-Andy Leer (Merchandise Manager for Maker Boards/3D Printing)
With the warm weather here, we’ve gathered up some fun, useful prints for your summer picnics. Many of these prints solve problems that aren’t really problems or could perhaps be solved another way, but we have 3D printers, so let us 3D print. As always, there are some considerations to be taken when printing anything that might be used in hot weather. For our prints, we used Inland Filament’s PLA+. This stuff prints well and gave us prints that were strong enough for the purposes of the prints but it is worth noting that in the hot summer sun, be it on a stretch of blacktop or residing inside of a motor vehicle, these items may deform. You may consider printing in a more temperature resilient filament such as PETG or ABS if you're concerned with that. However, for our purposes, the PLA + worked just fine.
Again, while none of the prints are super necessary for a successful summer picnic, we found them fun to print, and each had a uniqueness to its function. All prints were under a few hours of printing, no week-long prints, and could fit on an Ender 3 or larger bed size. All prints are found on Thingiverse.com, and the links will be in the content below.
Credit: Thingiverse User sneaks - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4836815
Our first print on the list was this unique chip clip. The design and dino aesthetic drew us in. I’m always a fan of any print-in-place style prints, and this one did not disappoint. Printed at 20% infill, without supports, this chip clip does a fine job of holding an open bag of chips closed. No supports were necessary as it has a breakaway piece built into the .stl already. It was important to read the directions and understand how to get it to move correctly initially. Make sure to remove the small support tab and then close the tail towards the jaw of the dino clip to free the parts and have initial movement. We printed a number of these, and people always seem to enjoy the look and function of them.
Credit: Thingiverse User In3Designs - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1097099
The second print we looked at for this roundup was “Universal Bottle Opener.” This comes in handy with can pop tops, 20oz, and 2-liter twist caps, and non-twist-off bottles. Each function worked as expected and maybe a little better. For this, upping the infill to 30% seemed like a good idea and definitely helped the print structurally. While again not really needing this print, it was fun to see the utility of it put to use and actually be able to perform on its promises.
Credit: Thingiverse User tomato18 - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4792654
The 3rd print was a small and quick one. This pistachio opening tool proved to be surprisingly effective at freeing the pistachio from its shell. It was probably the fastest print on our list, it was fun to print multiple and give them out to pistachio lovers. And while I’ve yet to acquire a true taste for the pistachio, the utility was still pretty cool. With this again, a 30% infill is recommended, and make sure to turn on supports as there is a small bit of it that has a complete overhang. With supports, this makes the print clean and ready/easy to use right after removing said support.
Credit: Thingiverse User 3DBROOKLYN - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1658338
The fourth print on the list really stretched the moniker of useful; however, with its relatively quick print time and impressive look, it was still fun to use and test on different cans of cola. This 12oz can holder/handle, allows the user to keep a cool beverage in their hand without fear of warming up the drink too quickly or cooling down your hand. It’s important to print this laying on its side for proper layer strength while in use. The only drawback to this model is that it does make the can slightly more unstable when just sitting on the table as it does not have a complete base due to its sideways printing.
Credit: Thingiverse User YoungBuck - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:128136
The final print was a set of hooks for the back headrest in a car to hold a trash bag. These handy hooks provide a helpful place to dispose of small trash in your vehicle. These hooks took the longest to print, at close to 4.5 hours. They are much larger than I expected but worked well. You will need to print supports and be careful when removing the supports as, due to the design, you may break off one of the upper curves. After a few trial and error prints, we had a set that worked well in our vehicle and held the bag and trash just fine.
This was a fun roundup, and I learned a bit as I made these items along the way. The use of strategic supports, reading all instructions on the thingiverse.com page, and using the proper infill all helped make these prints a success. Look for more themed helpful print roundups in the future and be sure to check out our Print of the Month - and enter to win five free spools of filament!
The trash bag holder is brilliant. I just finished printing a pair but they're so strong I used just one side each for two cars.
Love these ideas, the useful little things that can be overlooked until you realize you can make them!
Adding this to the list of prints for me to just admire but never use because Its too hot to leave the cave 😂
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