25 Great Things You Can Make and Sell with Your 3D Printer
One of the most fun things about owning a 3D printer is that you can create just about anything you can imagine. While this can lead to hours and days of entertainment, it doesn’t exactly pay the bills. If you want to get back the investment you made on that fancy 3D printer, how about making some useful and practical things you can sell? To get you started, here is our list of the 25 best things you can make and sell using your 3D printer.
Nowadays, almost nobody goes to the toilet without their phone at hand, lest you get stuck reading and rereading the label on that shampoo bottle. The problem with this habit is that there’s almost always no place to put away your phone when you need your hands free to do your business. This incredibly simple toilet paper integrated with a platform for your phone solves this enduring problem. You can mount it on the wall of your restroom using double-sided adhesives or drill a few screw holes to hold it in place more permanently. This is as simple as it gets – easy to make, easy to mount, and keeps your phone clean.
A phone is one of the easiest ways to access your favorite music using any of several streaming options. While pairing your phone to a Bluetooth speaker is a viable option, it does take a few minutes of setup every time, not to mention the fact that you need to make sure your speaker has been charged. With this Groovi Monster sound amplified, you can play your music straight from your phone and enhance the output from your phone’s tiny speakers. The outstretched arms (or ears?) look great and provide a way to control the direction of the sound. This is a great amplified to have around the house for those spontaneous dance parties.
The idea of taking care of a plant is easier said than done. Who knew that not forgetting to water your house plants can be so difficult? This self-watering planter is made of two parts: a perforated inner pot for the plant and an outer plant that acts as a water reservoir. The perforations allow for continuous but controller water intake, ensuring that your plant gets all the water it needs without getting saturated. The outer pot has a spout that you can use to check if the reservoir needs additional water. This should take about a week, so you’re not completely off the hook.
4. Secret shelf
This neat little wall-mounted shelf looks just like any other shelf. However, pulling out its outer sleeve reveals that a small pocket in its base. This is perfect for stashing valuables like money or your keys in a place that only your spouse or children know about. It’s simple to make, durable enough to act as a wall-mounted shelf, and does a good job of hiding the internal pocket.
It’s a situation that’s familiar to almost all of us: you pull out your earbuds from your bag to listen to some music and have to spend several seconds untangling it. Now, we know that earbud holders are a dime a dozen in 3D printing, but this model is one of the cleanest and most effective we have seen. You wrap the cord of the earbuds around a central column, secure the earbuds in a dedicated pocket, and enclose everything in a hinged outer sleeve. The result is a secure, compact, and great-looking earbuds holder that is unlike any we’ve seen before.
Have you ever had to charge your phone on a wall outlet without anything to rest your phone on? Worse, your charging cord may be too short to put your phone on the floor. Talk about awkward. This wall mount slides right into your charger and provides a handy platform for your phone while you’re charging it. No more scooting over a chair or piling bags under the wall outlet while you charge your phone. This wall outlet mount is a simple and smart solution to an often-overlooked problem.
Continuing the theme of objects that will look much better mounted is this wall mount for the Amazon Echo. The thing about Amazon Echo Dot is it was made to be wall-mounted. It can hear your commands better, its audio feedback is better heard, and that blue ring of light just looks great. This simple wall mount allows you to optimize the use of your Amazon Echo Dot. It’s like talking to a wall, but the wall talks back now. The mount has a handy port to charge your device, can be mounted using double-sided adhesives, and just looks great on any setting.
For something a little more fun, here’s an excellent cartridge case for fans of the Nintendo Switch. While a generic leather case works well enough to store your game cartridges, most of these cases are boring and featureless. This themed cartridge case is sure to brighten up your day whenever you see it, especially if it’s a prelude to a few hours of gaming. Any respectable gamer will know where the design of this cartridge case was inspired by, of course.
When you come home from a hard day’s night, you want to see something will brighten up your mood. This wall clock inspired from the inimitable quartet from Liverpool is sure to appeal to the millions and millions of their fans. The face of the clock is well-designed with the unmistakable visages of each member of the Beatles. The clock is quite minimalist though; it doesn’t have a minute hand and only the 3, 6, 9, and 12 periods are indicated. This clock will feel right at home in a post-modern and minimalist setting.
Smoothly shuffling a deck of cards looks really suave and makes you look like you can win a card game no matter what hand you get. Unfortunately, not all people are blessed with this skill. With this custom card deck shuffler, this lack of skill will soon be a non-issue. Just split your deck, slide them into this shuffler, and you will get a perfectly shuffled deck every single time. It’s effortless to use and works quickly. All that effort you put into mastering your card shuffling skills can now be put into improving your game (or at least, your poker face).
11. Pip boxes
Unorganized garage workshops are so common that seeing a fully organized and clean one feels unsettling. If you have random tools and parts just lying around your garage, then you can probably understand how this set of pip boxes can be extremely useful. Aside from providing several drawers with various shapes and sizes, these pip boxes are easily stackable. No matter how much garage space you have, you can probably ‘Tetris’ out a solution using a range of pip boxes. Of course, the size of the models can be altered depending on your needs. The creator behind the design is even open to suggestions of new models, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have other practical ideas you’d like to contribute.
Since we’re talking about drawers, we’d like to take a look at The Hive – a brilliantly designed set of hex-shaped drawers that are infinitely stackable. There are a couple of things that set these drawers apart from standard drawers. The first is the hexagonal shapes that make several of them resemble a beehive – a bold design move, if we could say so ourselves. The second is the interlocking grooves at the sides of the drawers, allowing you to combine several of them to form your very own set drawer set. You could have up to ten or twenty of this and combine them in any manner to form interesting shapes or to save space in your apartment. No matter how you use it, these are some of the coolest-looking drawers you could get.
Pliers may not sound like a very interesting object to create using your 3D printer, but there’s something that sets this design apart. Using compliant mechanism technology, these pliers almost completely translate your input force on the pinching end. This is a fairly innovative product which will sell great on its novelty factor alone. Aside from being incredibly useful, it’s also relatively easy to print as it’s just a single piece. These pliers are best printed using a flexible filament, such as TPU.
One of the best features of the Nintendo Switch is that you can separate the Joy-Cons and play a two-player game anytime. However, holding a single Joy-Con can be very awkward, especially for people with large hands. This simple grip has a notch where you can just slide your Joy-Con for a smoother gaming experience. It even has removable trigger buttons, so none of the control mechanisms of the Joy-Con suffer. You’ll feel the difference, in terms of comfort and performance, in just a few minutes of using this grip.
If you’ve ever dabbled with electronics before, then you’re probably familiar with the problem of having nowhere to prop up your soldering iron while you’re not using it. With this simple soldering iron stand, you no longer need to use a makeshift stand for that smoldering hot soldering iron. There isn’t much that needs to be said about this model – it as simple as it comes. Just make sure to rescale the model depending on the size of your soldering iron.
How do you carry around a six-pack of beer bottles? The fact that there has not been an answer to this question is honestly quite bewildering. If you often find yourself with this kind of problem, then this custom six-pack carrier is the perfect solution. The pack fits any standard 330mL longneck beer bottle and comes with a screw-on handle. This is especially useful if you’re into the homebrewing business and would like to give a few bottles as gifts. Just remember to make the print as strong as possible (maybe use 100% infill) as you would not want it to break and spill any of your precious beer.
Traveling with a coat sometimes means having to bring your own coat hanger. Nobody likes doing this, as the coat hanger as we’ve come to know it is large and hard to pack inside your luggage. This collapsible coat hanger attempts to solve this problem. It comes in three separate pieces that can be assembled to form a full-sized coat hanger. Assembling them can be a pain in the neck at the start, as their slots are designed very tight. However, this should get easier with frequent use. These are much easier to pack and to travel with. You can even bring along several sets without having to worry about needing more space in your luggage.
18. Headphone stand
This design is a great example of a product that solves a problem that you did not even realize you had. While most of us use headphones, nobody really gives a thought about where to properly put them when not in use. Most of us just leave them lying around on desks and couches, which can be slightly disconcerting when you’re using high-end headphones. With this headphone stand, your headphones are kept safely away from the table. An extra-wide base means this design can support even the largest and heaviest headphones. It may look simple, but several hours of design work have gone into making sure that this is the best headphone stand you can make with your 3D printer.
We realize that there probably thousands of 3D printer lamp designs out there and having to look through all of them can be tiring. Every once in a while, though, a design comes along that still managed to catch our eye. That was the case for this Greek meander lamp, a multi-piece design with amazing Ancient Greek-inspired patterns. Since every face of the lamp is printed flat, you shouldn’t run into any problems printing the intricate designs. Once it’s fully assembled, just place the light inside the lamp, and the results will be truly mesmerizing. The shadows that the lamp casts is certainly impressive and sets the mood in any setting.
Little boys are crazy about anything space-related, so these space-themed cookie cutters are sure to be a hit with them. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the cookie cutter set includes designs resembling the Saturn V launch vehicle, the Lunar Module, and the Command Service Module. The designs are quite intricate, which should result in some interesting-looking cookies. In any case, this should get you a few additional brownie points form the kids.
21. The Little Box
3D printers have been used to come up with a lot of desktop organizers, but we haven’t seen a design run with the idea as far as The Little Box. In just a single piece, this desktop organizer provides storage space not just for your standard office items (pencils, scissors, and the like) but also has a slot for your SD cards, microSD cards, and flash drives. This is great for people who frequently lose these small storage devices because they don’t have a default storage area for them. The design is very simple and easy to print.
One of the most popular designs ever put on a 3D printer, the V29 survival whistle has undergone several redesign cycles to finally come up with the perfect product. It is a completely original design that focused on ruggedness and durability. It is easy to carry around and can just be clipped on your bag or with your keys. When the situation calls for it, blowing on the V29 survival whistle will make a sound at an astounding 118 decibels. That’s louder than a helicopter hovering at 100 feet! This survival whistle is a great companion if you’re ever going on an outdoor adventure or even on your regular commutes.
Carabiners can be an incredibly useful and versatile tool for lifting objects or for attaching things. You can have one or two permanently attached to your backpack so you can attach small things such as an umbrella or another smaller bag. They can also be used if you’d like to carry all your groceries in one go. Just keep in mind that there is no way that a 3D printer carabiner can be used for any climbing activity – we wouldn’t even consider it. Even if you don’t end up using it, having a carabiner hanging from your backpack kind of looks cool.
Although the design is labeled as a faucet water-saver, we’re not entirely sure that it does save any water, so we opted to call it a turbine spout. What we’re sure it can do is make it faster to finish chores such as washing dishes or washing your hands. This happens since the turbine shape of the spout distributes water over a larger area. The neat rotating effect due to the turbine design also makes water distribution uniform. Even if it does not save any water, the turbine effect sure looks neat.
This one’s a classic – an S-shaped that will allow you to clip your sunglasses to your car’s sun visor. That’s about all there is to it. With this clip in your car, you no longer need to rummage around your glove compartment for your sunglasses or leave them on the dashboard where they could easily slide around and fall. Just keep in mind that the interior of your car can get really hot when left out in the sun, so make sure to print using a high-temperature filament such as ABS or Nylon.
Post-script: Can you sell 3D printed items made from free designs?
Since we’re recommending the items in this list for selling, we need to tackle issues with copyright when selling items that you print from free designs. First, off you need to look for designs with a Creative Commons license. This means that you can print these designs and do whatever you want from them, given that you provide proper attribution.
There are also designs with non-commercial licenses. You can print any of these designs and do what you want from them, outside of selling them or for any commercial use. This means that you can keep these items for personal use or give them as gifts.
There are also designs with All Rights Reserved. The rights for these designs are all under the ownership of the creator. This means that any attempts to reproduce or copy these designs will be considered illegal.
3D printing can be a pretty lucrative business if you can find the demand for the right product. The advantage of 3D printing is that it does not rely on any scale of economy to turn a profit – you can sell just a few pieces of any item, and you can still have a good profit margin.
While 3D printing of figurines and toys sounds fun, there is no doubt that the money is in simple, everyday items. Shelves, wall mounts, clips, vases, and lamps are some of the most in-demand products from 3D printing. There’s a reason why creators keep churning out designs for these items, and that’s because people keep asking for better and better alternatives.
Just keep wary of license and copyright issues every time you use an existing design for your print. To avoid potential issues, why not just make your own design? Your design might just be the next big thing to hit the 3D community.