Functional Prints

I’ve been holed up with a sprained for a couple of days and was feeling the urge to make something. I pulled out the 3D printer (and had to chase the cat out of it while trying to set it up).

I started going through YouMagine, Thingiverse, and Pinshape, looking for things to make. I found a few things to add to my collections of things I want to print. There’s a unicorn a friend of mine wanted me to print. I absolutely want to try one of these blossoming lamps, though I wasn’t looking for anything quite that ambitious at that hour of the night. I toyed with the idea of printing something functional, like a headband.

I ended up printing an add-on piece for my printer. One of the things that can be frustrating with the Ultimaker design (which over all I love) is that it’s easy to lose the little blue clip that holds the bowden tube in place inside the printhead. Because of this, a lot of people print extra clips. Someone was thinking ahead though and make a cover to go over the hole so you don’t drop the clip in there in the first place. I printed one, and it came out beautiful.


Encouraged, I kept going.

I tried the unicorn next, but I should have turned on the brim option for the supports to help stabilize them. Sadly, the unicorn did not survive last night, though I’ll try again another day.


While the unicorn was printing, I started itching to design something. I didn’t want to do anything too ambitious–my design skills leave a lot to be desired. There was a hinged box I had my eye on to print, and I thought I might make an insert that would fit inside it that I could use to organize my earrings.

Unfortunately, I realized that the box I liked was a rounded rectangle–it looked great, but I don’t know how to make a rounded rectangle in TinkerCAD (I’m not sure it’s possible), and I haven’t managed to learn any of the other programs I’ve downloaded.

Still, I figured I could use it as a learning experience, and I decided to make a freestanding little earring holder. I used TinkerCAD and made a rectangle with 2 legs, and cut out holes for the earrings. I made the holes square shaped, 1mm x 1mm. Excited, I hit print.

It didn’t quite turn out. The holes on the side by the heated plate had actually closed over, and the plastic was too strong to puncture it open again with an earring, even though the holes looked okay on the other side.

I scaled the model up by 150% and went to print it again.


I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, even though this model doesn’t fit into anyone else’s box. I went straight away and posted it on YouMagine and on Thingiverse.

A little heady with my minor success, I thought I’d try something more ambitious. Since my earring holder won’t fit into any of the existing boxes I was going to use, I decided to make one. A hinged box is a little beyond my skill, but I thought i might be able to pull off.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.32.44 AM

I’ve made the files now, but it was a little late to start printing them last night. The next step will be to print everything and see if all the parts actually fit the way I expect them to. Wish me luck?

(And I managed to start writing the next chapter of my Dramione story after weeks of writer’s block.)


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