It’s been two years now since we bought our first 3D printer. Based upon a recommendation of a friend, we have a Prusa MK3 and we learned very early on that one of the joys of having a 3D printer is that you can just make stuff. Stuff you need, stuff you might spend several hours vainly scouring the inter webs hoping you’ll find something that might do what you want it to do and sometimes during such searches you get lucky and find the dingus you want, but most of the time you end up frustrated and annoyed by said dingus’s failure to exist. If you have 3D printer and a basic grasp of how to use it, instead of being tired and frustrated you end up enthused and ecstatic over the incredibly random, yet useful things you can craft.
Here are some stellar examples from Purgatory.
We bought a lamp for the guest room a few years ago. Nice enough lamp but the shades on it were glass. Thus not only were they fragile, they were heavy and the gooseneck arms didn’t always stay in the position in which you set them — plus the entire lamp was top heavy.
Then of course two of the glass shades ended up shattering when the lamp fell over as I was painting the guest room. I spent a great deal of time trying to find replacement shades that would fit. Probably close to 3 hours in total. Never did find anything remotely useful. Agent Smith then stepped in and designed and printed a very pretty alternative.
Not only did it fit perfectly, it is very light weight. The gooseneck arm no longer sags or twists under the weight of the shade and instead stays in whatever position or at whatever angle it is set.
He then got busy and printed of four more shades, some in the original white and some in a bright yellow. The result is not only pretty, but it makes the floor lamp far more functional than it was originally.
But wait…there’s more.
There are eight windows in the boys’ space. Two fixed transom windows across the top, three fixed or picture windows in the middle and then three awning style windows at floor level. A few years back I stopped bothering to open the bottom windows as any air flow from them, even in hot weather was marginal, and I squirreled away the screens since they only ended up full of spiders. Then once I added in the three blinds that cover not just the fixed windows but the lower ones as well, a problem developed. The blinds would often get hung up on the crank handles for the bottom windows.
Enter the 3D printer. In just an hour’s time we had three nice little white plastic covers to fit over the bits to which the handles normally attach. Problem solved.
So in addition cranks and lampshades, there is of course as detailed previously on this site, the little stega lamp that is made up of lights I found in the clearance bin at Target and then Agent Smith designed and printed a stand to hold them all together.
Speaking of home decor, we’ve used the 3D printer to augment a variety of decorating projects such as hanging some round mirrors more securely in the great room….
Another super cool project was crafting a mirror for the foyer when once again I couldn’t find anything online. (Extra special bonus is that the mirror is the same color as the great room walls.)
More on how the above project was done in the next post, but before I close this one out here are a few more examples of things we’ve printed. These all take the hole meant for soap pumps that are in the sinks in the kitchen and allow us to use that space for other things. The main kitchen sink and laundry sink have soap pumps we like and that work, while the butler pantry sink has a wine aerator. Pretty cool repurposing seeing all three pumps that were originally in those spots weren’t the best quality thanks to the POs penchant for cost cutting.
Lastly, I’m super proud of the fact that while everything noted in this post was something Agent Smith crafted, the last two examples were things I designed and printed, as I too am now gaining confidence with CAD software and using our Prusas. You’ll notice that it’s now a plural sort of thing, and that’s because we recently picked up another one of their offerings. The new one does smaller/finer details and I’m looking forward to using it.
Of course this isn’t the full list of everything we’ve used the printers to make, as Agent Smith’s list is incredibly long including race car bits, random mounting brackets, small things to go into other things, etc etc etc….
Addendum: almost totally forgot the one 3D printed do-dad that gets used every single day and makes life infinitely better.
What is that you ask? It’s a simple little plug that fits into the holder that is supposed to keep the faucet sprayer in place. The interior grippy bit with the holder had deteriorated, so Agent Smith whipped up a super quick replacement, only now instead of the sprayer fitting into the dingus, the latch that can be used to keep the sprayer “on” and spraying water can now also be used to hang the sprayer off the white nub that now juts out of the holder.