3D Printing to help make your life easier

Life Hacks, those little things that we can do to make life easier, does not tend to bring up thoughts of 3D Printing. However, it should. There are several ways in which the 3D modeler, coupled with an Octoprint & 3D Printer combination, or other Desktop 3D Printer, can create life hacks. And while the items listed below are just a few ways in which to implement 3D technology into your life, the possibilities are limited only to the imagination.

The Bathroom Wall Outlet Shelf

The first life hack is as ingenious as it is simple. The designer has created a small shelf which fits onto an existing electrical outlet. As such, it is not intended for heavy objects (since you only really have that one central screw between the sockets), but provides ample space for those small items that tend to clutter up the vanity but do not quite have a place in the medicine cabinet. In this case, it would be advised that you understand a bit about electronics before trying to mount the device and if you decide to try this, or anything else in this article, proceed at your own risk. The point of this life hack is not to recreate the wheel, so to speak, but rather to find a way in which to make existing elements work for the individual.


Outlet Shelf created by teichelberger

The 3D Printed Lampshade

Even something as simple as a lamp can gain a bit more flavor and festivity for the home if 3D Printing is implemented into the design. These shades below were all designed and printed using a semi-opaque material. Note the broad spectrum of colors and the intricate designs on the shades. This goes to show that you do not have to stick to the “boxy” or the “3D Printed Look” in your designs, but can expand out to complex and sophisticated designs.


Lamps pictures are part of the Ikea Life Hacks page

3D printed water bottle holder

Often, we think that a life hack has to be something for the interior of the home. However, life is more than just the confines of a building. We have our jobs, our leisure, and our sports. Making something in 3D, which meets the demands of your personality, is the cornerstone to having a successful life hack. Take for example the image below.


Water bottle design obtained from Greenengineer

This water bottle was made using a 3D printer. And, while this particular model is in the standard plastic-like material commonly associated with the desktop 3D Printing process, it could easily be printed with a metal 3D Printer or a commercial 3D Printer to create a more durable product and a more consistent aesthetic for the cyclist.

How can you use your 3D Printer for a Life Hack?

Life hacks are intended to make life easier. Therefore, find something in your life which needs to be simplified and then find a solution. You do not have to sit at the printer while you fabricate the design if you have 3D Printer. Just ensure that you have a Octoprint or compatible device which will make mobile printing and control easier.

Since the 3D Printing process is based off of CAD Design, the main aspect of creating your own life hack 3D model will be to ensure that the design meets the STL and other CAD formats needed to print out the model. Additionally, you will need to ensure that the size of the print is real-life scaled. If using a Desktop 3D printer, it is advised that you create a smaller prototype to ensure the functionality and the practicality of your life hack. Then once you are satisfied with the smaller scale, print the larger model. By doing this you (a) save printing time and (b) minimize superfluous spending of your 3D printed Materials.


A simplistic design for a multi-plug holder for an iPhone. Image and design courtesy of Siclari Studio of Art and Design.


The key idea for the Life Hack is simplicity. Life hacks are solutions to problems and thereby should not add complexity and frustrations to the person. When creating your 3D Printed lifehack, do not worry about the commercialisation and the profit of making your product on a mass market scale. If it works for you then it is successful. Whether you are designing a new belt clip for your phone, a key, a new glasses case, or innovative hangers for your wardrobe, the goal is to exemplify and simplify your life.

To expedite the 3D Printing Process, modelers should strongly consider using an Octoprint kit. These kits allow for you to print your designs mobile as well as control the 3D Printing from your phone or other mobile device. By this, you allow yourself to continue on in your life’s daily activities while creating solutions to make it better.

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