from the safety and relatively-secure gravity of home, you can also print out a whole bunch of other tools on Pinshape.
Bag holder. Here’s one you probably didn’t realize you needed. If you’re anything like me, chances are walking to your car multiple times when unloading groceries is a fate worse than death. Rather than cumbersomely stacking bag handles onto your aching fingers, why not use mechanical advantage? This bag holder handle is a genius way of transporting bags while distributing the weight evenly in your palm.
Kitchen. Pinshape features dozens of free downloadable designs for cups and mugs of all varieties from the futuristic to the funny (and then you can download a stand to display them). Cups aren’t the only thing you can 3D print for your kitchen however. Organize with convenient kitchen hooks for hanging dish towels, customize your cookies, or even download a new spatula when your old one is looking a little rough.
Molding. Anything you can design can be 3D printed. Let’s say you have a particularly unique idea for decorative molding along the ceiling in your home. Or, alternately, there’s a beautiful plaster motif along your wall that is unfortunately not standing the test of time. Custom printed 3D designs can fill the void left by mass produced distributors. Convert a CAD design or simply download an existing look and add a classic look to your home.
Everyday life hacks. There’s a whole world of things you didn’t even know you needed until you got a 3D printer. For example, this sink fountain attachment great for washing out your mouth after brushing your teeth or just getting a cool drink right from the source. Or how about this ultra-versatile iPhone charging shelf, which offers up a great off-the-table charging space that keeps your phone off the floor.
Art! Artistry is about taking things from the imagination and making them real. 3D printing is the next step in making this process easier and quicker for everyone, quite literally bringing things from the imagination to the laptop screen to use from the comfort of home. Pinshape features dozens of vases, figurines, and other decor items pre-designed for ease of creation. You can also literally make a bust of yourself for your mantle, all without hiring a sculptor (and lugging around a hunk of marble). The future!
Does it benefit your Average Joe to run out now and get a 3D printer right this moment? That depends. While they are super useful around the house, 3D printers are still outside the budgets of many folks. Like all other technology though, in time they will become more cost effective to produce. Chances are in less than the time it took for phones to go from the wall to our pockets and transform into mini-computers, we’ll all be 3D printing whatever our hearts desire left and right.