Introduction: What Can You Do With a 3D Printer?
I first received a 3D pen which was really cool. I then bought a 3D printer. Very very cool. After a while I realized there was no end to the things I could print, even though several of them are very difficult to properly pull off. I thought I would share some of the fun and interesting things I've done with 3D printing. I'm still very much an amature though. I've posted a few of them already on Instructables and some are part of future projects. But I feel good about finishing up a few so I felt like sharing.
Step 1: Levitating Death Star
I purchased a levitating globe off Ebay for $40. The globe is hallow with a magnet plate inside. I printed a Death Star and place the magnetic plate in the middle. The 3D Death Star was heavier so it sank further down, not leaving as much space between the sphere and base plate. However, it was still enough to allow the Death Star to rotate around like a planet (or space station). Looks great on my desk at work and is a definite conversation piece. I intend to add an LED for the laser cannon, but we'll see if I ever get around to it.
Step 2: Escape From the Mirror
I did an instruction already on this one. It makes a great element for my home office.
Step 3: Back to the Future
I'm building a special scene with lasers and lights to reflect the Delorean just as it prepares to jump through time. I have a flux capacitor as well, but it's not finished yet.
Step 4: Lightsaber
For Halloween and Comic Con props. You can print pretty much any prop you can think of and design (or use someone elses open source design). Even converted a battery power supply for a cell phone into a lightsaber using 3D printed parts.
Step 5: Raspberry Pi
People 3D print covers for arduino and raspberry pis. I decided to have some fun with it and I make covers which are more theatrical in nature. Here is my raspberry pi Jabba the Hutt cover with connecting cables.
Step 6: Wire Organizer
Pretty self-explanatory. Here is the short instructable.
Step 7: Rancor Mini Book Cases
As an experiment I created a Ranco set of mini-book cases and use them to store my smaller breadboards.
Step 8: Racor Trophy
Self-explanatory. Just created a Rancor trophy which sits on my command station in my shed.
Step 9: Elements
Small elements for projects, toy houses for the kids, etc...
Step 10: Cell Phone Covers
Cell phone cover for Iphone 6
Step 11: USB Holders
These hold USB drives as well as SD Cards and Micro-SD Cards. Very helpful in organizing work areas
Step 12: Toy Ships
Star Destroyer from my son. I've used these for board games, larger ones so he can play with his Legos, and even for displays. Same for the Falcon and land speeder.
Step 13: Parts for an R2D2 Droid
I've used this same file for both a droid trash can as well as an experimental remote control droid. It's a lot easier than making the domes the old fashion way.
Step 14: Props for Halloween
Cauldrons and ghosts (with projections), spiders, and skulls.
Step 15: Supports
You can print a katana from a file, but this one is metal. However, I needed a way to properly display it, so I printed the supports you seek, which are painted in gold.
Step 16: Small Figurines
Everything from movie characters to general busts to just funny creatures. My wife keeps complaining that we keep accumulating figurines with no place to put them. But I just cannot resist a good Yoda or Vader bust.
Step 17: Vincent and Fun With Magnets
This is another instructable, but essentially its a levitating Vincent from the Black Hole. You can see the full instructable here.
Step 18: Useless Fun With Tracing Using a 3D Printing Pen
Just using the 3D pen. Takes some getting used to. The funnest one was the instructable robot.
Step 19: School Projects
I was able to help my son with his school projects. First I printed him some penguins for the habitat he was supposed to build in 3rd grade. Noone, including the teacher, had heard about anyone 3D printing homework like that. It was a big success and grade for him. He also used it to print parts of a larger project he built out of Legos, including the foundation from a mountain base, a working floating Death Star image, and other parts. The mountain was built with the 3D pen creating a mesh support for paper mache and the Death Star was just an adaptation from a regular STL and a dog bowl with a hole in the middle for wiring. The 3D pen created the supports for the image. A full instructable is here.
Step 20: Wire and Device Managment
With a ton of devices spread through 5 desks wires and devices can become very tangled and disorganized. You can use your printer to create organizers, shelves, holders, etc. to help organize things and keep yourself sane.
Step 21: Boring Cases
While I always love to build creative cases for my projects, sometimes you just need a good old fashion and boring cover/case. 3D printers are great for creating square boxes another covers to house parts and project elements.
Step 22: To Be Continued....
So the bottom line is there are no limits to the things you could think of to use 3D printing technology to create or help assist you with projects. I've enjoyed mine immensely. Just check out thingiverse or any of the other major websites were people post their projects.