3D Printing Projects

3D printers are not just for printing trinkets and fidget spinners. Here I'd like to showcase some of the practical uses I have found for my 3D printer.

My Designs:

3D Printed Drive Belt
I'm working on a new design for a system to automatically open and close my window curtains, and part of this requires a drive belt. I recently got some flexible 3D printer filament, so I figured a good use for it would be to print my own drive belt to test with. I printed a drive belt and then designed some bearing mounts that I can affix to the v-slot extrusions on my 3D printer for testing purposes. So far the drive belt seems to work great, and the next step will be motorizing the system for additional testing.
Ring Bowl
My wife wanted to try her hand at designing something for 3D printing, so we worked together to turn a doily design into a bowl for storing rings and other small trinkets. I printed it out using Hatchbox woodfill PLA, and it ended up looking great!
Samsung Gear 360 Mount for Hiking Pole
I think a design like this is a perfect use of 3D printing. In order to get better views while hiking, I wanted the ability to attach my Samsung Gear 360 camera to the end of my no-name hiking pole, which happened to have some male threads of unknown thread pitch and diameter. I measured the threads and 3D printed a series of nuts with different thread diameters until I found the best fit. I then incorporated the "best fit thread" into the camera holder design. This is a product that would never normally exist, but 3D printing made it possible for me to meet my needs myself. You can see the footage the camera on the mount produced here and here.
Trash Can Hook
I wanted a cabinet-mounted trashcan, but I was surprised to see how expensive they are. So I went to IKEA and found a $4 trash can with some features that I could hook onto, and I designed a simple hook that the trash can sits on securely. Thingiverse part link
Shower Speaker Hook
My new apartment's shower walls are too slick for a suction cup to stick to, so I designed a simple hook to connect to my bluetooth shower speaker. I then hook it onto one of the shower curtain hooks, and the speaker stays on well.
Anchor-Shaped Smartphone Stand
I  designed this anchor-shaped smartphone stand as a wedding favor for my wedding aboard a boat. It's in two parts so that no support material is needed for printing. It can hold a smartphone in portrait or landscape, a kindle, or most tablets in landscape orientation. Thingiverse part link
Wax Seal Stamp
For our wedding, we wanted to make the invitations stand out. So we designed a wax seal of our initials in OnShape and 3D printed it in two parts that thread together to allow for future stamps to be made without re-printing the handle. We used the stamp along with some sealing wax to add a special touch to each invitation. We found that dipping the stamp in oil before pressing it into the melted wax helped to avoid sticking.
Brita Pitcher Cap
A cap I designed to protect the nozzle of my Brita pitcher when I fill it up in the sink. Thingiverse part link
Cookie Cutter and Release Tool
For my birthday party, I wanted something unique to serve to my guests, so I chose cookies that look like my face. Starting with a digital avatar, I used software to clean up the image, convert it, and design it in 3D. I then printed it in food-safe PLA for cutting cookies. I also created a "mold release" tool that was the inverse of the cookie cutter to help push the cookie dough out of the cutter.
Spray Bottle Hook
I wanted a way to store my spray bottles without taking up so much room. So I designed a simple hook that supports a spray bottle from both sides of the sprayer's stem. Thinigiverse part link
Cubicle Wall Hook
I wanted a way to store my headphones at work, so I designed a hook to perfectly fit on the wall of my cubicle. Thingiverse part link
Tin Can Plant Pot Stand
A stand to allow drainage from an old can that was turned into a plant pot. Thinigiverse part link
Tongue Scraper Holder
A simple design to hang my tongue scraper to dry after use. Thingiverse part link
3D Printed Mountain Range
While this one isn't as useful as some of my other prints, I think it's too cool not to share. I followed this guide to obtain the 3D data for one of my favorite local hikes in San Diego, Cowles Mountain. The photo above shows the mountain range from atop the peak.
IKEA Mug Cap
I like to make "mug muffins," which are pretty much muffins you can make in a mug in the microwave. It saves time to make these beforehand and refrigerate or freeze them, so I designed a lid to fit securely on the FÖRLAGA mugs I use. Thingiverse part link
Custom Coffee Stencil
When researching custom cookie cutters, I came across a lot of designs for custom coffee stencils. These are stencils for putting designs on foamy coffee drinks using cocoa, cinnamon, or in my case, hot chocolate mix. This design would be better suited for a laser-cutter rather than a 3D printer, but a 3D printer is what I have!
LED Strip Mount
I installed some strips of grow light LEDs above my plants to supplement them with additional light, but the adhesive that the strips came with was abysmal. So I designed a simple support that I could superglue onto the surface I was mounting the lights to.
iPhone Telescope Mount
An iPhone case I designed to make it easier to hold the phone up to a telescope's eyepiece for taking digital photos.

Designs of Others:

Spaghetti Measure
I chopped up an existing thingiverse design for a spaghetti measure to fit on my small 3D printer. Thingiverse part link
Loud whistle
I have an inflatable boat, and in order to use it out on the reservoir, I needed to have a whistle. Rather than buy one, I figured I might as well print one for $0.30 worth of material. The whistle came out great, and it is truly loud! Thingiverse part link
Eyelet/Grommet for Fabric
Another requirement of boating on the reservoir is to display at least 144 square inches of international orange. I decided I would make a flag out of international orange fabric, but I found grommets to be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, someone designed a great eyelet for me to use, and it worked out great! Thingiverse part link
RileyLink Case
My brother is a diabetic who has been taking his insulin dosing into his own hands through "diabetes hacking." One such device used to send commands to his insulin pump from his iPhone is the RileyLink, and someone designed a case to neatly fit it. My brother loves the new case I printed, and it's keeping his RileyLink safe. Thingiverse part link
Honda Civic Key Housing
The old housing on my Honda Civic key broke right where the screw attaches, so I was happy to find that someone designed a replacement. It fits great, and now I don't have to worry about my key falling apart whenever I start my car. Thingiverse part link
Golf Ball Belt Clip
This design is simple, and it works great! I'm not a very good golfer, so it helps to keep spare balls on me. Now I don't have to clutter my pockets when I'm out playing. Thingiverse part link