3D-printed Parts in the Home

I’ve worked in the 3D printing industry long enough to recall the peak of the 3D printing hype cycle (2013–2014) with an appropriate level of horror. 3D printing is a terrific technology, it’s here to stay, and it’s crucially important to the future of design and manufacturing. But its maturation did not exactly overthrow any industries. And the much-reported science-fiction future in which everyone has a printer at home, “downloading” faucets or minting custom repair parts or whatever is still an absurd joke. Nevertheless, access to a printer comes in handy, such as for the tricky installation of this baby gate:


It’s a silly project, but what are you going to do when you have 4 mounting surfaces that are non-coplanar? With this part (in blue) I was able to quickly adapt the hook provided by the gate manufacturer to the turned, tapered newel post. Since it was 3D-printed, I could integrate hollow channels for nylon zip ties that would have been difficult to realize with other technologies. The part is secured to the newel post with zip ties and silicone glue, which makes it strong but relatively easy to remove in the future. The material is Formlabs Tough resin.

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