20 Geeky Things to 3D Print
One of the best things about having a 3D printer in your workshops is being able to create your own souvenirs, trinkets, or figures from your favorite piece of pop culture. Not only can you save on the cost of buying a store-made product, but you can make things that don’t even exist yet – all it could take it a few minutes or hours in your 3D modeling software.
If you don’t have any 3D modeling skills, then don’t fret. There are literally thousands of 3D models that have been published online and can be downloaded for free to satisfy your inner geek. Check out our list of geeky 3D models and you just might have an idea for your next project!
The recent Mandalorian series has successfully reinvigorated interest in the Star Wars series through engaging characters and an intriguing plot that does justice to the decades-old lore. However, there is no aspect of the show that has caught more interest than Baby Yoda – a miniature version of the renowned Jedi Master. This Baby Yoda figure captures the charm and cuteness of the character and will make a perfect present this holiday season for your geeky friend or family member. With a bit of polishing and painting, this Baby Yoda figure may even look good enough to add to the collection of a serious Star Wars fan.
2. The One Ring
In the world of high fantasy, there are few artifacts that can rival The One Ring in terms of being recognized by most people instantly. The only thing that keeps The One Ring from being just any boring ring is the Elvish inscription that reveals its true nature. Now, there are probably already a lot of 3D models out there for The One Ring, but what is unique about this model is that it’s meant to be printed using a 3D printer with dual extruders. Most of the ring is meant to printed using a gold-colored filament, while the Elvish script will be made using a transparent or translucent filament.
The duality of the Batman and Bure Wayne personas is one of the most intriguing aspects of the characters. Obviously, not even the best 3D printer can help us be a crime-fighting vigilante, but you can at least have a little bit of Bruce Wayne on you with these Batman cufflinks. These cufflinks feature the minimalist Batman logo printed all in black, obviously. The rod feels solid and firm, so you should be able to get a couple of uses out of these cufflinks. If you’re planning on using them for any actual formal gathering, then we suggest doing a good amount of polishing to get that nice, sexy sheen on them.
Whether you want your guests to know about your love for mythical creatures or you simply want something to cheer you up when you get home, this coat hanger in the shape of a dragon will be a unique addition to any living space. The detail on this dragon is great – from the head to the front legs and the outstretched wings. You can print a couple of these, polish and paint them with a nice muted green color, and your wall will look like a menagerie of fire-breathing lizards. Surely, that will be quite a statement.
Daleks, despite their unassuming exterior, are the mortal enemies of the Time Lord – more famously known as the Doctor. True enough, Daleks are some of the most popular 3D models for geeks who are also into 3D printing. This model, however, takes things a step (or several steps) further by having a front panel that can be opened to reveal the genetically modified Kaled inside. Having a print of this model is sure to impress everyone who sees it, which is a relief considering how much work it’s going to take. This is not a single-piece model; it consists of more than 15 parts that need to be finished and assembled.
Just like any massively popular body of science fiction, there are probably thousands of Star Trek-related 3D models published online that you can print. We tend to go for those that are subtle, yet unique, just like these cookie cutters in the shape of Starfleet badges. This set includes four different logos: the Starfleet, medical, engineering, and science insignias. These are perfect for showing off your nerd cred for the holiday season. It’s also a good way of finding out which of your friends or family have the same level of geekiness that you do. Just don’t get forget to print these cookie cutters using food-safe PLA.
Who wouldn’t want to be someone like Tony Stark? He’s super smart, incredibly rich, all the ladies love him, and he’s also a world-famous superhero who has gone against the biggest and worst the universe has to offer. And although you might likely never come close to being a Tony Stark, you might be able to feel like Iron Man with just a few hours on your 3D printer. This wearable Iron Man helmet is printed in fiver parts that all come together to be worn around your head. It has an articulating face cover that can lift up for that added visual flair. Of course, you’ll want to spend a lot of time polishing and painting this helmet to make it look like it’s made of real metals.
For many young adults, the Harry Potter series of books was their first real introduction to literature, which makes the development of a life-long obsession quite understandable. This custom light switch cover is an understated but clever way of advertising how much you love the world of Harry Potter. If you were the kind of kid who, once upon a time, played pretend that you could cast spells using wands, then we’re pretty sure that you can get a kick out of this light switch cover.
Making a business card holder with your 3D printer might feel like an incredibly adult thing to do, but it does not have to be incredibly boring. This inventive design gives your plain old business card holder with the uniquely royal touch, Game of Thrones-style. The Iron Throne, the ultimate seat of power in Westeros, is the perfect addition to your work desk to make all those long and dreary days just a little more exciting. It’s bound to be a conversation piece and will attract the attention of all the right people.
This season is a great time to do a couple of fun projects to spread the holiday cheer. If you’re yet to decorate your Christmas tree, then this Super Mario-inspired star will an excellent last-minute addition. Large enough to be visible from afar but light enough to be supported by a standard tree, this star features the distinctly bright yellow and narrow eyes of the star that grant our favorite plumber the power of temporary invincibility. You even have the option of placing a few lights inside the tree, which can shine through the thin plastic walls of the model.
With so many models for phone cases floating around online, working on a similar project may seem like a waste of time. For this reason, it takes a lot for us to even make a second glance at any 3D model for a phone case. This speaks a lot about how amazing this white phone case that features the classic Storm Trooper design using negative space is. It’s clean, elegant, and has just the perfect touch of geekiness. If you’re concerned about your iPhone looking bad with a poorly designed phone case, then this model isn’t going to let you down.
Crash Bandicoot may be a mascot of an era in gaming that has already since passed, but the lovable animal (rodent?) is fairly recognizable and popular. Printing a model of Crash himself sounds a bit too cliché, so we’re going with this wearable mask of Aku Aku – the magical floating entity that aids Crash in all his adventures. To accurately capture the spirit of the Aku Aku mask, the model needs to be printed in multiple parts and with different colors. The eye panels are perforated so you can see through them. Putting the parts together isn’t incredibly difficult, though, so this will make a great starter project.
Since we’re on the topic of old-school video games, we’re going way back with this iconic clock tower from the mysterious island of Myst. Aside from being a key location in the game, it also contains one of the game’s most memorable puzzles. Having this functioning lamp in the likeness of the clock tower evokes gaming memories from decades past – when things were simpler, and puzzles either took you a few seconds or several hours to solve. The model is built using several parts that allow you to place a light with a battery pack inside it.
Just in time for the New Year, you can get this model and 3D print your very own glasses that say what year we’re going into, just in case somebody wants to know. We like how the design of the pixels harkens back to the 8-bit era while simultaneously masking any imperfections that could come up during printing. Since you’re likely to be wearing this for just one night, we doubt that you’ll be compelled to do any post-processing on it, anyway. Also, we recommend printing this in biodegradable PLA or at least recycling the plastic on it to create some other models.
15. BB-8 Bauble
Of all the many things that have come out of the most recent Star Wars trilogy, the BB-8 droid is one that most people don’t regret. It’s cute, but not too cute. The droid plays a central role in the adventures of the crew and is almost guaranteed to go down in history with the likes of R2D2 and C3PO. The unassuming shape of BB-8 makes the droid an excellent template for a holiday bauble that is subtle in its geekiness. This is a single-piece model, so feel free to polish and paint it with your favorite festive colors.
When it comes to Pokemon, we believe that the first generation is still the best. What better way to express your love for the first generation Pokemon but with a planter that’s designed like one of the original starters? Bulbasaur, of course, is the obvious choice. We like this stylistic choice to make a low-poly design for Bulbasaur because making it too detailed would have been hard to pull off. The large flat surfaces are also much easier to polish if you are so inclined. Because the model is so simple, there’s very little that can go wrong if you decide on printing it.
If you’re looking for a challenging project to do because you have a lot of free time this holiday season, then this Kinetic Sculpture might just fit the bill. Made with a couple dozen of interlocking parts, this model comes together to create a moving sculpture that weaves in and out of itself. When it moves, it creates a mesmerizing visual illusion that is enchanting and relaxing at the same time. Owing to the difficulty of this build, the model has been downloaded more than 10,000 times but only two people have claimed to have made it. Are you up to be the third? Do let us know if you’re planning to give it a shot!
Even with all the modern robot shows that have been created through the years, our hearts belong to the original Transformers. And while Optimus Prime is still the hallmark of being an inspiring leader, we still love the over-the-top evilness of Megatron. This model for a Transformable Megatron is an ode of love for the Decepticon leader. One of the great things about this model is that it’s much easier to print than most other Transformers-inspired 3D models out there. Although the model comes in several pieces, it’s possible to print all of them in a single pass-through with no support materials. We’re downright impressed with how such a simple model can create a robot that transforms into a tank!
Perhaps there is no video game emblem more appropriate for being turned into a fidget spinner than the TriForce, the ultimate source of power in the Legend of Zelda series. This fidget spinner takes the familiar triangular shape that represents the shards of the TriForce coming together. At the center of the fidget spinner is the Royal Crest emblem with its outstretched wings and another representation of the TriForce at the top. If you feel like using a fidget spinner to take your mind off of other things and release some stress, this Zelda-inspired model may just let your thoughts wander through the lands of Hyrule.
There isn’t really much that needs to be said – this is a 3D model of this gigantic but usually friendly beast, Godzilla. The great thing about this model is that, despite its size, it does not require any supports. The work done on this model is top-notch. The texture on the skin is appropriately scaly, while the spikes on the back look sharp and wild. You even have the option of printing the model using a multi-extruder with the spikes on the back, having a different color. In any case, Godzilla’s signature roaring stance is sure to create an impressive display piece anywhere you put it.
This holiday season is the perfect time to work on a couple of fun projects that you simply didn’t have time for during the rest of the year. Why not work on something that satisfies your inner geek? The models we have listed here are those that have simply caught our eye, either because of how easy they are to make or how impressive the results could be. If you’ve decided to print any of these models, then please let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to see the results!