A new generation of machines has recently begun to sweep the world of crafting.
3D printers were initially made for the purpose of creating prototypes. In fact, they are still used in industrial settings as rapid prototyping machines.
However, the modelling software was much more difficult to use, and on top of that quite expensive.
What was once reserved for engineers and designers has since become a staple in many libraries and schools.
With the production of 3D printers increasing and the price decreasing, more and more people will be able to use these once futuristic devices in the comfort of their home.
Since 3D printers have become so accessible to the individual, they are excellent for turning concepts into realities.
If a person can imagine an object, they can make it in a matter of hours.
Functional 3D Print Crafts
One of the most essential uses of 3D printers is the ability to make custom pieces to fit the need for objects in everyday life.
Rather than spending money on parts that may take a while to arrive or may not be an exact replacement, people can now create precise replicas in 3D modelling software and print their own solutions.
This opens doors for a new wave of DIY crafters. People can even print replacement pieces for their printer if something breaks.
3D printers allow for people to be able to customize repairs around their home. Wall plate covers, tile levelling systems, crown molding extensions, clipper guards, battery adapters – the possibilities are endless.
Functional prints do not just have to be objects that see everyday use. Those who want to use 3D printers for its original intentions now have an easier time than ever.
As with other items, now that the modeling software has become so accessible to the average person, anyone can successfully design and print their concepts.
For example, if a person wants to build a coffee table with secret compartments, but does not want to spend the money on wood, they can just model their idea in any computer-aided design software and then print a small prototype.
While the printing itself can take a while if the print is quite detailed or large, it saves the user money and time that may have been wasted meticulously carving a piece of test wood and having to repeat the process for each iteration.
Fun 3D Print Crafts
3D printers are great for more than just creating custom solutions for everyday problems.
Since the modeling software has become much more accessible to the public, communities of people experimenting with 3D crafts have popped up all over the globe.
Cosplay is increasing popular which means that designs for 3D-printed costume pieces are becoming incredibly popular as well.
With just a bit of modeling, one can make realistic armor pieces, elaborate crowns, and beautifully detailed props.
Flexible filaments such as nylon are perfect for creating effects that fabric cannot do alone.
Before the new printing technology, one would have to work tirelessly with messy crafting supplies to make costume pieces that were bumpy and unpolished.
Not to mention, that if the final product was unsatisfactory to the creator, they would either have to start over from scratch or be stuck with a product with which they were unhappy.
Gone are the days of these frustrations thanks to the increasing popularity of 3D crafts and open source software.
An artist can now perfect their costume design with 3D modeling and only have to print it once, saving time and materials.
The creator is no longer restricted by materials that do not come in the correct colors. Printer filament can easily be painted with any readily available craft paint.
Here’s a video showing a 3D printed superhero mask.
With the prevalence of open sourced and free 3D modeling software and the accompanying tutorials, learning how to create elaborate art pieces have never been easier.
There has been a considerable uptick in the amount of 3D-modeled jewelry that is sold in online boutiques and at craft fairs.
This kind of custom product also makes beautiful and personalized gifts. The products can be painted to match a favorite color, or can be cast in metal for a dazzling finish.
Or, if so desired, there are services for the designer with the ability to print 3D crafts with metal filament. If the designer uses the correct filaments and printer, one could theoretically make a business off of printed jewelry and other 3D crafts.
The only limits are the imagination and determination.
In the same vein as jewelry, 3D printers also can make original art pieces.
With enough practice and patience, anyone can learn how to use 3D modeling or CAD (computer-aided design) software as a creative outlet.
There are numerous types of printer filament that can be used to make the art pieces unique, such as glow in the dark, flexible nylon, or even biodegradable wood filament!
If the designer does not want to design their piece in such a way that it can be assembled at a later date, however, the size of the printer will be the limiting factor.
The quality of the art also depends on how long the artist is willing to wait for their print.
Remember, higher quality prints require an extended printing time.
Figurines and models have skyrocketed in their production over the last few years.
3D printers prove to be one of the most excellent ways to make figures that rival the ever-popular Funko Pop! Collectables.
Printing figurines or doll parts is a great option for those with interest in doll customization. One can create new body parts without having to sculpt messy clays or fillers.
With the right design, a person could even print an entirely moveable toy.
There would be supports and excess filament that would need to be taken out before the toy was able to move, but making complete toys in one print is possible.
You can purchase printer filament that is made out of the same materials as Lego pieces and create their own custom building blocks.
Have you tried using a 3D printer?