5 Super-Useful 3D Printable Tools

3D Printing & Imaging Digital Fabrication Workshop

An Italian maker who goes by the name Black Beard on YouTube posted this video of him printing out and using “5 Useful And Easy To 3D Print Tools for DIY.” Many 3DP naysayers are always pointing out, perhaps rightly, that lots of people still use their 3D printers (those lucky enough to own one) more as a first-adopter curiosity and tchotchke-maker than a serious day-to-day work tool (e.g. a 2D printer). So, I’m always interested in finding killer-app uses (regardless how small or mundane) that can prove a 3D printer’s long-term utility. The 3D prints featured in this video all fit that bill for me.

YouTube player

I want all of these items. And the fact that three of them are handles for blades is definitely a bit of a mind-expander to me; to think about ways I’d like to customize handle designs, for say, hobby knives, and frankly, any tool that could use a plastic handle. Doing some searching on Thingiverse, I found a number of hobby knife handle designs and designs for things like file handles. I have an old set of micro files that I would love to have handles for.

Utility Knife Handle

toolsI love utility knives and really like the idea of creating such a simple handle to hold a blade. I really think this could use a cap to keep it safe, though.

Cylinder Center Finder

toolsEveryone should have one of these in their toolkit. And something like this that you can print for pennies, you can keep one in every toolbox.

Hand-Saw Handle

I’ve written about the simple hack of covering the non-tooth part of a hacksaw blade with duct or electrical tape to create a simple hand saw. This is one better, a two-piece handle that looks very comfortable to hold and use.

Pocket Hole Jig

A pocket hole jig (a guide for drilling angled holes for anchoring one board to another) is an essential bit-o-kit for any woodworker or weekend tinkerer. Here’s a design for a jig that looks reasonably easy to make. It does involve sinking a piece of metal rod into each pocket hole guide and also requires grinding down the tip of a drill bit to create the kind of two-step specialty bit that such a jig requires.

Razor Blade Holder

Everyone could likely use a couple of these around the shop, the house, and the yard. But again, a blade cover would be smart to add.

Black Beard was thoughtful enough to create a playlist of the five Thingiverse project pages for these prints. As he points out, none of these file designs are his.

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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