Practical 3D Printing? Read this.

Invite back to our series on practical prints for your 3D printer. While many love 3D printing because it lets them make truly cool props and miniatures, 3D printing has lots of practical applications. I utilize 3D printing to solve issues and to repair things. I appreciate the artistic creations folks make with 3D printers, I don't even own design paints.

Which 3D printer is right for your business?

We've evaluated the offerings of leading printers, all efficient in developing 3D items, but with a wide-range of characteristics. If you're in the market for a 3D printer, you'll find one here that fits your needs.


A good place to start is an issue statement. What exactly do you require your 3D print to accomplish? In the case of the project shown in the attached video, I wanted to increase my workshop storage. Here's some background.

I have 4 metal shelving systems here in the workshop, and I've had them for something like 20 years. Just recently, I had a welder add wheels to them so that they can walk around, which's shown to be incredibly beneficial. Sadly, individual shelves are pretty far apart, which leaves a lot of space unused. There's a great deal of dead area where I might very much use some more storage.

I decided I was going to 3D print supporting brackets for 4 plywood racks to make it occur.


In the connected video, I show how I developed these little assistance systems in TinkerCAD and 3D printed them, and how they will support three-quarter-inch plywood racks and give me more rack space.

The distinct style function for this build is the captive nut built into the assistance bracket. Each bracket bolts onto the metal riser supports. Inside the bracket is a channel where a nut slides in. That nut is called a "slave" nut due to the fact that once it moves in, it can't spin. That makes it easy to tighten up the bolt on the outside of the shelf assistance.

I used TinkerCAD to create this up. TinkerCAD has its limitations, however it's very easy to use and for basic styles, extremely fast to work with. The essential feature I utilized to develop the captive nut channel and the tunnel for the bolt is called a "hole" in TinkerCAD parlance.

Any TinkerCAD object (either a fundamental things or a group) can be developed into a hole. In fact, a click of a button switches an item from a strong to a hole and back once again. The hole is, basically, unfavorable area. If you intersect a strong with a hole and after that group them, the area of the hole is subtracted from the strong area.

I first developed an unfavorable spatial representation of the nut by sizing a polygon to a size a bit larger than my real-world nut. I made it a bit larger to permit the nut to move in the channel easily. As the attached video shows, by duplicating the negative area nut (the "nut hole," if you will), I was able to develop a channel that enabled the physical nut to slide into the middle of the bracket.

I used a cylinder developed into a hole to cut out the tunnel where the bolt slides into the bracket.

I likewise needed to create a rounded corner to my bracket, so it would suit the rolled steel elbow of the rack uprights. While most 3D modeling tools have a fillet tool, which takes an edge and rounds it over, TinkerCAD does not. While this frustrates me to no end, sometimes you have to work around the problem.

As the connected video shows, I made my own rounded corner by producing a cylinder and organizing it with some rectangles, making up a new solid object that has a hard-won fillet on one side.

As it turns out, I end up producing both left and right brackets, to accommodate connecting them to left and right uprights. I also made some brackets slightly taller, so they would press the shelf up high enough to offer space for some bins I have.


To hold four new racks I made a total of 16 of these brackets. 8 of them remained side brackets and 8 of them were right side brackets.

I bought a 4 foot by 4-foot sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. There's a brief however amazing montage of me using power tools to cut the plywood into shelves. While you've seen me use the miter saw and the sander previously, this is the first time you've seen me utilize my new table saw.

I needed to wait three months to get it this summer season due to the fact that it appears table saws are hard to get in the pandemic. I think a great deal of people are operating at house and fixing things up, and likewise specialists are being welcomed inside a lot less, many more of us are doing our own house repairs without outdoors aid.

And, with that, I've just added another 18 square feet of storage into the workshop. That'll make a big distinction.

This job demonstrates how you can combine 3D printing and some standard woodworking to optimize your storage in brand-new and useful methods. Stay tuned for more useful prints.

And what about you? Have you made helpful things with your 3D printer? If so, let us know in the comments listed below.

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