As 3D printed objects have made their way to food, toys and even fashion, why not home improvement? From home accessories to tools, 3D printing is making new possibilities in the DIY market.
In April, Lowe’s announced that it would begin offering in-store and online 3D printing and scanning. It’s already available in the Lowe’s brand Orchard Supply Hardware store in Mountain View, CA and online at www.osh.com.
Customers can customize and print things like cabinet knobs, light switch plates and door handles—or even scan out-of-production items. Lowe’s system is designed for those that are not 3D enthusiasts. They want an easy process for anyone to use.
If you don’t want to go to the store, 3D printers are available to buy online or at select Lowe’s stores, as well as Home Depot and Walmart. That makes it easy to bring your 3D printing home and create anything you can dream up.
Home Décor and Household Items
Besides creating your own designs, you can find designs you can use online. 3D printing site Aniwaa has put together a helpful page of home décor and household item designs available to print from Thingiverse and Shapeways (among others) for every room in your home. These include everything from garden tools to lamps to toothbrush holders to pet supplies.
Redecorating your home can be done easier, faster and cheaper by designing and printing what you want. Instead of wasting time searching from store to store, just design and print the perfect complementary pieces for a fraction of the price.
How aggravating is it when a door handle or window crank breaks on you? Trying to find the exact replacement part isn’t always easy, if they’re even still available. You usually end up having to buy a whole new kit to get the one little piece you need…or you just leave it as is.
These types of items break every day, but now you can 3D print a replacement part. You can find designs for things like screen door handles, replacement knobs for appliances and pipes of whatever size or shape you need. You can even get as specific as a Hungry, Hungry Hippos replacement launch lever.
How many times have you searched the house for a wrench just to simply tighten a bolt? IKEA is famous for including a specific tool for their DIY furniture that ends up in “nowhere land” after you initially put the piece together. Now you can simply 3D print the tools that you need and customize the grip for your hands or design it for those hard-to-reach areas.
You can even 3D print a miniature table saw thanks to Jon Harrop. He designed it so that he could build things with his 7-year-old son. His design is available on Thingiverse and includes what other materials you’ll need.
All of these designs are available now. As 3D printers in the home become more common, so will additional and more advanced designs. Avi Reichental (@AviReichental), president and CEO of 3D Systems, envisions a day when every room in the house will have a 3D printer. Home improvement designs as a practical application may make that a reality sooner than later.
What type of home tools or items would you design? Tell us in the comments below.
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Image Source: Creative Tools (Flickr)