Paint Roll Hack - Text and Massage (customised 3D Printed Adaptors) Samuel N Bernier




About: We are a group of designers, inventors and makers with a common passion for digital manufacturing, upcycling, hacking and electronics. Our FabLab is the nest of new products, new processes and exceptionnel t...
This hacking project was made in collaboration with ADEO a group that owns many tool brands such as Dexter. We brainstormed as a team and came up with many funny ideas to hack products selected among a thick catalogue.

I got to work on printed accessories for standard 120mm paint rolls.

Here is what I got for you :

- Customisable text/image/patterns paint roll
- Massage paint roll

Step 1: Get Your Stuff

You will need :

- a 3D printer
- a 12 cm paint roll
- a 12 cm paint roll handle
- Paint or ink

Maybe SolidWorks 2010 if you wish to customize the text or the massage model

Step 2: Customize Your Model

Open the SolidWorks 2010 file and change the text in the appropriate function.
Remember that the text has to be written backward to be printed in the good direction. 
Don't make your letters too thin.
Also, give a slight angle to your text so the paint roll works smoothly.

If you want to replace the letters by patterns, feel free to experiment!
Extrude approximately 2mm from the cylinder. 
Repeat around the shape until the pattern is regular. 

For the massage roll, be creative. Look on internet to get inspiration for new textures. 

Step 3: Print It!

This step, once you experted the .stl file and sliced it with the printer's software, should take 2-3 hours.

Try to give it the best resolution possible. Makerbot replicator 2 gives you an amazing 0,1mm layer!

If your resolution isn't good enough, a little bit of sandpaper 500 will do the job.

Step 4: Peg

Remove the plastic peg in the paint roll and insert it in your freshly printed roll!
Now take the roll and insert it on the handle

Step 5: Paint

Spread the paint on a smooth surface and roll your text in it until all the letters are covered.

Step 6: Rollllllllll

Make your own tapestry.

Step 7: Option B : Massage

Or... use the massage option to make someone happy and improve your Karma.

Have fun.

-Sam and the LPFP team



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge

    13 Discussions


    Question 8 months ago on Step 7

    I, too, do not have easy (or any) access to a 3D printer at the moment, but to correct a missing element on an existing printed product, I need a roller that produces a specific halftone pattern, so, just a bunch of little raised dots (around 1/16" diameter dots in rows spaced 1/8" apart, then the next row is staggered and placed a little less than 1/16" down from the first row, so its dots fall in the spaces between the dots above, and so on...) I've been Googling on and off for days and so far cannot find any company that accepts submitted designs for custom paint rollers.

    In desperation, I switched tactics and ordered custom stencils instead, but due to the thickness of the stencil vs the smallness of the holes for the dots, in practice it proved to be a total fail. Spray painting with the stencils could be an improvement, but it would be virtually impossible for me to carry out: I live in an apt building and I have 1,000 of these prints to make (200 of them in the next 3 weeks, after already having wasted a week waiting for useless stencils to be custom made and shipped). Any help would be vastly appreciated, and if you're willing to make the roller and have a quote for me, I'd be happy to compensate you, as you'd be saving my behind ;)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Don't have access to a 3D printer but compromise will get you far :) great idea, you've got my vote!


    6 years ago on Step 7

    ooo. I like the concept but don't have access to a fancy 3D printer. I bet one could make a low-tech version by fitting a cardboard tube (like a paper towel roll) over a paint roller and then adhering pre-cut foam letters from a craft store...


    6 years ago on Step 3

    i wish instructables that required tools and machinery that aren't in the average workshop - like 3D printers and Laser Cutters had a badge or something on the thumbnail. so i wouldn't get all excited to view the steps and get to "put design in your 3D printer..."

    Dream Dragon

    6 years ago on Introduction

    There was a kind of Byzantine Seal that was essentially a roller containing a sort of certification of authenticity.

    I've been wanting to do something similar for a long time but I'm struggling to achieve it with free packages like "Sketchup",

    Is it possible to do this with any of the freely available packages?

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Step 7

    now i know what to do with my used paint rollers!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool Sam! As an alternative and quicker manufacturing method you could laser etch some plastic then wrap it around the roller.