What awesome things can I do with my 3d printer?
April 16, 2021 4:10 PM   Subscribe

I have a 3d printer available, and am looking for some fun project and volunteering ideas!

1. Elaborate projects? I love mechanics, automata, robotics, and the like, along with dinosaurs, outer space, and all things science in general. An orrery, a tourbillon clock, and an armillary sphere are at the top of the list of things to make, and I would love others like this.
2. Is there anything I can print/build to donate somewhere? I'm assuming COVID PPE is pretty much covered by now, the only thing I've really been able to find is e-NABLE, but they look to have far more volunteers than clients at the moment.
3. I would love to print a 3-d model of my dog, there are a lot of phone apps for 3-d scanning but it's hard to tell what's any good, reviews I find are usually ads. Recommendations?
posted by Bionic Raven to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: Printer build plate is 9"x10".
posted by Bionic Raven at 4:12 PM on April 16


Best answer: If you like mechanical devices (which your wishlist suggests) you probably want a Curta scale model.
posted by jackbishop at 4:19 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Meta, but also fun and almost practical: a 3d printed printing press.
posted by Sublimity at 4:35 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Best answer: I’d print a model of the Antikythera mechanism.
posted by bq at 4:38 PM on April 16


Best answer: Check in with Makers Making Change: they may have a chapter in your area that needs help. I worked for them until March, but the funding for my position ran out.
posted by scruss at 4:51 PM on April 16


Best answer: I have a friend who prints toys and little tools for a therapist who works with special needs kids.

You can print people's names, ham radio callsigns, etc. People like stuff like that!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:01 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I've been eyeballing an entry-level 3D printer, and in order to justify the cost I've been making lists of stuff I'd like to make.

One thing I've gotten into the idea of is using the printer to make negative molds for other media such as plaster and resin.

I'm also thinking of making 3D topographic maps, in tiles, of my area which I could assemble into a big, um, thing on a wall.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:10 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Best answer: How about a Stereographic projection device ? See also 3d printing math.
posted by dhruva at 4:22 AM on April 17


Best answer: Yeah, 3-D topo map layers that could be stacked and painted as wall art would be cool.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:59 AM on April 17


Best answer: Stencils.

A "no solicitors" sign.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:59 AM on April 17


Best answer: Tensegrity demos always blow my mind.
posted by porpoise at 12:46 PM on April 17


Response by poster: These are great, thank you all for the ideas! (Yes, every single one of these went onto my project list) I really love the Antikythera mechanism, that will be an amazing project when I can access the laser cutter at work again post-covid!
posted by Bionic Raven at 9:03 PM on April 19


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