When we were putting together our digital fabrications issue of the magazine, we spent some time searching for digital fabrication projects that wowed us. While some projects are more aspirational than realistic, some were downright practical. Here are our favorite projects from makers, designers, and artists that use 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, and even 3D pens — and most are freely shared with plans so you can create your own, or iterate further.
CNC this faux taxidermy trophy from ½” (12mm) ply; use as a hanger for your hat, charms, or even your two-wheeled steed.
Gensole Custom Insoles
Everyone’s feet are different and finding the perfect-fitting shoe insole can be difficult. The Gensole web app uses 3D foot scans to generate custom 3D-printable insoles for sweet support.
World’s Largest 3D Pen Sculpture
This full-size Nissan Qashqai crossover was created using the 3Doodler pen and took 800 hours to complete. How? Parts of the car were pre-assembled, then fused together. Try making your own version (though probably a little smaller).
by Andrew Askedall
Organize small parts and tools with these stackable, print-in-place drawers that are also self-capturing so they’ll never fall out and spill their contents.
by Agustin Flowalistik
Grow new plants and reuse old soup or soda cans, with this fully 3D-printed self-watering planter that fits snugly over the rim of standard-sized cans.
The Pink and Green Domino Machine
by Greg Zumwalt
As a kid or an adult, setting up domino blocks is scary business: One wrong move and the whole trail is knocked down. This amazing little machine sets them up automatically without the worry.
SLO 3D-Printed Camera
by Amos Dudley
We’ve seen 3DP pinhole cameras but now comes the world’s first fully 3D-printed, interchangeable optical lens camera, produced entirely on Formlabs’ Form 2 SLA resin printer. Yes, that lens required a lot of polishing, but still — awesome.
by Dragon Mountain Design
This flexible handbag uses NinjaTek SemiFlex filament and is held together without glue or fasteners; instead, its edges lock together with T’s and slots. Travel in style and show off your 3D printing love.
by Drew Tetz
Etched on a laser cutter, then spun on a record turntable, these cousins of the zoetrope create mesmerizing animations when viewed with a strobe, smartphone, or videocam.