3D Printing Things

I’ve had a lot of failures but I’m starting to get some successes 3D printing things.

At Autistry, I’ve successfully printed:
– Playing card holders for people that have trouble holding cards
– Scrabble racks. Our set only had 4 racks (which is typical) but we wanted to have 5 and 6 player games!
– A replacement piece for a game of Perfection
– Replacement pegs for a Solitaire game. I designed and made the piece from scratch, measuring the piece with my caliper
– Several types of fidgets for students. None have been winners with my students yet but my daughter likes these joystick ones.


I designed and printed a lampshade. Except for all the glare I got off this lamp, I really liked it. I bought it from Ikea, knowing that I’d probably have to modify it. I’m pretty happy with my mod!


I figured out how to make super-cute, custom soy sauce bowls, but I can’t figure out how to make them food safe :-(. In the image below, I’ve got a lithophane I made at ItsLitho with a frame and negative image. I could have printed it larger but this tiny one totally proved the concept. Except that 3D printed items aren’t food-safe, partially because of the plastic, but mostly because they’ve got all these little holes in them that can’t be easily cleaned. I’ll look into using 3D printing to create lost wax castings or embossing but it may be too much of a bother.


I’m very happy with the AA battery holder I designed and made for my battery drawer! My friend Devon had printed several versions of battery holders a while back and they were pretty good, but what I really wanted was THIS. So I made it! That feels pretty good and darn it if it doesn’t do it’s job perfectly. AA batteries are easy to drop into place and pick up, they don’t roll around at all in their trays or in the drawer, and I can stack batteries on top of them neatly.


I made a big impact on my daughter’s Halloween Odd Squad Agent costume, I made a custom badge with her number on it, and painted it very nicely! A neighbor gave us their child’s old homemade costume, complete with jacket, red trim, red tie, and nicely made Investigation Unit pin! The whole family was really happy with the results!


I’ve finally got making lithophanes dialed in. There were lots of little issues: the filament I was using initially was too dark, I had trouble with adhesion, some software snags, but now it works pretty well. It’s a bother that the 5 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ image below took 20 hours to print. That keeps the process firmly in the forever-experimental realm. When I first saw a lithophane, I thought the glow of the image was just magical. After trying to make so many of them, I’m a bit meh’ed on them.


I’m trying to make my battery holder into a snap-together modular system. Darn it’s a pain to dial in the snap-fit! Here are a couple fails, I’ve got many more! How would you snap 2 long pieces together end-to-end?


And look Maura, a turtle!

One Comment

  1. Laura Sutliff says:

    I think it is fantastic that you have been able to make some things that your classmates may be able to learn to use. And the fact that they may teach 3d printing throughout the Crucible is fantastic too.

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