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IRobertI

Examples of truly practical/useful prints?

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A question that keeps popping up when talking to people about 3d printers is: "that's cool, but what can you do with it?". Showing off different artsy prints, some things with gears and such is cool and all, but how about something that is truly useful?

Do you guys and gals have any suggestions on what you would print and bring to a MakerFaire for example to show people that 3d printers aren't just for printing Yoda busts and trinkets?

As an example of semi practical things, we were printing Aaron's glasses and the "Zortrax Buckle" during the Trondheim MakerFaire and those were quite popular. People really connected with those pieces and their eyes lit up when you showed them the finished and working buckle. I say semi practical since not everyone is willing to make custom lenses, and the buckle wont be as strong as a real one (unless you go with nylon perhaps).

I've been meaning to print a copy of one of the prosthetic hands but haven't gotten around to it yet as I don't have the necessary hardware on hand. I think that can be a powerful thing to show off though.

 

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It's too bad most 'useful' things require other things to show it's use properly. Here are some useful stuff that I've made that I use all the time. I'm not sure if any of them work well at makerfaire, but maybe it'll spur some ideas:

5D m2 loupe.

012-Beholder.jpg

006-Beholder.jpg

Anti-twist plate. Prevents the camera from turning on a video plate.

006-ATPlate-150x150.jpg009-ATPlate-150x150.jpg

Airbrush station

IMG_000017281-580x691.jpg

The paper holder thingie.

Lightsaber_paint_frames20.jpg

I made a turntable. It works ok...

Eggcarton for a switronix light, prevents spill.

IMG_00001844-1024x576.jpg

IMG_00001843-1024x576.jpg

What about your extruder Robert?? that thing's like super useful!

 

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I have way more practical things than show-off pieces. They are all mostly boring to losers people who don't have a printer.

Lots of knobs! broken knobs for fans and electronics. Knobs for things I've built.

Food clips! For sealing potato chips and craisins and cereal bags (within the box).

Here I saved $44 ($22 each number) on new house numbers for my house and the fonts I found on the web (if I were to purchase the numbers ready to go) - well I didn't like them. I printed these on the UM2 with green PLA painted black:

DSC 9909

 

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i printed a few bath tube plugs for people... also ends of curtain rails that were gone or broken... easy print and sprayed up with the right colour... bingo...

Also if you need a display case for anything.. just buy a few sheets of transparent PLC and then print a few quick hinges... JOB DONE... :-)

 

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@IRobertI

Funny, I was meditating on exactly the same thing some nights ago. I think the answer might be boring in multiple ways.

3D printing will become useful for average Joe if there would be a large repository of boring, non-creative, non-fancy but truly useful everyday things. Things like gr5 described. Knobs, hooks, brackets, gaskets, fittings, lids, hinges ... Tried-and tested parts with fool-proof printing instructions. Even if they are dead simple, average Joe would never consider designing them by himself but he would print them instead of spending hours visiting a building center or something like that. Currently, if you are in the need of those things Thingiverse and - I'm sorry - Youmagine are a depressing experience.

 

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I suppose what you get out of a printer is down to the limits of the imagination of the user. For me personally 3D printing is an absolute asset to my RC hobby. I'm yet to play with the full range of different materials on the market.

But on the pro side ive found out you can get a pla printed body over 130mph, For those of you who haven't seen my thread, this is my current speed project:

gallery_35497_1201_941813.jpg

 

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https://www.youmagine.com/designs/urban-puukko

Since I designed and printed this, I have carried and used it every single day for more than a year. I've been using knives as a tool for 20+ years and I've never had one that I loved more or worked better than this design.

Like Valcrow, I've also designed and printed a lot of camera-related gear which has been extremely functional and often beautiful.

 

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It is a question I always ask myself as I take pride on being fairly trinket light but having my printer(s) running as hard as I can.

I am on the 3Dhubs stand for the London Printshow and so have been throwing a few things together to take and realise how many things in my life are printed :)

2014 09 04 21.06.43

 

A holder for clamping my dremel to the desk

 

2014 09 04 21.06.48

 

Various bits and bobs christmas decorations, cookie cutters, jewelery, plant pot holders, plant dishes

 

2014 09 04 21.06.56

 

architecural models

 

and

 

2014 09 04 21.06.58

 

I was commissioned to print and make a e-nable talon hand to take to China to encourage them to get into 3d printing!

There are heaps more things I use for rowing and attaching things to the boat etc.

Everyday I need something small to help do something else and just turn to inventor and then print it out!

My hub orders so far have been very practical - and the fairphone case is a good example of a real-world use.

 

I was amazed the other day that I have only had my printer a year as it is so indispensable to releasing my brain from all the objects that used to clutter it up :) - even if it is more quantity than quality!

James

 

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https://www.youmagine.com/designs/urban-puukko

Since I designed and printed this, I have carried and used it every single day for more than a year. I've been using knives as a tool for 20+ years and I've never had one that I loved more or worked better than this design.

 

That is super cool!

Those blades look like they're decently priced too, very hard edge. I had a spyderco with a ZDP 189 steel and that thing was razor sharp! very difficult to sharpen though, do you find the same with that knife?

 

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That is super cool!

Those blades look like they're decently priced too, very hard edge. I had a spyderco with a ZDP 189 steel and that thing was razor sharp! very difficult to sharpen though, do you find the same with that knife?

 

The carbon steel version with the differential heat treatment is indeed extremely hard. It is a great knife for many tasks, takes an amazing edge, though when you drop it, you can guarantee a chip somewhere. Sharpening wasn't so bad because I use 3M Microfilm, which cuts through even supersteels fast enough to make it an enjoyable experience.

I've now switched to the stainless steel version of the blade, though, because even with a good sheath, (a printed design I've been meaning to post) an EDC knife gets too much sweat on it to genuinely last the way you want it to with a high carbon blade. Cutting food at an impromptu picnic with a blade that is blackened from your body moisture isn't very appealing, and having to sharpen the knife after an extremely sweaty bike ride because the salt took the edge off is less than great. The stainless versions are a medium-high grade stainless and work just as well, with only slightly less of the cool factor and amazing (non-sweaty) edge holding that a 63HRc blade has.

 

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I had to take my car to the yearly inspection yesterday and while they had some things to complain about they did not notice that the sway bar is attached by a 3D-printed link on one side. :cool:

2014 08 01 4007

It was covered in dust though, not shiny as in the photo, so it is not immediately obvious.

I printed this strengthened sway bar link two months ago after having two original links failing in about one year. I added a few millimeters in all directions and printed it with 100% infill.

2014 08 01 3989

 

At first, I considered this as a temporary fix and a suitable way to test the engineering properties of the Ultimaker ABS.

Two months later it still appears to be fine though, so I might just leave it as it is for some sub-zero temperature testing the coming months :smile:

For safety reasons, I would not replace critical parts of the car with printed parts.

Less critical part though, like this one which was breaking all the time anyway, was highly useful to be able to "upgrade" with a printed version :smile:

 

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In my products, it try to use 3D-printed parts as much as possible. It gives me the possibility to design the product how I want without expensive machinery.

http://www.puremoco.com/pages/slider.php

http://www.puremoco.com/pages/pantilt.php

As you can see, I am printing belt wheels, brackets for belts, guide pulleys etc. Also, I am planing to print housings for my PCBs:

http://www.puremoco.com/pages/motioncontroller.php

Without having a 3D-printer, those products would be unaffordable and maybe not even possible to design.

 

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