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20 things you’ll never have to buy again if you own a 3D printer

useful 3d printed household items pen holder
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When 3D printing first arrived, enthusiasts imagined a future of desktop factories where people wouldn’t need to drive out to a store to get things they needed anymore. Instead, they could just download pre-made designs from the internet and print them from the comfort of their own home.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that day has finally come.

Modern 3D printers may not be in every household quite yet, but the internet is already filled with millions of ready-to-print objects. Name practically any household item you could ever need, and there’s likely a printable version of it online. Not all these things are worth the plastic they’re printed from, but some of them are downright genius — not to mention totally free to download.

Below you’ll find a collection of notable examples for an assortment of useful items — but keep in mind that the objects pictured aren’t your only option. There are tons of alternate designs available online, so feel free to search around!

Shower heads

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Ever wanted a little more choice when it comes to your bathing experience? 3D printed shower heads are the answer. These faucets may not play music, change colors, or save water, but who knows what the 3D printed shower accessories of tomorrow hold!

Bottle openers

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There’s nothing worse than needing a bottle opener and not having one handy. Okay, so that’s obviously not true — but whatever. Why suffer through such a minor inconvenience when you can easily print a bottle opener for every room of your house?


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There are hundreds of 3D printed flower pots to choose from online, but this simple capsule design is one of our favorites — as is this self-watering planter from Parallel Goods.

Outlet protectors

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These 3D printed outlet plugs are an easy way to prevent children from inserting objects into electric outlets. Safety considerations aside, 3D printing your own lets you add some flair to an otherwise mundane item.

Pen holders/desk organizers

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Do you have an inordinate number of pens and no place to arrange them? Good news: there’s a veritable truckload of pen holders online that will help you display all your writing utensils in an organized yet aesthetically pleasing fashion.

Drink coasters

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Countertop rings can be unsightly. Thankfully, coasters exist to save us from this unspeakable tragedy. And the best part? They typically take just a few minutes to print.

Wall mounts … for anything

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From guitars to skateboards to frames, there’s definitely no shortage of clever, creative, and customizable mounting solutions on 3D object repositories like Thingiverse.

Windshield scrapers

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During if you live in a place that regularly freezes over, a decent (and easily replaceable) windshield scraper is a must. The beauty of rolling around with a 3D printed one is that, if you lose or break it, you can just print another one right away.

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Measuring cups are crucial for the exact science of baking, but they always seem to go missing after a few years (especially if you move around a lot or live with roommates). Luckily, there are hordes of them in different shapes and sizes for you to print.

Citrus juicers

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Ever get to a point in a recipe and realize you are woefully ill-equipped to extract the juice from a lemon? Save yourself the dread and print yourself up a citrus juicer on the cheap.

Chip clips

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So you failed to completely demolish that bag of Cool Ranch Doritos in one sitting, huh? We’ve all been there. Thankfully, there’s a variety of handy clips to keep your choice munchies fresh until you’re ready to give them another go.

Toothpaste tube squeezers

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Dental hygiene is nothing to laugh at, and neither are micro-ounces of wasted toothpaste. The good news, however, is that finding the right tool to help you squeeze every last drop from the tube should be a breeze.

Candle holders

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Are you a big candle person? (No — not you, giant man made of wax!). Well if you are, and you’re running out of clever ways to house and display your flickering flames, check out the numerous candle holder designs available online.


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Want to show off those cuttings you’re so proud of, but tired of the boring vases you’ve got? Out of all the things you could decide to print, vases may be the most numerous. You’ve got a ton of options here.

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So you finally managed to lose that wedge of wood you’ve been using to hold the door open for 25 years? Why not replace it with something more thoughtful, functional, or quirky? There are zillions of great doorstop designs on the web, including the fantastic one pictured above.

Earbud holders

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Anyone who has owned earbuds is no stranger to the dark magic that happens when you attempt to store them. Avoid all those tangles and frustration by printing yourself a stylish and practical cable organizer/holder.

Zipper pull replacements

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The feeling of losing a zipper pull handle is a truly hopeless one, but not if you can print! With various styles and methods of installation, you’ll be sure to find your preferred zipper miracle with no fuss.

Drain covers/ hair traps

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Whether it’s hair in your shower or noodles in your sink, a clogged drain is never fun. Keep gunk out with a drain cover of your choice — be it for sink, shower, or tub.

Smartphone and tablet stands

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Want to give your device of choice a bit more posture, but don’t want to pay for a pricey branded phone stand? Print one! They come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations.

Phone cases

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Tired of getting a new phone case every time you get a new phone? Well, if you pick up a 3D printer, you’ll be able to fabricate a brand-new, fully-customized smartphone case whenever you need one.

Editors' Recommendations

Forrest Daniels
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As a young woman Forrest discovered her passion for technology and art through her family's monstrous collection of goofy 90s…
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