MakerBot 3D printer. Source: WhiteClouds
MakerBot 3D printer. Source: WhiteClouds

A lot of people are interested in 3D printing these days. Many are considering buying a 3D printer for their home. The question is, “what to 3D print?”

That depends on your interest and level of 3D modeling experience. For those without any 3D modeling experience, Thingiverse is a great resource for 3D printable files. There are also programs designed for beginners, such as Tinkercad, SketchUp, or 123D Design by Autodesk.

You can 3D print such things as game pieces, toys, figurines, replacement parts for appliances around your house, pencil holders, or other useful gadgets. For those who want to help others, E-Nable is an organization that pairs up people with 3D printers and people who need 3D printed prosthetics.

3D printing your own designs can be an exciting way to hold your ideas in your hand. You can also design special, customized items for birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings. Before you buy a 3D printer, you may want to consider a few things:

  • Your level of 3D modeling experience
  • Your patience with machinery that sometimes need trouble-shooting
  •  How often you will actually use the 3D printer
  • Recycling 3D prints
  • Cost of materials 

For those who would like to 3D print something without worrying about the cost and hassle of owning a 3D printer, 3D printing services, such as WhiteClouds, can create the prints for you.

Whatever you choose, getting into 3D printing will likely change how you think about products, designs, and manufacturing. You may decide it’s not for you, or it may be something that ignites your passion and sets the stage for a lifetime of creating.

For more information about 3D printing, check out our 3DPedia Index, read our article about 3D Printing Technologies, or read Where do I Begin to learn more about where to start.