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Functional Printed Objects

50 Cool Things to 3D Print in December 2018

Picture of Matthew Mensley
by Matthew Mensley
Dec 3, 2018

Bored of pointless 3D printer projects? Out of 3D printing ideas? Check out our December 2018 list of cool things to 3D print which are actually useful.

Like us, you’re tremendously excited by the possibilities of 3D printing. Unfortunately, the landscape is cluttered with trinkets, doodads and ornaments. We’re in danger of drowning in 3D printed objects that nobody wants or needs.

Fight the tide of mediocrity! Let’s make stuff that’s actually useful! Here’s a list of cool things to 3D print, right now, today. Prove to your nearest and dearest that there’s an everyday and practical application of this wonderful technology.

If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can still have the 3D models printed by a professional 3D printing service. To find the best price, please use All3DP’s 3D Printing Price Comparison Service.

Don’t miss: 35 Best Sites for Free STL Files & 3D Printer Models of 2018

Cool Things to 3D Print in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Browse this list of cool things to 3D print for inspiration and ideas. Go ahead, take your time, we’ll be here when you get back.
  2. Download the STL file for your chosen model. Click on the link to take you to the site where the files are hosted, and you can download them absolutely free. Please note that some sites may require registration before you can download.
  3. Slice the STL file to prepare it for 3D printing. Whether you use an open source application like Cura or a paid solution like Simplify3D, slicing is a critical step for the quality of your model. Open the STL file and tinker with settings like infill, layer height, and supports.
  4. Convert the STL file into GCode after you’re done slicing. Save the GCode and upload it to your 3D printer, either using a USB cable, an SD card, or a network connection. Now get printing!
  5. Alternatively, use a Service if you don’t have access to a 3D printer. Simply upload the STL files to All3DP’s Best Price 3D Printing Service to have any of these cool things 3D printed.

Beginners / Single Part Projects

Say you’ve got a tasteful new card to show off to your fellow Wall Street execs. Bone, with Silian Rail lettering… you know the score. What better way to whip it out for admiration than this Zippo-like holder, complete with flip-open lid for ultimate swagger.

Who made it: PentlandDesigns

Where to download: Cults

Is it an iceberg? A melting beehive? The latter is most likely, given this creation is the work of Portuguese 3D printing manufacturer BeeVeryCreative. It’s cool, curvy, and keeps your stationary stationary.

Who made it: BeeVeryCreative

Where to download: Cults

3

Household/Miniature Haulage Cool Things to 3D Print Easy Pallet

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Easy Pallet
Easy Pallet By think3dprint, via Thingiverse

In need of a coaster with an industrial vibe? Well, consider your oddly specific desire fulfilled with the Easy Pallet. Useful as a coaster, or forklift framework for a shipment of teeny tiny goods, print in a wood filament for authenticity.

Who made it: think3dprint

Where to download: Thingiverse

4

Organization Cool Things to 3D Print FlashHog

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: FlashHog
FlashHog. By ykratter, via Cults

Oh man, I forgot my memory stick, lemme just go check my ‘hog.” The coolest person in the room; you.

Who made it: ykratter

Where to download: Cults

This is a passive amplifier for your smartphone, which adds a little extra “oomph” to those tinny speakers when blasting out your tunes. What’s not so passive are those outstretched arms. It’s not called a Groovi Monster for nothing.

Who made it: 3DShook

Where to download: Cults3D

Catching drips, protecting tabletops and giving your favorite infill pattern an airing — what more could you ask for from a printable called Infill Coasters? And best of all its completely customizable, since you’re configuring the pattern using the infill settings of your slicer.

Who made it: jmdbcool

Where to download: Thingiverse

7

3D Printing Cool Things to 3D Print Filament Clip

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Filament Clip

Say no mo’ to straggling spurts of filament and keep the tension in your tapped spools with this simple clip. We should imagine it serves as a fine clothes peg replacement if you’re in a bind on laundry day, too.

Who made it: Med

Where to download: Cults

Keep your desktop knick-knacks in order with this simple yet functional desk tidy. Slots for memory cards, memory sticks, pencils and even a scraper or two make it the ideal object for 3D print area betterment.

Who made it: Monkey3D

Where to download: Cults

It’s a duck. You hang headphones from it.

Who made it: Toshi_TNE

Where to download: Thingiverse

10

Garden Cool Things to 3D Print Plantygon

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Plantygon

Designed by PrintFutura for a growing collection of succulents, these stackable geometric planters can be configured to drain into adjacent blocks, or not at all (if you print the non-draining version). A simple and stylish print.

Who made it: PrintFutura

Where to download: Cults

11

Everyday Carry Cool Things to 3D Print Survival Whistle

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Survival Whistle

This is a survival whistle of completely original design, which is rugged, easy to make and carry, and is very loud. How loud? Try 118 decibels for size! That’s more than enough to get you noticed in an emergency situation.

Who made it: Joe Zisa

Where to download: Thingiverse

12

Mechanical Wonder Cool Things to 3D Print Platform Jack

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Platform Jack

This is a fully assembled platform jack, 3D printed as one piece. No messing around with multiple parts. The adjustable height can be used to raise or prop up an object of reasonable weight.

Who made it: Intentional3D

Where to download it: Thingiverse

13

Kitchen Cool Things to 3D Print Measuring Cube

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Measuring Cube

The feelgood success story of 3D printing in 2018 is already here; a simple but totally ingenious measuring cube for use in the kitchen. Each side of the cube has a slot to measure out a foodstuff in either cups (for American cooking) or metric (for everyone else). Best printed in PETG material to maximize food safety.

Who made it: iomaa

Where to download: Thingiverse

14

Household Cool Things to 3D Print Parametric Hinge

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Parametric Hinge

Designed in OpenSCAD, this is a parametric butt hinge that can be fully customized for your specific needs. Moreover, you can print it in one step, as individual leaves, or without a pin at the centre.

Who made it: Rohin Gosling

Where to download: Thingiverse

15

Travel Cool Things to 3D Print Sunglasses Car Sun Visor Clip

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Sunglasses Car Sun Visor Clip

A useful item to keep you looking cool on sunny days; a car sun visor clip where you can affix you sunglasses when not in use (but still need easy access).

Who made it: Trevor Long

Where to download: Thingiverse

16

Kitchen Cool Things to 3D Print Jumbo Elephant Cutlery Drainer

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Jumbo Elephant Cutlery Drainer

This is a fantastically useful item that, at first glance, might be mistaken for a planter. In actual fact it’s a cutlery drainer in the shape of low-poly elephant, where the trunk is used to drain excess water while your knives and forks are drying.

Who made it: Alejandro Gabriel Iovane

Where to download: Thingiverse

17

Everyday Carry Cool Things to 3D Print Super Best Bottle Opener

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Super Best Bottle Opener

Unlike the vast majority of 3D printed bottle openers out there, this model doesn’t need a coin or other additional elements to provide the necessary leverage. Instead, its ergonomic design uses a curved prying edge that catches on a substantial amount of the sharp cap edge.

Who made it: Jeremy Peterson

Where to download: Thingiverse

18

Everyday Carry Cool Things to 3D Print Superhero Keychains

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Superhero Keychains

Sometimes you need to remind yourself of your hidden superpowers. These keychains can be printed in no time, look great, and make a formidable identifier for your Batcave keys. Make great gifts for kids, also.

Who made it: Formbyte

Where to download: Cults3D

19

Hand Tools Cool Things to 3D Print Pages Holder

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Pages Holder

A simple but ingenious life-hack for those who like to read good old fashioned books. You know, those stacks of pressed wood fiber, embossed with glyphs that induce shared hallucinations. Keep a book open comfortably using one hand with this page holder.

Who made it: Ales Strucovsky

Where to download: Thingiverse

20

Audio Cool Things to 3D Print Headphone Stand

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Headphone Stand

For those folks spending any amount of time listening to music at their desk, a decent headphone stand is a crucial accessory. Sure, you could have an ordinary headset stand, or you could make some big audio dynamite with a 3D printed headphone stand. Choose wisely!

Who made it: MakerBot

Where to download: Thingiverse

21

Kitchen & Dining Cool Things to 3D Print Sliding Bag Clip

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Sliding Bag Clip

Sometimes it’s the simplest items which prove to be the most useful. And so it is with this sliding bag clip, which is printed with two parts that can securely hold packets closed. Perfect if you want to keep your herbs and spices fresh but don’t have a jar, or maybe you want to hold off on scarfing a full bag of chips.

Who made it: Walter Hsiao

Where to download: Thingiverse

22

Decor Cool Things to 3D Print Panda Wall Sculpture

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Panda Wall Sculpture

Sure, it’s debatable whether you should use a 3D printer to fabricate something in 2D. But this lovely little panda bear just looks too cute not to be mounted as a wall display. It’s easy to 3D print and, depending on the bed size of your printer, can make an interesting alternative to a painting. Also available: A deer, lion, fox and other 2D animals.

Who made it: Tony Liebana

Where to download: Thingiverse

23

Hand Tools Cool Things to 3D Print Plastic Wrench

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Plastic Wrench

Fully articulated plastic wrench, for general purpose, er, wrenching around the house.

Who made it: Daniel Noree

Where to download: Cults.

24

Hand Tools Cool Things to 3D Print One-handed Bottle Opener

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: One-handed Bottle Opener

This boomerang shaped one-handed bottle opener helps people with difficulties in performing movements or activities which require hand strength, such as opening a plastic bottle. Print one off and give it to your grandma; she’ll love you for it.

Who made it: PiuLAB

Where to download: Cults3D

Intermediate / Multi Part Projects

The gifting season is here, and you know what that means – epic wrap battles; tussling with tubes of festive paper and stubborn tape for the ones you love (or tolerate, Secret Santa participants). This wrapping paper holder should tip things in your favor, securing your chosen tube to a desk’s end for easy paper unrolling.

Who made it: HIOB

Where to download: Cults

T-shirt model, creepy objet d’art, plastic punching bag… The jury’s still out on the usefulness of this particular print, but there’s no denying a human-sized model can have its uses. Spread across 88 convenient chunks of person, pick and choose body parts as you see fit, or go the whole hog and conjure up a party guest this Christmas.

Who made it: VoodooMFG

Where to download: Thingiverse

The answer to the question “can a spool holder incorporate freaky solids of constant width without sacrificing usability?“. The challenge here lies in printing and finishing the smooth rolling blocks, but leap that particular hurdle and you’ll have yourself a spool holder that puts the ‘fun’ in functional (a lame expression, we know, but true nevertheless!).

Who made it: BOLROD

Where to download: Cults

28

Games and Hobbies Cool Things to 3D Print Chainmail

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Chainmail

Can something made from plastic look light as fabric? This chainmail, made by one of 3D printing’s best designers, looks and feels astonishingly real. Make a dress from it or print it in Mithril and bring that damn ring back.

Who made it: Flowalistik

Where to download: Thingiverse

The contents of a dishwasher are the Schrödinger’s Cat of household appliances; both clean and dirty until an object is removed or placed inside. Fact.

Tip this quantum game in your favor and know whether the cutlery is clean or the mugs are manky with this ingenious sliding dirty/clean text printable.

Who made it: MiddleFingerBoss

Where to download: Thingiverse

30

Organization Cool Things to 3D Print Cog Twist Box

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Cog Twist Box

The popular twist box gets an engineering twist, here taking the form of a cog wheel. Give it a twist however and you reveal a handy void, prime for nuts, bolts, screws and even more cogs!

Who made it: Clockspring

Where to download: MyMiniFactory

31

Accessories Cool Things to 3D Print Pop Up Square Basket

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Pop Up Square Basket

Pimp your picnics with this M.C. Escher-esque collapsible basket. Portioned off into five cascading sections that hold their shape when extended, it’s marvelous design that prints in few parts and assembles with a dab of glue.

Who made it: PatternToPrint

Where to download: Cults

32

Organization Cool Things to 3D Print Step Box Step

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Step Box Step

These cutesy component boxes are stackable and feature teeny tiny legs, should you need to raise them off the workbench just a little bit. A cool design with a leg up (sorrynotsorry) on other parts storage solutions.

Who made it: Denovator

Where to download: Cults

33

Household Cool Things to 3D Print Self-Watering Planter

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Self-Watering Planter

Houseplants dying from neglect? NEVER AGAIN. Print off this automatic plant waterer, and your conscience will remain clean. Particularly useful for kitchen herbs, where you can make them last up to a week longer by re-potting in this natty device.

Who made it: Parallel Goods

Where to download it: Cults3D

34

Accessories Cool Things to 3D Print Labyrinth Gift Box

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Labyrinth Gift Box

When it comes to giving gifts, cash is not the most imaginative of presents. Wrap up your notes in a more exciting package with this Labyrinth Gift Box. There’s only one correct path, so the lucky recipient will have to work at it a fair bit to unlock the prize tucked inside.

Who made it: Robert

Where to download: Thingiverse

35

Audio Cool Things to 3D Print Earbud Holder

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Earbud Holder

We spend a small fortune on our earphones for music on the move, but not enough to protect them when not in use. Securely stash those buds in this 3D printed earbud holder.

Who made it: Robert

Where to download it: Thingiverse

36

Bathroom Cool Things to 3D Print Toothpaste Tube Squeezer

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Toothpaste Tube Squeezer

Squeeze every last drop of toothpaste from the tube with this toothpaste tube squeezer. It prints in three separate parts, and is wide enough to accommodate most tubes on the market. Not only a cool thing to 3D print, but also something to keep your breath minty fresh.

Who made it: Justin Otten

Where to download it: Thingiverse

37

Office Cool Things to 3D Print Web Camera Cover

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Web Camera Cover

In an age where online privacy is diminished, fewer people feel comfortable with a front-facing camera on their laptops. Instead of ruining those clean lines with a bit of sticky tape or a post-it note, this 3D printed solution is a sliding door you can afix over the camera, so you can still use it for video-conferencing when you need to.

Who made it: Horizon Lab

Where to download: Cults

38

Bathroom Cool Things to 3D Print Soap Dish

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Soap Dish

An elegant soap dish for the bathroom, in two separate pieces that are washable. You can also customize the inner tray with your own patterns, if you prefer.

Who made it: PiuLAB

Where to download: Cults3D

39

Organization Cool Things to 3D Print Stackable Hex Drawers

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Stackable Hex Drawers

Phone charger cables, USB cables, HDMI cables, Thunderbolt cables, DisplayPort cables… Your office space is covered in a spaghetti of cables, are we right? Banish the mess with this set of hex drawers. The design is stackable too, so you can extend the hive as the need arises.

Who made it: Dan O’Connell

Where to download it: Cults

40

Decor Cool Things to 3D Print Wall Outlet Shelf

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Wall Outlet Shelf

Put a shelf on your power socket, so you can prop up the phone when charging. This model also has an angled slot that holds your smartphone and tablets in an upright viewing position.

Who made it: Tosh Sayama

Where to download: Cults

41

Organization Cool Things to 3D Print Stackable Battery Holders

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Stackable Battery Holders

A nice and easy system for sorting your battery collection, with clear labeling and sizing. Not only are these boxes stackable, but they’re wall mountable too.

Who made it: Adoniram Sides

Where to download: Thingiverse

42

Decor Cool Things to 3D Print Secret Shelf

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Secret Shelf

Keep your precious documents or currency hidden from view in this secret shelf stash.

Who made it: Tosh

Where to download: Cults

43

Everyday Carry Cool Things to 3D Print Stiletto Business Card Case

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Stiletto Business Card Case

Impress your fellow executives with this stylish and functional business card case. Each case holds around 20 standard American sized business cards, and comes with a printable “spring” to ensure the topmost card glides smoothly out of the slot.

Who made it: Jeff Kerr

Where to download: Thingiverse

Advanced / Complex Projects

If you go grab a dictionary right now and look up the entry for “overengineered”, you’ll see a picture of this sucker. Fully adjustable with hand crank operation and packing slots for pens, memory sticks and other desktop doodads, the Emma can even extend to support a tablet.

Who made it: Hendo

Where to download: MyMiniFactory

45

Navigation Cool Things to 3D Print Sextant

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Sextant
Sextant. By ufon, via Cults

Sadly this is not a list of “50 Cool Things to 3D Print in the 1800’s that are Actually Useful”. However, if it were, here’s a sextant! With these 3D printed parts, some M3 and M2 nuts and screws plus two mirrors, consider your latitudinal requirements fulfilled.

Who made it: ufon

Where to download: Cults

46

Games & Hobbies Cool Things to 3D Print Card Deck Shuffler

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Card Deck Shuffler

Those prone to mid-shuffle fumbles, your Poker face-saving prayers are answered! MyMiniFactory user LarsRb has concocted this colorful creation with the sole purpose to successfully shuffle decks of cards up to official poker card size.

Who made it: LarsRb

Where to download: MyMiniFactory

47

Gifts Cool Things to 3D Print Secret Butterfly Box

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Secret Butterfly Box

A secretive box for keeping secret things secret. Those out of the know will have a hard time cracking the sequences required to expose both the key and keyhole. Print in your prettiest filament to make a most magnificent gift.

Who made it: 3DPrintingWorld

Where to download: Thingiverse

48

Garden Cool Things to 3D Print Digital Sundial

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Digital Sundial

Your eyes do not deceive you. This insanely cool thing to 3D print is a digital sundial. And it really does work. The shape of the sundial has been engineered to only let through the right rays at the right time and angle, so it can display the actual time at 20 minute intervals. Operational only during daylight hours, naturally, between 10:00 and 16:00.

Who made it: Mojoptix

Where to download it: Thingiverse

49

DIY Cool Things to 3D Print Customizable Sanding Stick

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Customizable Sanding Stick

This is a sophisticated set of customizable sanding sticks, where you can adjust the height, length and width of each stick. You can also tinker with the end styles, so it can be round or wedged depending on the job at hand. Very useful!

Who made it: Dennis H.

Where to download: Cults

50

Everyday Carry Cool Things to 3D Print Swiss Army Style Key Chain

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Swiss Army Style Key Chain

This is a variation on the classic Swiss Army Knife design that swaps out the blades and can openers for something infinitely more useful — your house-keys. Prints in two halves, and the keys are held in place using standard hex nuts and bolts.

Who made it: Craig Blanchette

Where to download: Thingiverse

Image credits: All images copyright their respective owners

License: The text of "50 Cool Things to 3D Print in December 2018" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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