This is an overview of functional 3D prints you can print at home with a desktop 3D printer. From small things that improve your everyday life to game controller mods. Find your next 3D printing project here (links to .STL’s are included).
We constantly update this list, so you can always check back to find out what the best affordable 3D printers in each category are.
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From DIY mods that make your life a bit easier to design elements to spice up your living room. These 3D printable household mods will hopefully inspire you.
Snap-on Bit Holder
This one comes from r/tools on Reddit, via user triskite. Chances are, if you’re into 3D printing, you might fancy yourself a DIY fan. In that case, this M12 screwdriver snap-on bit holder for the Milwaukee M12 Screwdriver is a great way to keep your bits in order. It’s a comfy little grip-on component that can add some much needed convenience to your handiwork.
Designer: Will Stone (TrisTech)
Clothing Clips & Hangers
Looking to free up some closet space or put up a few essential clothing items elsewhere? Printing your own mounted coat-hangers is a good way to go. It’s an easy print for an everyday item with a lot of utility.
Lamp + Smart Alarm
This lamp has an integrated light-alarm users can control with a microcontroller to help you wake up more easily in the morning. You can retrieve the .STL file and the code for the optional control device and have a pretty neat bit of lighting equipment in no time.
STL (and guides for the electronic components): https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3350641
Designer: Rabter TecCheck
Self-watering Pot Planter
Have a friend or loved one that likes a bit of green in their house but maintenance isn’t their strong suit? This might be the perfect 3D print for them.
Water Heater Gas Control Knob
Meet Tim. The gas control valve knob on his Bradford White water heater cracked while trying to turn the valve. He basically just recreated the same thing and it worked.
Designer: Tim Searles
Outdoor & Travel Mods
3D printing provides many opportunities for travelling lighter, smarter and cheaper for those who enjoy the road or the campfire. With the aid of some pretty smart hacks, one can easily take full advantage of their next field trip or backpacking journey.
Maybe selfie-sticks aren’t your style and traditional tripods are a bit clunky. Then, the bottlecap tripod might be the right fit for you. With a simple design, one can get some pretty decent photography equipment on the cheap.
Designer: Carlos Mostajo
Tent Pole Joint
With a fairly simple print, one can make some pretty solid joints for their tent poles. Similar models can also make for pegs and hooks, so one can practically make most of the parts needed to put together a tent with just a few files and the right tarp.
Lightweight tent peg / spike
Designer: Jaime A. Leal
The 3D printed fishing lure below prints in one piece and has multiple hinged segments that loosen up once the lure is bent back and forth a few times. This gives it a swimming action. It also has internal chambers for adding metal balls for rattles.
Aside from being a convenient way to keep track of your headphones, this case also prevents them from tangling up in your pockets. It keeps them snug and fitted within a plastic enclosure for easier transport and better care.
Designer: Walter Hsiao
3D Printed Slim Wallet V4.0
We’ve been following this project since the beginning and have already printed several of these slim wallets. Print it with a material that can handle some force (e.g PETG or a brand that makes super strong PLA) and print with a high temperature to increase interlayer bonding.
Designer: Pentland Designs
Gaming & Computer Mods
Gamers have long been implementing 3D printing with all sorts of add-ons and accessories, and nowhere is that more apparent than with controllers. Want your Nintendo Switch to feel more like a traditional joystick akin to the Dualshock controller? Or need a wall mount for your controller, 3D printing has your back.
Maybe your computer keyboard or mouse is getting worn out over time but you don’t quite think it’s bad enough to warrant buying an entirely new one. This can be the case with really good or rare gaming equipment that is past its heyday, where no one would want to invest in a new one if only a single component is broken. From worn out wheels to broken keys to whole cases.
Nintendo Switch Single Joy-Con Grip
Want your Nintendo Switch to feel more like a traditional joystick akin to the Dualshock controller? Just pop these .STL files into your 3D printer and give these controller grips a spin.
Designer: Manabu Suzuki
Xbox One Controller Mini Wheel
If racing sims are up your alley, maybe you’d prefer to alter your existing controller to fit your driving sensibilities. There are a number of ways to add some authenticity to the experience, but steering wheels can be expensive, so cheaper alternatives might suit some users better. This mini-wheel add-on can re-fashion the standard joystick into a racing controller with some fairly simple parts. There are versions available for Xbox, PS4 and PS3, as well.
Designer: Brent Scott (Pixel2)
With this mod, you can safely keep your playstation vertical.
Nintendo Switch Modular Pro Controller Wall Mount
You could also do what one enterprising maker did and print yourself a controller mount for your joystick. The controller mount even has an exit space for the charging wire to come out of, allowing it to act as a charge port.
Designer: Nathan Barton
A worn out analogue wheel is no reason to throw out the baby with the bath water. Just print a replacement and keep on clicking.
Maybe your computer keyboard or mouse is getting worn out over time but you don’t quite think it’s bad enough to warrant buying an entirely new one
There’s a range of discontinued mouse models are finding new life as 3D models. If you have a damaged case, you may want to reconsider junking it when you could easily give it a new makeover. Impressively, many of these models and designs are free to acquire and cheap to print.
Computer Keyboard Keys
Stylize your own keyboard or just replace the little pieces that are disrupting your typing flow.
Designer: Kael Ruland
From tripods and stabilizers to lighting, anyone even barely acquainted with filmmaking equipment prices can tell you how much even basic equipment can set you back. Even if a particular component is inexpensive, it can still be fairly inconvenient to procure (lens caps or hoods etc.). Luckily, enterprising makers and shutterbugs have been hard at work providing cheaper DIY solutions to skim the costs or replace tiny, easy-to-lose components.
Lens Caps & Hoods
Any photographer can tell you how easy it is to lose or damage components for lenses. In particularly, lens caps and hoods are crucial protective measures that are very easy to lose track of, but thankfully the maker community has some convenient solutions.
Designer: Olly Funkster
Infinity Background Holders
This print is a pretty easy way to get that smooth white background look. All you’ll need is a long white sheet and a set of these easy to use holders.
Designer: Candace Howe
Bluetooth Motorized Camera Slider
Although this one is a particularly sophisticated slider set-up, it also offers a lot of utility. Simpler set-ups can provide basic manual sliding, but Adafruit Industries may have outdone themselves by adding a bluetooth motorized control system. It uses an Arduino Uno, a Motor Shield V2 and a Bluefruit LE SPI Friend but the rest of the parts can be 3D printed for optimal camera panning and stability.
STL (and various equipment and set-up guides): https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1041408
Designer: Adafruit Infustries
Why bother with post-production stabilization when you can just print yourself a steady-cam? Although this video shows one meant for phone cameras, there are various other varieties available.