torsdag 30. august 2012

Everyday practical application of RepRap

We often talk - and to be honest, brag ;-) - about how practical RepRap is, and all the things we could or plan to do. Still, most of the time we share things that look cool, but might have no practical application apart from being neat. Having a RepRap 3D printer in your home opens up an incredible world of DIY-solutions that have previously been difficult, impossible or expensive. Once you manage to "tune" your mind, and see the possibilities you have, there is no limit to what you can do.

Once my 2-year initial "look at all the cool stuff I can print"-phase slowed down, I find myself - apart from new printer parts - mostly using my RepRap for things around the house. I would therefore now like to share some images of objects I have designed and printed for a special practical application in mind.


 This is one of the very first things I printed on my Sells Mendel back in 2010.  



It's a switch holder to turn off the phone in the combined office and guest room at my parents house.

I installed some temporary shelves in my RepRap workshop, and decided to install them flush with the floor so I wouldn't have to crawl around and find small parts that rolled away under the shelf.

My non-standard installation meant the hollow legs were upside down and open at the top, and they too could hold a lot of small parts. Thus I printed a few end caps.
Tangled wires, computers and office chairs, need I say more.

Specially designed to clip on to my desk, these custom brackets holds my microphone headset and my headphones. The headphones are plugged into an extension cord, both to extend the range, but it also serves well as a breakaway point. 
Replacing the light above the bathroom sink resulted in a broken clip I didn't bother trying to source.

RepRap to the rescue!

I'm happy to report it works perfectly.

Plastic brackets aren't expensive to buy at all, but these are even cheaper, and it's faster to print one than go to the store.

Custom brackets for kitchen cabinets where the shelves now stay in place.

A work in progress of some shelving in the basement. They ensure even spacing, but might have to be a bit more beefy to support the weight.

Brackets for a hat/coat rack I built.

They support my 80+kg body weight, and look quite good.

Some stands to ease painting. Yes, these are for RepRap parts, but I consider it an example of a common practical application you can use elsewhere.

Need even hole spacing?

Why not print a jig?
Soap cup for the shower. It clips on the top railing.
Metal pipe + RepRap = Table leg bracket.

 The plate is a bit too thin, so unfortunately you can't dance on it, but it supports my work-in-progress RepRaps fine.

Note: The 3D files for these parts are mostly terribly ugly OpenSCAD hacks, but if you are interested in a certain object, feel free to email me, and I'll of course share the source as-is with you or upload it to thingiverse.

That's what I had to share today, I hope you like it, and perhaps it could convince your significant other you really DO need a RepRap? If you have examples of practical things you have made with your 3D printer, feel free to share them in the comments.

-Nudel