Pro Tip: You Can 3D Print Parts from McMaster-Carr

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4005 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4005 Articles

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I don’t know about you but sometimes it feels like I can plan and measure all I want and then I order the parts I think I need and they’re not exactly right. This can be nerve-wracking, annoying, and expensive when you’re spec’ing high-priced parts.

Make: pal Meredith Scheff-King discovered a feature within the indispensable McMaster-Carr catalog that could be a godsend to makers who have access to a 3D printer. Many parts in the online catalog have 3D models attached to them. In this Instructable, Meredith shows you where to get the STEP files so that you can download them, convert to STL, load them into a CAD program, and prepare them for 3D printing.

Now you can print a critical part, test-fit it, and make sure that it’s the part you want before you buy it. Pretty cool, eh?