12 Things to 3D Print When Bored (Examples + Pictures)

A smartphone and laptop computer on top of a desk that are connected to their respective chargers
Photo: HS You / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

3D printing is a job to some, but to many of us it’s just a way of passing time. Having that in mind, we often look for things to 3D print when bored just to fill that gap. Whether you’re a fiction and fantasy geek or a gadget lover, there’s something amazing for everyone out there to print.

Check out the list of things to 3D print when bored below:

  • Spaghetti Gauge
  • Tube Pusher
  • Key Organizer
  • Paperclip Bookmark
  • Survival Whistle
  • Toy Helicopter
  • Cable Protectors
  • Headphone Spools
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Drain Covers
  • Superhero Keychains
  • Toothbrush Case

1. Spaghetti Gauge

Spaghetti gauge with raw spaghetti pasta inside
Photo: Erwan F / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Do you have a problem with measuring exactly how much spaghetti you need to cook? Cooking a two-people portion by mistake is an error that occurs much more often than you’d think, but this handy device can help you avoid it.

The spaghetti gauge, courtesy of Prusa, is a very rudimentary, but a very useful tool. With several holes on it and less than an hour of printing, this gauge will allow you to know exactly how much spaghetti you need before cooking.

2. Tube Pusher

Small toothpaste tube pushers
Photo: zoomar / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

There’s a stark difference between people who chaotically force the toothpaste out of the tube and the people who methodically roll the tube from top to bottom.

With this tube pusher, anyone can now squeeze their toothpaste from top to bottom, ensuring that you get every single drop of it. You’ll find this design in different sizes and it’s best to print it using SLA.

This is also a very quick print, as it only takes 15 minutes with a 0,2 mm layer height.

3. Key Organizer

Key organizers housing plenty of keys
Photo: plenty.r. / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you have more than two keys you regularly use, then you surely know how annoying it gets when you need to find a specific one. Luckily, this key organizer is the ultimate solution to your problem.

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It’s a really simple print that’s going to keep your keys tucked in safely so they don’t scratch your phone or your wallet. All you need to do is screw a few tiny screws in once the almost two-hour-long print is done and you’re ready to go!

4. Paperclip Bookmark

Paper bookmark
Photo: Angela Mabray / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

If you thought that MacGyver was ingenious with a paperclip, wait until you see this. These flat and long paperclip bookmarks are a great way to keep track of where you last paused when reading.

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They’re a simple 10-minute print at 10% infill and they’re one of the most useful designs out of all simple 3D designs we’ve seen.

5. Survival Whistle

Survival whistle
Photo: Brandon / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This is definitely one of the loudest whistles you’ll ever hear! This is possibly the most useful thing to 3D print when bored, as this whistle is designed to emit a 118 decibel-loud pitch when blown into.

This means that if, by some odd chance, you get lost in a forest – you’ll be able to contact anyone who’s near enough to hear you. It’s an impressively powerful tool.

Just to paint a more accurate picture of how powerful it is, if you stand next to a car with the driver pressing on the horn – you’re enduring a painful 110 decibels.

111 decibels and above is actually painful for the human ear. This goes to show that this whistle can be heard in all circumstances, even if it’s been submerged underwater.

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6. Toy Helicopter

Toy helicopter on top of a deskl
Photo: thrivingmom / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

These were all the rage when we were kids, and nowadays there’s a simpler version of these helicopters that ensures a simple print and deployment. Similar to many pull-and-play toys, you just have to pull on the track to start this helicopter.

A remnant of an older time, this helicopter is a great toy, but also a piece of memorabilia and a fun thing to 3D print when bored.

7. Cable Protectors

A smartphone and laptop computer on top of a desk that are connected to their respective chargers
Photo: HS You / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

We all hate it when our charger cables start tripping wires and ripping open. This is usually a consequence of regular wear and tear, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

To make sure that your cables don’t fray out, use this design for cable protectors and put them on all your USB cables and chargers. Keep in mind that it’s made for Apple cables only.

8. Headphone Spools

Various devices, including headphones, on top of a desk
Photo: Peter Kaminski / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A nuisance very similar to our previous entry, tangled headphones are a very 21st century problem. Untangling your headphones every time you want to listen to music is annoying enough, but you also have to remember that entangling cables often lead to broken headphones.

Fortunately, using these spools, you can safely wrap the cables of your headphones in a circle, knowing that they won’t get entangled and that they’ll stay straight.

9. Measuring Spoons

A set of measuring spoons
Photo: Theen Moy / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Referring back to our first entry, these measuring spoons are solving a similar problem. Having different spoons with different measures will help you immensely when you’re cooking.

These spoons are, just like the spaghetti gauge, one of the most useful culinary things to 3D print when bored, and we’re sure that finding a use for them in the kitchen won’t be difficult.

10. Drain Covers

Bathroom shower drain
Photo: David Brossard / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Let’s face it, our hair getting tangled in the drain is one of the more unpleasant sights you can see in the shower. It can get even worse, as hair can clog the shower and stop the water from draining properly.

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Luckily, we can use drain covers to make sure that this doesn’t happen. One thing though – why use metal drain covers from the store when you can print your own?

This is not only more environmentally-friendly, but you’ll also be saving money. Oh, not to forget – you can actually use these covers as your kitchen drain too!

11. Superhero Keychains

Keychains with the likenesses of Marvel Comics characters
Photo: Mrs. Gemstone / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you love superheroes and you want a very simple, but noticeable pendant for your keychain – we’ve got you covered. These elegant superhero keychains are a very simple thing to 3D print when bored, but they’re unmistakably showing off the symbol of your favorite hero.

Make sure not to miss out on Iron Man, Batman, Superman and Spider-Man if you want to really show off your allegiance.

12. Toothbrush Case

Photo: nishantcm / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you travel regularly, then you surely know that it’s best to keep your toothbrush in a case during the trip to make sure it doesn’t get dirty. Well, instead of buying one at a store, you can now print your own toothbrush case!

This is a very useful tool that will definitely serve its purpose, and there’s also a bigger version you can find here.

To End

3D printing is becoming a more important industry by the day, but it’d be silly to disregard its obvious usefulness in our everyday life. Given that 3D printers are now available to more or less everyone, there’s almost an infinite number of things to 3D print when bored.

Be it culinary tools like spaghetti gauges and measuring spoons or just something fun like toy helicopters or superhero keychain pendants – 3D printing is a technology that can certainly offer many solutions to our everyday problems and everyday boredom.

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