3D Printer Projects & Ideas: What to 3D Print

This guide to 3D printer projects and ideas is your stepping stone into the innovative world of 3D printing, offering endless possibilities for creation.

Whether you’re looking to craft bespoke home decor, functional gadgets, or personalized gifts, this article will provide you with a rich selection of ideas that cater to beginners and experienced makers alike.

You’ll benefit from easy-to-follow project recommendations and see how each can be a learning opportunity to refine your 3D printing skills.

As an experienced 3D printing enthusiast, I’ll share with you project insights and give you some ideas to start printing right away.

Get ready to turn your digital designs into impressive physical objects!

What Can You Make With a 3D Printer?

3D printing has completely changed our consumer habits because we can 3D print practically anything from a keychain to a bridge.

Yes, there’s a 3D-printed stainless steel bridge, and it’s just the start of a promising sector that could revolutionize urban design and architectural needs.

Another amazing use for 3D printers is food. While it’s still being researched worldwide, this field will definitely change what we eat in the near future.

Here’s a quick overview of the possibilities offered by a 3D printer in everyday life. Of course, not all of them are suited for a home 3D printer – at least, not yet.

Household objects – This is one of the most broad and popular uses of 3D printers, from a custom-size shelf to a custom-shape cookie cutter. You can 3D print everything you need for your kitchen, bathroom, home office, and more.

Phone cases and accessories – From customized cases to fun and original phone stands, there’s a wide variety of 3D printable objects in this category.

Fashion and accessories – You can 3D print wearable items from dresses to shoes to jewelry. Last summer, for example, Balenciaga presented a 3D-printed hand-painted dress as part of the collection. However, jewelry is so far the most available item in this sector.

Gardening and garden decorations – Everything from self-watering planters to a garden gnome. Of course, you can also print tools such as a rake or a shovel. Whatever you need for your garden or your balcony, you can 3D print.

Games and toys – You can 3D print anything from a missing part of your board game to customized toys that look like you.

Replacement parts – It’s not just about the missing piece of your game; it’s also about an attachment broken on your vintage blender or a customized part for your drone. You can 3D print anything you need to get your machines and devices running quickly.

Prototypes – If you’re a designer, engineer, start-up, or inventor, you can 3D print all your prototypes. It’s also great for students working on their projects.

Costumes and cosplay accessories – This field is for a small niche of users, but these items are in high demand. Costumes often need specific accessories that are difficult to find on the market. You can 3D print anything you like to the size you need.

Prosthetics – This field is just starting, but it shows great potential. Medical prosthetics can be 3D printed to fit comfortably any person and suit specific needs. While discussing medical uses, let me tell you that researchers are working on printing skin and organs that could help save lives or improve the quality of life of many patients.

Interior design items – Whether it’s a vase or a chair – interior designers are turning to 3D printing to optimize the cost and work time of their projects as well as opening new possibilities unthinkable before.

Custom merchandise – From items with your logo to custom QR codes, many business owners seek 3D-printed items.

What Do People 3D Print the Most?

Out of the many materials you can use to 3D print something, plastic is the most used. To be more specific, the most commonly used material is polylactic acid (PLA).

Regarding the designs, some of the most popular projects involve toys and 3D household items.

3D Printing Ideas for Beginners

A green toy boat on top of a table.

As much as we would all love to jump into one of those amazing designs we’ve seen online, it’s better to start slow.

First of all, you need to calibrate and test your machine. Then, choose simple projects until you get the hang of it. Here are a few 3D printing ideas to get you started.

Calibration cube

The first thing you should print if you’ve just gotten a 3D printer is a calibration cube. This allows you to calibrate the printer – as the name says. This way, you can adjust it if it needs it.

You’ll find many calibration cubes online. This one by Halit is a 10mm cube with the letters X, Y, and Z on the sides.


3DBenchy is a cute plastic boat. Despite its cuteness, it’s a torture test design to benchmark and test 3D printers. This will help you to calibrate your machine. Then, you can keep it as a decorative piece on your desk.

Smartphone stand

If your 3D printer is already calibrated and working properly, a good starting project is a smartphone stand. We all use one, and you can make it as simple or creative as possible.

Here’s the design of a smartphone stand shaped like a cat. Its designer, CEREGA, did it for iPhone and iPad, but it works pretty much for any phone and tablet.

What is the Fastest Thing to 3D Print? 3 Fast and Easy 3D Printing Ideas

A person holding a green flute with holes in it.

Sometimes, we don’t have much time to spend on complex designs. Maybe you want to show how the 3D printer works, or you need to 3D print a tool for a job you’re working on right now. Perhaps you need a small present to bring to a party.

Whatever the reason, if you’re wondering what is the fastest thing to 3D print, consider choosing something small and simple. Flat designs without intricate details are the quickest.

Generally speaking, choose a low-poly model with thin walls because more complex designs will take longer.

However, the time it takes to 3D print an item depends on the printer’s settings and capabilities. Here are some item ideas you can 3D print quite quickly.


Bookmarks are one of the easiest and fastest 3D printing projects. They are always useful to have around the house and make a perfect present on any occasion.

Many designs are available online if you don’t feel like doing your own. I found this one that’s already beautiful as designed by Craeen, but you can also customize the text so that it becomes a thoughtful gift.


Another fast and easy project for your 3D printer is a whistle. You can make a bunch of them to give out as party favors, or you can print a dog whistle or a very useful survival whistle.

If you’re going camping, attending a crowded event with your children, or you’re walking home alone at night, a survival whistle can be a lifesaver. So, here’s a project for you to print your own, designed by V29.


One more thing that you can 3D print is coasters. Of course, each design will have a different printing time according to the amount of details it has.

Simple and clean designs such as this puzzle-piece coaster by Atelier Boo should be quite fast, and they’re a very creative way to protect your table.

5 Kitchen & Bathroom 3D Printing Ideas

Some of the most common things people like to 3D print are household items. This allows them to customize the measurements to fit specific spaces available at home, choose the design and color accordingly with the rest of the decoration, etc.

Here are a few ideas for kitchen and bathroom accessories.

Customizable measuring spoons

If you like to cook and bake, you know how useful a set of measuring spoons is. Here, you’ll find the files to print your own. The design is by Charliearmorycom.

To print the most common U.S. sizes, simply download the .stl file. However, if you want imperial measures or you prefer to customize the sizes, then use the customizer or the OpenSCAD file.

Juice squeezer

Do you enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed juice every morning? Then, this is the 3D printing project for you.

Here, you’ll find a portable juicer that’s easy to print and easy to use, designed by SMAY01.

Towel hanger

This 3D-printed item can be used in the kitchen or the bathroom. A towel hanger is always useful to keep your rooms organized and your towels clean and dry.

Hamza Khattab designed a couple of supports you can use with a broomstick to make the towel hanger the size you want with a minimum budget. You can find the design here.


Are you looking for a way to keep sponges clean and dry? This hook, designed by SPCH, serves to hang a loofa on your shower, but you can also use it to hang the sponge at the kitchen sink. Check it out here.

Fun shower heads

If you’re trying to transition your kids from bath time to shower time, a fun and colorful showerhead can do the trick.

They’re also a good way to personalize your bathroom, even as an adult with a playful spirit. You can find many different choices to fit every taste.

Here, you’ll find the files to 3D print a T-Rex shower head designed by JMSchwartz11. It fits 1/2″ shower pipes; you’ll find two files to fit different water streams.

3 Office & Classroom 3D Printing Ideas

A colorful plastic storage box sitting on top of a desk.

Whether you spend your days in an office, a classroom, a lab, or a workshop, you can 3D print almost everything you need.

Here are a few items that we commonly use regardless of our profession. They’re easy to print, so you can do them even if you’re just starting out.

Cable Holder

If you’re tired of tangled cables or trying to fetch the cable from under your desk every time you want to charge your phone, you need a cable holder.

There are many downloadable designs for you to 3D print a cable holder. Here, you’ll find a customizable cable holder designed by Exceeder.

You’ll find many designs to fit different cable sizes and with various slots according to how many cables you want to fit. However, if none of them is right for you, you can use OpenSCAD to customize the design and print your own.

Stationary organizer

Whether you’re looking to tidy up your desk at the office or the one in a classroom, a stationary organizer will come in handy.

You’ll find plenty of designs to choose from online. Some of them are just pen holders, while others are more complex and have a space for clips, a scotch tape dispenser, etc.

Here’s a beautiful design for a pen holder shaped like a honeycomb created by Homnibus.


Needless to say, clips are useful in every office and classroom. So, why not 3D print some clips that are fun and unique? You’ll find plenty of designs online. Otherwise, you can create your own with your initials or your logo.

To get your creativity going, here are some shark-shaped clips designed by Muzz64.

Tools & Gadgets to 3D Print

Lego teenage mutant ninja turtles.

If you’re looking to 3D print items that can make your life easier, you’ll love these tools and gadgets.


LiftPod is a foldable stand for compact cameras, smartphones, tablets, Nintendo Switch, and other devices. Basically, anything you can tie to an Arca-Swiss plate for tripod cameras.

Of course, you need to check that everything is mounted correctly and that it can support the weight. Please follow the advice of the designer HeyVye to avoid any damage to your devices when using the stand.

Pinhole camera

Since Shotkit is a photography website and most of us are either professional photographers or camera lovers, I couldn’t resist adding this amazing 3D printing project.

That’s right, you can print a fully functional pinhole camera. This design is called terraPic ACME, and it was created and perfected over three years of work by Todd Schlemmer.

It’s a 6×6 medium format camera and you can see a collection of the pictures Todd has made with it on his Flickr account.

3D Printing Projects for Kids

A boy holding a toy banana.

Kids love 3D printing projects because they can give free rein to their imagination. The DIY assembling part of the more complex projects is also a great way to spend some time together and help them develop mechanical skills.

Here are a few ideas.


Kids love flexi-animals; you can find a wide variety, from dinosaurs to sleepy cats. Just to give you a quick example, this is an articulated monkey designed by Fixum Dude.

Arms, neck, and legs are articulated, and the long tail is super flexible so that you can hang it from any place. The hands, face, feet, and belly can be printed in a different color.

Balloon cars

There are many models of balloon-propelled cars for you to 3D print. The Hotrod Racer, designed by Pollie Jeannius, is beautiful and easy to assemble.

Balloon cars are propelled by the air coming out of the balloon as it deflates. These are wonderful toys that will have your kids entertained.

Do keep in mind that balloons are a choking or suffocation hazard. So, don’t let small children play unsupervised with these toys.


Spirographs are drawing tools that allow you to do intricate, colorful geometric designs and patterns. They’re made out of gears and wheels that interlock and guide your pen.

Using a 3D printer, you can easily print the parts and build a spirograph that’s guaranteed to give your kids hours of fun. Here’s a design made by Valdis Torms.

Rocket night light

Is your kid crazy about space? Then, you can print a rocket night light to build together. Here‘s a design from Catsonamission you can download and assemble. You’ll need eleven LED lights for it, and it works with two AA batteries.

3 Ideas to 3D Print and Sell

Evie burton 3d printed dog toy.

Selling 3D printing items can be quite profitable. Whether you just want to make enough money to sustain your own projects or you want to make it a full-time business, here are some ideas to get you started.

When you print items that you didn’t design, you need to have permission to avoid any copyright infringement. Most of the free downloadable files you’ll find online don’t grant a commercial license.

So, make sure you get the proper permits before selling or get your creative juices going to design your own items. The latter will probably give you a higher profit margin as you won’t have to pay for a usage license.

Self-watering planters

We all love having fresh herbs in our kitchen, beautiful flowers to decorate the house, or plants for the balcony. However, we’re not all great at maintaining them.

We forget to water them, we give them too much water, or they die while we’re away on vacation. So, a self-watering planter is one of the items that are in really high demand.

You’ll find plenty of designs that fit anything from seedlings to bigger plants so that you can take your pick.

For example, this desk-size planter by Parallel Goods is easy to print, use, and clean. You can customize the file to print in two different colors.


3D-printed jewelry is one of the most sellable items you can make. It gives you great flexibility to decide how simple or complex you want your designs to be.

You can also 3D print and sell custom-made jewelry with names or dates. For example, check out this bracelet and accessories designed by RGC-3D.

Customized phone cases

If you have an iPhone or another popular smartphone model, you might not know the struggle. However, many phone users don’t find a case that fits their phone – and when they do, the choices aren’t very colorful or creative.

All these smartphone users are your potential clients. If you 3D print custom-designed phone cases, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Of course, you can also 3D print and sell the most unique cases for the most popular smartphones on the market. Get your creativity going by checking out these 3D printing phone case projects.

Costume and Cosplay 3D Printing Ideas

The legend of zelda sword 3d printed.

If you’re looking for accessories to complete your Halloween costume, or you’re into Cosplay – 3D printing opens up a world of possibilities.

However, it’s important to know that reproducing logos or items from copyrighted characters requires a license. This would be the case for characters from Marvel, Nintendo, Warner Media, etc.

Claws with grip

Nothing like a good set of claws to complement your Wolverine costume! This design by Spike Mix includes a grip that makes them comfortable to use.

Superhero mask

This customizable superhero mask from Thomas Vander Gracht is the perfect costume for any man, woman, or child who wants to hide their identity on Halloween.

Of course, there are plenty of specific character masks around – just be careful about copyright infringement.

Carnival mask

Carnival masks are another popular item to 3D print. You can get beautiful designs inspired by the Venice carnival or others more generic such as this lace pattern mask from Leandro Ferreira.

Where Can I Find 3D Printer Files for Beginners?

A 3d printer is being used to make a model of a fish.

Printables – Printable is a repository of downloadable files – free and for sale. You’ll find all sorts of items from fashion to learning toys and everything in between. The website belongs to Prusa Research, a Prague-based company that develops and sells 3D printing software and hardware. At the Printables store, you can also buy Prusa printers and accessories.

Thingiverse – This website is built by a community of creators who share their designs and knowledge. In Thingiverse you don’t just get the free files to 3D print cool and useful items, you can also keep learning with their free webinars.

Cults 3D – Here, you’ll find a wide variety of items to 3D print – in most cases for sale, but you’ll also find free ones. Cults is a website that helps designers get their work out there and keep most of their profit. Here, you can find anything from a pasta partitioner to a car race bed for your children’s bedroom.

Ameede – This website shares free files for 3D printing. It doesn’t have as wide a variety as the previous repositories, but it has more unusual pieces. You can find religious art and busts of famous people, among other things. Of course, there are a few everyday objects as well, such as a toothbrush holder or an egg cup.

MyMiniFactory – This is a digital platform for 3D printable models. It’s based on a creative community that aims to empower digital creators. Here, you can find free and paid files to 3D print all sorts of items.


A 3d printed model of a fighter jet.

What should I 3D print first?

The first thing that’s recommended to print on your new 3D printer is a calibration cube. You can also print a 3DBenchy designed to test and calibrate your machine.

Many people also believe that a fairly complex project is a good way to start, as it will put your printer to the test. One of the most popular items for this is a Yoda head.

The last thing before moving on to your own projects should be a torture test. This is designed to test the printer’s limits so you’ll know its weaknesses.

What do you use 3D printing for everyday?

You can 3D print lots of everyday objects. Some examples could be a phone stand, a pencil holder, shelves, drawer dividers, etc.

Is it expensive to 3D print?

The cost of 3D printing a project ranges from USD$10 to over USD$5,000. The reason why the cost is so variable is because it depends on what you’re printing and how big it is. Also, the type of material and where you’re based play a role in the final price.

What is the cheapest way to 3D print?

The cheapest technology used in 3D printing is Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). As far as materials, one you can use that’s cheap but still sturdy and resistant to high temperatures is ABS.

What is the coolest thing to 3D print?

There are so many cool things you can do with a 3D printer. What you consider the “coolest” is largely based on personal taste and interest.

You can 3D print skin, clothes, vehicles, an elastic football, or a Low Poly Dragonite. The most impressive applications of 3D printing are in architecture, the medical field, and the food industry.

For all of us photography lovers, one of the coolest things you can 3D print is a camera – such as the customizable medium format Goodman Zone or Scura.

Another cool thing for photographers is 3D-printed photos. You can make relief prints or lithophanes.

Is selling 3D-printed items profitable?

Yes, 3D printing can be profitable.

Of course, this will depend on the type of items you do. As you know, it’s possible to 3D print that it’s difficult to make a generic statement about its profitability.

You’ll need to do some market research and make sure you offer items that are appealing to your potential customers.

What is in high demand for 3D printing?

Functional items are some of the most popular things you can 3D print. They won’t require much expertise, skills, or even creativity – for example, wall mounts.

Customized items are also in high demand. This can be something very personal, such as a unique wedding present, or something more functional, such as spare parts from a discontinued machine.

Highly specialized items are also increasing their demand, but of course, you need special skills, materials, and sometimes permits to do them. I’m referring to medical prosthetics, edible items still in research, etc.

Is it legal to sell items that are 3D printed?

Whether it’s legal or not to sell a 3D printed item depends on the item. If a third person designed the item, you can’t sell it without their permission, as it would be copyright infringement.

The same goes for any decorative parts of your item. Let’s say you print a 3D pencil holder – that’s legal to sell, but if you add the Disney logo, it’s not legal anymore.

Other things that require a permit are food or architectural pieces because they need to be safe for public use.

In conclusion, the technique of 3D printing is not what defines if you can sell something or not. So, please get information regarding the specific item you want to sell.

Also, laws change from one country to another – sometimes even inside the same country. I advise you to seek legal advice as the information you find online may not be applicable to your case.

What is the strongest material to 3D print with?

Carbon fiber reinforced nylon is the hardest 3D printing material. PEEK is also used in load-bearing projects.

Polycarbonate (PC) is one of the strongest materials for 3D printing filaments. Polylactic Acid (PLA) is also very strong but is less resistant to high temperatures.

To choose the best material, you should consider the characteristics of your project.

What is the best file to 3D print from?

STL files are the best format if you don’t need color and texture. These are widely compatible and small. However, if you need files that hold more information, use OBJ files.

What is the hardest thing to print on a 3D printer?

3D printers have a hard time printing hollow objects, hard edges, and small holes. However, each material and printer has different limitations.

To test this, there are many torture test projects.

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