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3D Printing Diary: DIY designs that have saved me a trip to the hardware store

When I first ordered my 3D printer, I didn’t know what I’d end up building with it. Like many, I began by downloading projects made by others, but building my own 3D print designs was my ultimate goal. Until I found proper hardware and easy-to-use modeling software, there were several times over the first month or two that I occasionally felt a bit of buyer’s remorse. This feeling quickly disappeared once I started making custom 3D print designs to fix issues lurking around the house. In this guide I’ll cover what I’ve designed recently and how long it took to make.

Deadbolt Cover

I recently bought a passcode-protected door handle for one of my home’s secondary exterior entrances. Switching it out was simple, but there used to be a deadbolt on that door that I did want to have any longer. I knew once I removed the deadbolt there would be a gaping hole so I quickly designed a deadbolt cover very similar to what you’d spend a few dollars on.

It works flawlessly and cost around 50 cents to build. Using Tinkercad and my digital caliper for measurements, this 3D print design took about 15 minutes to create. My 3D printer spit out the project in somewhere around an hour. It turned out to be both faster and less expensive to build thanks to having a 3D printer.

Key Holder

Next up, we needed a container for holding our keys. The design is quite simple, with a hollow cylinder that is cut out along the top. The back it is recessed 2 millimeters to provide enough room for Command Strips to hold it up any desired wall. This 3D print design took just a few minutes to make, less than 30 minutes to build, and cost around 25 cents or so.

Dutch Door Wedge

We have a dutch door in our home and it has always frustrated my wife and I that it rattles when being opened or closed. After living with it for over a year, I finally took measurements of the top and bottom door widths and created a wedge that holds them snugly together. Unsurprisingly this 3D print design took just a few minutes to create, less than 10 minutes for my printer to build, and cost around 10 cents.

These designs are just a few of the ones that I have made when an idea has popped into my head. With well over a dozen fixes like this under my belt, my 3D printer has really made itself useful. Additionally, it has been both fun and fulfilling to be able to come up with my own 3D print designs. For this reason (along with many others) I highly recommend the purchase of a 3D printers to friends and our readers. I’ve even made a handy list of recommendations for those looking to get started.

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