3D Printing & Imaging
Functional Printing: Camera rigs, Toothpaste Keys and More


When talking about 3d printing, one of the most common questions I get is “but do people actually print anything useful? All I see are trinkets and toys”.  This is the first installment of “Functional Printing” a regular column that spotlights interesting functional things to be 3D printed.


Glide Cam

glidecamThis 3d printable gllide cam is a camera stabilization system. These are typically fairly pricy.

scorpion chain bike mount

Simple an elegant design that holds your bike when it is not in use. Looks much better than a big hook sticking out of your wall when not in use.




toothpaste key

keysIf you brush your teeth (you really should if you don’t), you’ve undoubtedly encountered the frustration involved with getting everything out of the tube of toothpaste. This ingenious design makes it easy. Just squeeze the tube through the slot on the key then twist.  I’m literally printing this right now as I type this article.



earphone saver


These nifty little bits of plastic can keep your headphones from instantly becoming a tangled mess in your pocket.  Some may point out that it takes just as long to untangle them as it does to wrap them up in these things, but the level of frustration while wrapping them is easily an order of magnitude less than while untangling.


charging stand for pebble


One of the biggest complaints with smart watches is the fact that they all have to be recharged regularly. You’d think that a nice stand would fall into their product strategy, but apparently it doesn’t. Luckily you can download and print your own charging stand for them.


trampoline net holder


Trampolines are incredibly unsafe. Seriously. Instead of shark week, we should be watching “Trampoline week”. They are bordering on a menace to society. They are also mind blowingly fun. One way people have found to make them marginally safer is to keep a net on them to keep stray bouncers from landing in the springs or on the hard ground. This 3d printed piece can keep that net in place after the original pieces get brittle and break away from being in the sun too long.

What kinds of functional things have you printed? What bits and pieces do you ahve around your house that you’d like to share with the world? Shoot me an email with a picture and a short description and I’ll include it!

0 thoughts on “Functional Printing: Camera rigs, Toothpaste Keys and More

  1. I just made my wife replacement glasses. Here’s the model and a description of the “process” I used to fit new lenses. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:456863

    I put process in quotes because I’m making things up as I go. 3D printing is bringing things, at least as useful as the ones you mention in this article, right to our fingertips. This is exciting stuff, and we’re just scratching the surface.


Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at caleb@make.co

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