3D printing is well-suited to the personalized nature of gifts. After all, with the right models and materials, you can create all sorts of objects, from small functional keychains to one-of-a-kind home decorations, all from the comfort of your home.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a number of gift categories, on the way pointing out further showcases and identifying a number of cool examples.
If you’re still short on models to print, you can always browse our full selection of articles in the Printables section.
Before jumping into specific categories, it’s worth mentioning some of our most popular printable articles, which feature all kinds of cool prints:
Like what you see but don’t have access to a printer? Consider using a 3D printing service! With Craftcloud, the 3D printing and price comparison service from All3DP, you can instantly find the best price and provider for your needs, and there are no extra fees attached!
Movie fandoms have existed since movies first came into existence, and what better way to celebrate iconic characters than to print some accurate memorabilia? Models in this category would suit devoted fans of movie franchises, such as Star Wars or the MCU, or TV shows, such as Game of Thrones.
We have plenty of listicles focusing on specific fandoms; here are some of the most popular:
Tabletop games have a highly dedicated fan base, so gifting accessories for someone’s favorite game will likely send the right message: I want to spend time with you!
There are numerous games that lend themselves well to 3D printed artifacts, such as Settlers of Catan and Dungeons and Dragons. Custom tokens and pieces are only the beginning!
If you’re looking for more board game models, you’ll enjoy the following:
3D printers are perfect for recreating video game characters and props due to their ability to reproduce organic geometry cheaply and accurately. Like movies and TV shows, video games have vast fan bases, so there’s no shortage of high-quality models no matter what game your friend or family member is into.
Here are just some popular games you can find high-quality models for:
Home decor is perhaps one of the simplest use cases for a 3D printer. From vases to planters, there are all kinds of simple objects even entry-level machines will have no trouble producing, so add a little creative color to your loved one’s home!
Yet, this is also a category where you can experiment with novel materials since the geometry of these models tends to be lighter on the fine details and challenging features. For example, ASA is a great material to try for outdoor objects due to its UV resistance.
Check out these home decor listicles if you want to spice things up in your humble abode:
Looking to entertain some young ones? Any puzzle-lovers in the family?
3D printed toys are perhaps some of the most popular 3D models shared online. All kinds of trinkets have been 3D printed, from simple action figures to complex desktop toys. It’s no wonder since the accuracy and reliability of consumer 3D printers are continually improving.
Note that many of these models are composed of more than one part, however, and some assembly is usually required. This might also put your printer’s tolerances to the test, so make sure you tune it before attempting some of the harder models.
Check out one of our many toy listicles to find some awesome trinkets:
There are many RC fans out there, and 3D printing is squarely in their sights. After all, consumer 3D printers are now capable of creating objects using some highly durable materials that are suitable for high-performance applications. In addition, the flexibility of post-processing options and ease of manufacturing also makes 3D printing a popular method of feeding RC hobbyists’ passion.
Spread the joy of RC to those around you with the models in these articles:
The ability to make custom objects of all shapes and sizes with 3D printers is exceptionally showcased in the making of phone cases. Everyone needs them, and they need to be durable and tailor-made for different devices. Fun materials like TPU can also be used to create the classic flexible cases you’re used to, especially since they usually don’t have many fine details.
Your friend has had the same phone for years? So what? Swap out that boring case or stand for something fun and personal!
3D printing jewelry might seem like a bit of a stretch, especially with FDM printing, but it sure is possible depending on the type of jewelry you choose. And if you have a resin printer at the ready, you can do almost anything with fine detail work at your fingertips and castable resin at your disposal.
Check out these other articles if you’re interested in the niche:
Know someone who’s heavy into the tinkering culture? Why not get them something flashy to go along with their credit-card-sized computer?
Typically, single-boards computers need some building before they can be truly useful (or, at least, aesthetic). In particular, cases help keep things tidy, modular, and protected. That’s where this category comes in:
Last but not least come a few specific ideas that didn’t quite fit in the above categories. But that doesn’t make them any less useful, fun, or interesting!
(Lead image source: 3DofTom via MyMiniFactory)
License: The text of "3D Printed Gifts: 10 Great 3D Printed Gift Ideas" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.