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Functional Printed Objects

50 Cool Things to 3D Print in May 2019

Picture of Matthew Mensley
by Matthew Mensley
May 2, 2019

Bored of pointless 3D printer projects? Out of 3D printing ideas? Check out our May 2019 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 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.

Updated monthly under the guise of our very own printocracy, each month we remove the five least clicked models and replace them with five new printables. As the year trudges on, there will always be something new, and the uninteresting items drift away. Simple!

5 Easy Steps to 3D Print Cool Things

  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 3D printing service if you don’t have access to a 3D printer. Simply upload the STL files to Craftcloud – 3D Printing & Price Comparison Service by All3DP to have any of these cool things 3D printed.
1

Multifunction Cool Things to 3D Print Polypanels

Image of Cool Things to 3D Print: Polypanels
Polypanels (Image: MakeAnything, via MyMiniFactory)

What is it? Brainchild of Devin Montes, of MakeAnything fame, Polypanels is a series of 3D printable snap-together building blocks. The individual Polypanel pieces look simple enough, but print a cluster of them — including the growing variety of shapes and connectors — and snap together, you can create all kinds of block, twisty, articulated things. Think of it as a 3D printing-enabled analog to K’NEX, or, loosely, LEGO. Except it’s totally free and the design files are openly available for you to create your own.

Who made it? MakeAnything

Where to download: MyMiniFactory

What is it? You have a coat, and you like 3D printing. Surely there’s a way to smash those two facts together?

Inspired by E3D’s distinctive nozzle shape, this coat hook is just such a doodad, helping your coat to defy gravity and decorating your wall with novelty oversize printing peripherals. What’s not to love?

Who made it? Filar3D

Where to download: Cults

What is it? It must be a boom time for the bigwigs of the succulent industry, what with the sheer number of planters and pots proliferating the 3D model repositories of late.

This particular plant-protector is remixed from an anatomical model of a brain and, according to creator DrFemPop, prints easier than it looks. Minimal gluing post-print is necessary for assembly, making it an easy route to a neat and distinctive home for a plant.

Who made it: DrFemPop

Where to download: Cults

What is it? Hodor door wedges, step aside. This simple solution to holding a door needs only a couple of strips of double-sided tape for a semi-permanent solution; no awkward kicking at a wedge necessary.

Who made it? Akiraraiser

Where to download: Thingiverse

What is it? A funky looking hog designed to scoop up your spare change. Supports are needed for the rim of the cap on the bank’s underside, but besides that, all is as appears, with no trickery or advanced settings for printing. A simple piggy for a simple job.

Who made it? lecaramel

Where to download: Thingiverse

An ingenious use for spare scraps of filament, Sunshine’s zip-tie print is perhaps the smartest system we’ve seen yet, complete with a print out size guide to ensure the filament fits your ties. The clips themselves print as part of a sheet, with easy breakaway supports for a clean workspace. Neat.

Who made it: Sunshine

Where to download: Cults

You ask a reasonable question, with no measurable timeframe the answer. They facetiously reply “How long is a piece of string?”. You fist-pump triumphantly, “I do, you metaphorical trickster.” Producing the Geneva Roller Ruler from your pocket, you yell “Behold.” Awe ensues; respect earned.

Be in no doubt about the length of turns of phrase, or indeed any turn, curve and non-linear stretches of things ever again, thanks to this 3D printable measuring device. Needing only a couple of Philips head screws and few printed parts, this Geneva Roller Ruler can help you measure along a path in 5mm increments.

Who made it: MechEngineerMike

Where to download: Thingiverse

When confronted with the Fully Compliant Pliers, visions came to mind of a nameless bureaucrat rubber stamping plastic thingies because yes they are indeed, plastic thingies. In reality, this small single-piece print takes the input force you exert when pinching the handle, and redistributes it to the gripper at the end. It is, undoubtedly, a pair of pliers. Just smarter.

Who made it: BYU_CMR

Where to download: Thingiverse

When the Altoid corporation started stamping out little tins for their curiously strong mints, who’d have thunk it would inspire a cottage industry of hackers repurposing the stylish boxes for all sorts of inventive ends.

One of the latest Altoids tin retrofits comes in the form of this natty battery holder mod. No more overflowing pockets filled with loose batteries for you, you power-prepared clutz. Keep them safely stowed and easily accessible.

Who made it: dave312

Where to download: Thingiverse

Cults user Syboulette adds to their collection of fancy screwtop pots with this hexagonally textured tub. According to the image, ideal for oats! Other grains are available.

Who made it: Syboulette

Where to download: Cults

Modeled after the Gayer-Anderson Cat housed at the British Museum, this judgemental looking kitty keeps your doors from being ajar. Note that it contains a void by design, allowing you to fill with weighty material for added heft.

Who made it: Duaneindeed

Where to download: Cults

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your appreciation for the one you love with this lil’ special somethin. A remix of buho29’s original Jewelry Rose Box, it features handy dividers and detailed assembly instructions. Print in your woodiest of filaments and varnish for a classy aged look.

Who made it: TheGreatMrBill

Where to download: Thingiverse

Not useful in the traditional sense, since the bubonic plague is mostly a thing of the past, but say your cat/dog/significant other has left a nasty mess you can’t bear to deal with unprotected. Fight the fumes with this medieval classic! Stuff with the incense of your choosing and have a happy, stink-free March. Or, you know, use it as a carnival mask — each to their own.

Who made it: Odrivious

Where to download: Cults

Brighten up your home with this funky printable. Derived from Harvhammas’s original Nanoleaf Light Panel Replica, this smart version improves on the software for controlling the LED lights, alongside detailed instructions and a large number of printable parts for configuring the setup as you need it.

Who made it: Surrbradl08

Where to download: Thingiverse

Inspired by research into stiffness actuators, this adjustable auto-winding spool holder uses a 3D spring and adjustable clutch to rewind itself up to four full rotations. It’s the ideal holder for tidying up pesky material changes.

Who made it: VincentGoenhuis

Where to download: Thingiverse

Don’t you hate it when you submerge things in water, and they come out all wet? What’s that all about? There’s got to be an easier way.

Cults user ZX82 has the solution in this 99%-printed waterproof box. Print in PLA or PETG with plenty of walls, top, and bottom layers, add a seal from flexible TPU and throw in a handful of M3 screws for the spring hinge and you’re all set.

Who made it: ZX82

Where to download: Cults

Designed to be printed completely flat to give a glossy first-layer finish on all surfaces, this instant dice is snap-fit and ready to roll.

Who made it: Devin Montes (MakeAnything)

Where to download: MyMiniFactory

Can a coat hanger ever really be cool? Probably not. Being able to produce one at the drop of a hat, pick up said hat, and then stow it along with your coat, however, is.

Who made it: Komaru

Where to download: Thingiverse

New Year, new you? Or was is new brew? The excesses of Christmas may be over, but that doesn’t mean a portable six-pack needs to be more than an arm’s reach away, not least with this handy carrier. Print completely solid to avoid a bottle-breaking tragedy.

Who made it: seabeast

Where to download: Thingiverse

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

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

24

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

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

31

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

32

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

33

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

34

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

35

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

36

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.

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

38

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

39

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

40

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

41

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

42

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

43

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

44

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

45

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

46

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

47

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

48

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

49

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

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 May 2019" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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