As 3D printers move into the mainstream, more people are discovering the endless possibilities they present. Now, you can design and build models at home that you had to buy in stores years ago.
As a result, people use 3D printers to replace furniture parts, build toys, craft tools, and more.
All you need to print incredible models are the templates. Templates are what go into the 3D printer’s software and tell the printer what to build.
You can build templates or download them from large template libraries online. In addition, many places have templates for free that hobbyists make.
However, if you want copyrighted templates or premium templates, you likely have to pay for them.
3D printers are also much more affordable than in years past. You can find great deals on printers during the holidays or online during sales.
If you’re on the fence about whether you want to buy a 3D printer, take a look at some of the fantastic models below. They represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s possible with a 3D printer.
Here are nine cool models you can build with a 3D printer.
1. Model Cars
You may be surprised to hear that Hollywood and other production locations use model cars a ton in their movies.
Why explode or crash an expensive antique or high-end sports car when you can build a smaller version of it on a 3D printer with all the exact details?
Depending on the shot, you can get away with a great deal using a 3D-printed car model. It’s a practical way for the studios to save money and capture shots they otherwise would have to fabricate on computers.
Also, many modern movies use less CGI because they can make things look much more authentic with models.
Hobbyists at home also love building car models or vehicles they love. Then, after they print them, they can paint them to look like the real thing.
2. Anatomical Models
Science, of course, was into the 3D printing game early.
Doctors and medical researchers saw the potential of 3D printing and have been using it to create models for years. You can build everything from bones to organs and eyeballs.
Doctors use 3D printers to build exact models of patient body parts before surgery.
These models let doctors get up close with objects versus looking at them on a computer screen or help them explain to their patients what will happen during surgery.
3. Toy Figurines
3D printers open up a vast world if you’re into toys and figurines.
You can print most anything you can think of, and there are likely templates for various poses for each person, animal, or character you want to build.
With a 3D printer, you can build your favorite movie characters, comic book heroes, or video game characters.
Build small armies of heroes to occupy your kids. Put them on bookshelves to make a room more fun, or give them away as presents.
4. Cups and Flatware
Though this isn’t as much of a model, you can undoubtedly build model kitchen toys for your kids to play chef or have a tea party in their rooms.
If you look through online libraries, you’ll see plenty of choices of kitchen mugs, cups, forks, spoons, etc.
In addition, you can print entire sets for your kids to play with or make them full-sized if you want to paint them in a particular fashion.
5. Desk Supplies
The best models are often functional, so it’s no surprise there is a big market for stationary organizer templates.
If you work at a desk, you can find a million different models for pencil holders, mouse pads, headphone stands, rulers, and whatever else you can think of.
While you’re at it, you can find templates for bag hooks for you to hang a purse on the edge of your desk rather than setting it on the floor.
You’ll also find cute miniature plant holders for cacti or succulents you want to keep on your desk.
You’ll also find some fantastic options for wire holders to help with cable management.
3D printers let you build holders for thumb drives or cases for dongles that you don’t want to be scratched.
You can customize your desk as much as you want with a new 3D printer.
Sure, you can spend a bunch of money on rings and necklaces at the jewelry store. Or you can make them at home with your 3D printer!
If you look online, you’ll see some fantastic rings with suns, flowers, balls, and other designs. You can also print medallions and crafty-looking beads and blocks.
All you need is a piece of string to thread through them, and you’ve got a necklace or bracelet you made from scratch.
Whistles are a fun 3D printing project for beginners. They’re not hard to make because they’re small and functional, so you won’t feel like you’re wasting materials as you learn how to use your printer.
You can make whistles for kids, your dog, or a friend.
In addition, there are survival whistles you can print that you can attach to camping or hiking backpacks in case you’re ever in a situation where you need help and need to make some loud noises.
8. Creative Phone Stands
Do you ever feel like you’re picking your phone up a million times a day? It’s often more difficult to read notifications when your phone is laying flat on your desk or a table.
Instead, you can build a creative mobile phone stand to rest your phone on to help you read notifications with a glance. It sure beats interrupting your workflow.
In template libraries, you can find phone stand models shaped like trees, characters, waves, and more.
Once you get the hang of the software, you can start building templates you want rather than always using someone else’s.
9. Cup Coasters
Coasters are an excellent 3D printer option because they’re easy and super functional.
For example, with coasters, you can spare your coffee table those condensation rings when you have friends over for drinks.
Build coasters in a honeycomb pattern or use a floral design to make them more yours. You can paint them once they’re complete or use bold colors to stand out. The choice is up to you!
You can print more than a million things with a 3D printer. It’s a great birthday or holiday present for yourself or someone you love.
With a 3D printer, you’ll constantly think about what you can make yourself rather than running to the store to buy it. It may take a bit longer to craft it at home, but you’ll cherish the things you make even more.
You can set your printer to make items while you’re away at work or asleep at night. They’re easy to program and can help you learn a new skill.