You’ve received your free sample, but perhaps you’ve been too busy to try it out yet? Or, perhaps you’re just not sure what you should or could print with it? We hear you, you’ve got a busy life and making decisions can be hard – especially when you’re lacking a bit of inspiration. After all, what can you print with just over 30g worth of filament? Well, it turns out; quite a few things actually…
We’ve compiled a list of 8 useful things we and our other customers have printed using their free samples. No Yoda busts here (although people print those too, of course). Each object can be printed using the 10m (or 5m 2.85mm) sample you’ve received, at least once over. Where possible we’ve even included a direct link to the downloadable file, so you can print it yourself.
Here’s the big 8:
1.Spare quad-copter blades: UK Robotics have used their free PLA sample filament to print these brightly visible rotors for their quadcopter. For something like this you can never have too many parts. And who wants to wait days for replacements? 3D printing is much faster (for once??). They were really happy with the colour they received, which we think goes nicely with the rest of the cat chaser quad copter.
2. 3D Printer Upgrade: We all know 3D printers aren’t perfect, and now you can access upgrade STLs for commonly underperforming factory parts. Like David Millar did here, with a (we think, much needed) redesigned Ultimaker 2 filament feeder. Hopefully no more filament slipping or loading issues for David now. We don’t have the exact file, but there are lots of designs for these on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/search/page:1?q=ultimaker+2+feeder&sa=
3. Working Bearings: This was printed as one piece, straight off our Zortrax in our Silver ABS. It only weighs 10g, so you could print 3 of these with your free sample. The finish quality is great, which means it turns really freely. Spins beyond 1000rpm – although not for long, it’ll probably melt. Not technically “useful” – but we like to think it’s not pointless.
4. Custom Guitar Picks: This can be really fun; make any design of guitar pick you like. We might recommend ABS’s stiff flexibility for this, but PLA will work too. If you’re in a band, why not hand out custom guitar picks at your next gig for a memorable takeaway? OK, so it might not have the same impact as throwing wads of cash at the audience, or (allegedly) biting the head off a bat, but it’ll be considerably cheaper and less messy.
5. Belt Tensioner: You’re probably thinking, why would I need one of those? Well, belts on your printer can slacken off over time, and who wants to pay for a replacement belt or go through the hassle of replacing it? If you notice square edges forming on your prints, you could be suffering from a case of belt looseningitis. Go for the quick lazy man’s fix and print a belt tensioner. We saw a guy with 3 of these on one belt, he may be on borrowed time.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10082/#made (Belt tensioner)
Belt Tensioner by Tyrin on Thingiverse
6. Spiral Vase: We think these vases look great. We love them, they’re easy to print and very economical to run (the inside is so small, you can only really fit one stem inside – why get a bouquet when a single rose will do?). Forget scrambling around late on 13th Feb to get some petrol station flowers, just leave one of these bad boys printing overnight and get a pretty flower from the garden. Wake up; perfect & effortless valentines gift.
We should probably mention at this point that just as a homeless person might give questionable financial advice, you probably don’t want to take much notice of our relationship tips. And good look finding a ‘pretty flower’ in the garden mid Feb. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:481259
7. 3D Printer Mod 2: There really are a lot of mods you can do for your printer. This one looks like the feeder mechanism to accompany a dual extruder mod. OK, so as you can see this was unlikely to be printed with a free sample – as it’s the same colour on the spool (we know, we know, you don’t miss a trick). But we have it on good authority that it weighs under 30g. And that means, you can print one for free.
8. Micro Ruler: This is the genius of @boncester, called “Rule of Thumb”. Small enough to be with you all the time, allowing you to measure a host of things up to 5cm long in 0.5cm precision. It’s clever, dead simple stuff like this that makes us smile. Download your own from Thingiverse http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1480466
Feel inspired yet? This is just a fraction of what’s possible with your free sample. The important thing is, don’t over think it – just print something and see for yourself why everyone loves rigid.ink. And don’t forget, please send us a photo of what you print on Instagram or Twitter and tag #rigidprints to be in with a chance to win each month. We look forward to seeing your creations soon.
For reference, if you'd like to know how many meters are on each size spool for different materials and diameters, you can check out our filament spool length chart here.