Everything Looks Like a 3D Nail when you only have a Hammer

By Andrew Davidson
on June 1, 2022

Cryptic title aside, I'm referring to the fact that once you get a 3D Printer, every solution in your hacking and building arsenal becomes a new 3D model which needs to be printed on your 3D printer. [sarcasm ahead] Don't buy a cheap off-the-shelf solution when you can spend hours finding, fixing and printing your own solution that will not come cheap! Why use tried and true laser cutting or (gasp!) hand-cutting and finishing? That's so old school of you! [/sarcasm]

I do not have a 3D printer (yet!), but between my BFF Christian, my local nerd pal Panik, and the newly discovered r/3dprintmything on Reddit, I've begun feeling the pull of this bad habit, and have started collecting my own assorted 3D models in STL Format for printing again (I prefer to host my own files and not rely on any third party service to host/distribute my work). Big thanks to Tinkercad, which is my current favorite web-based 3D modeling app, although some of these designs started in Adobe Illustrator. Special mad thanks to View STL for managing the simple process of embedded STL previews of my models below. I also found and liked how 3D Less did a bang-up job of dropping vertices and making smaller files. I will update this page as I release new designs that have passed my approval process.

Keyboard Lip Clip [2021/04/20]

This odd piece is usually printed in pairs, and clips to the 19mm shelf I have on my desk, so I can temporarily store my skinny keyboard leaning away from me and off the desk. Went through a few revisions, where I undersized the opening, and made them too thin in profile. This design will require a small hole drilled in the top for a pushpin to permanently mount it to the soft pine wood.

Desktop Pen Caddy [2021/07/29]

This boring square box is my hold-everything for my desk. Places for pens, pencils, xactos, rulers, post its, scales, scissors, hand files, and more. It's got a thick filled bottom, but should be printed with light infill. A big step up in storage compared to my last version which is merely a block of wood with assorted sized holes drilled in it.

'Darth' Fader Rotary Potentiometer Cap [2021/04/23]

For an upcoming short run re-release of our classic 2006-era TheXFader handheld stereo audio mixer. I used an open source design of the classic Darth Vader mask (sorry unlinked) to start, resizing it much smaller than intended for printing, then filled in the eyes, flattened the neck and put a post hole in the head. Should be printed in black plastic, the finished height of this is exactly 1 inch, and probably needs to be printed upside down with supports due to the expanding brim of his helmet.